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Caribou Middle School teacher named Aroostook County Teacher of the Year

CARIBOU, Maine — The Maine Department of Education has named Caribou Middle School Teacher Kim Barnes Aroostook County Teacher of the Year.

Barnes is now in the running to become the Maine Teacher of the Year, according to a DOE press release issued Thursday.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program “offers all of us the opportunity to celebrate the phenomenal work that is being accomplished every day in Maine’s public schools,” said Pender Makin, the state commissioner of education.

“Each of the county teachers of the year exemplifies a deep commitment to Maine’s students and a belief in the power of education to create positive and lasting change,” she said in the release. “They bring their compassion, creativity, and innovation to the art and science of teaching, amplifying the dreams and futures of their students.”

Barnes is among 15 teachers selected from each of 15 of Maine’s 16 counties. The release indicated that “Lincoln County did not have a nominee who both met the criteria and completed the application process.”

A member of each educator’s community nominated them for their service and dedication to students. A panel of teachers, principals and business community members then picked the winners.

The county winners were honored Thursday at an event in the Hall of Flags at the State House in Augusta.

All 15 will now continue to participate in the teacher of the year selection process, which will include having to submit a video showcasing their classroom instructional practices.

The field will then be narrowed to eight semi-finalists tasked with working on their professional portfolio. Following a portfolio review and select panel presentations, education officials will pick three finalists. Following a school site visit and final review, they will select a Maine Teacher of the Year in October 2020.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education administered by Educate Maine.

Other winners named Thursday are:

— Androscoggin County: Shawn Rice, Edward Little High School, Auburn

— Cumberland County: Heather Whitaker, Gorham Middle School

— Franklin County: Robert Taylor, Spruce Mountain Middle/High School, Jay

— Hancock County: Nell Herrmann, Blue Hill Consolidated School

— Kennebec County: Emily Bowen, Hall-Dale Middle/High School, Farmingdale

— Knox County: Thomas Gray, Camden Hills Regional High School

— Oxford County: Linda Andrews, Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, Hartford -Sumner Elementary

— Penobscot County: Tracy Deschaine, Orono Middle School

— Piscataquis County: Bobbi Tardif, SeDoMoCha School, Dover-Foxcroft

— Sagadahoc County: Charles Bingham, Morse High School, Bath

— Somerset County: Katherine Bertini, Madison Junior High School

— Waldo County: Ashley Reynolds, Captain Albert Stevens School, Belfast

— Washington County: Jeanna Carver, Jonesport Elementary School

— York County: Ethel Atkinson, Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton

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