Nominations open for 2023 County Teachers of the Year

Published: Jan. 5, 2023 at 5:07 PM EST
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - We’re just a few days in to 2023, but the search is already underway for the Maine Teacher of the Year for 2024.

Educate Maine is now accepting nominations for 2023 County Teachers of the Year.

“What we’re looking for is the teacher that really will take that extra step, who has made an impact on a student’s life, on a colleague’s life,” said Dolly Sullivan, Educate Maine program director.

The process is open through Feb. 5. That’s when each nominee will be sent a letter, telling them who nominated them, and why. Then they have a choice to make: either opt-in, or opt-out.

“I’ve had one person say, ‘I’m not even the best teacher on my floor!’ But it is not about that at all,” said Sullivan. “We really want people to really take that next step and say yes, because we need to elevate and celebrate teachers in our state.”

Only about half of those nominated accept the offer to proceed in the program.

2018 Maine Teacher of the Year Kaitlin Young knows the internal debate first-hand. She says she thought of the advice she’d give her students if they were presented a similar opportunity.

“This experience was one of the most influential personal and professional development experiences you can ever ask for. It pushes you out of your comfort zone. It requires you to reflect on your practice. And it makes you think about the little things that you do every day,” said Young, who now works as the policy and program specialist for Educate Maine.

In the coming weeks, more educators will have the chance to join this impressive group. For those who find a nomination letter on their desks, Young has some advice.

“Pause. Take a breath and appreciate that others see the great work that you’re doing. And this is an opportunity to talk about our students, to talk about your work, and to connect with other people who are interested in impacting positive change for education across the state,” said Young.

2023 County Teachers of the Year will be announced in May. The Maine Teacher of the Year will eventually come from that group of 16.

If you’re interested in nominating a deserving educator in your life, click here.