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CBHS Educator is Cumberland County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year!

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CBHS Educator is Cumberland County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year!
Posted on 05/11/2017
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Brooke Teller, chemistry teacher at Casco Bay High School (CBHS), is Cumberland County’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. Teller was among the teachers – one from each of Maine’s 16 counties – honored May 11 at an annual event at the State Capitol announcing the 2017 Maine County Teachers of the Year.

The selection is a great honor in itself. It also now puts Teller and the other 15 members of the group in the running for Maine Teacher of the Year, an award given each year to one teacher in Maine.

The educators were each nominated by a member of their community for their exemplary service in education and dedication to their students. CBHS Principal Derek Pierce wrote a letter in support of the nomination of Teller, CBHS’ founding chemistry teacher, who has been with the school 10 years. Pierce said Teller “is a splendid educator and an even more splendid human.”

Pierce listed some highlights of Teller’s work just this school year:

• She launched a new course, The Chemistry of Mars, which she co-designed and taught with a University of Southern Maine professor. Through this course, a whole cohort of high school students, many of them at risk and potential first-generation college students, fell more in love with science while earning both college and high school credit.

• She drafted a new generation of “climate change warriors” through her 11th-grade “Air Up There” learning expedition this past fall. Juniors study the chemistry of climate change and then produce quality newscasts about noxious elements and gases that are shown to local fifth-graders; after a class period of sharing and teaching, the fifth graders are enlisted to join the elder students as climate change warriors.

• Brooke has presented her exemplary work at the Expeditionary Learning National Conference in Detroit (where one of the participants literally wept with appreciation), and she has inspired her colleagues at CBHS about how to effectively scaffold a unit to simultaneously meet the needs of English Language Learners, IEP students and “honors” students. She has also served adeptly as the Junior Team Leader as well as the school’s “Faculty Wellness Czar.”

Teller holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s degree from Central Connecticut State University.

She was previously nominated as “Teacher of the Year” in Connecticut. She has taught chemistry for more than fifteen years, most recently at two startup high schools. Teller's many roles at CBHS include Graduation and STEM Endorsement Coordinator.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education, administered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization working to ensure Maine’s students and workers are the best educated and highly skilled in the world.

The 2017 Maine County Teachers of the Year are ambassadors for teachers, students, and quality education in Maine. They will continue to participate in the intensive State Teacher of the Year selection process, including the submission of a video showcasing their classroom instructional practices.

The field will be narrowed to eight semifinalists, who will begin working on their professional portfolio, a component of the National Teacher of the Year process. After the portfolio review and presentations to a select panel, the field is narrowed to three finalists. In October, the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year will be selected after a school site visit and final interview.

For more information, visit www.maine.gov/doe/toy/.
County Teachers of Year 2017