Nolan honored as Adult Education Teacher of the Year
Camden — For Heidi Nolan, showing non-traditional students and high school drop-outs that there is a light at the end of the tunnel is a labor of love.
The labor she has invested during the last 9 years has paid off as Nolan was named the Maine Adult Education Association Outstanding Teacher of the Year at the annual Maine Adult Education Association Conference at Colby College in June.
“It was a great surprise and a wonderful honor,” she said. “I had no idea it was going to happen.”
Nolan's roles are many with the Five Towns Community School District Adult and Community Education including, literacy tutoring, HiSET (formerly GED) preparation, College Transitions tutoring and advising, and for ESOL -- English for Speakers of Other Languages -- tutoring.
Last year she designed and taught “Math Boot Camp” programs at University College at Rockland to serve students in need of additional help.
In addition, this year, Nolan started tutoring and advising people at the homeless shelter in Rockport, which serves the homeless in Knox, Lincoln and Waldo counties.
The programs are all open enrollment, meaning people can join and attend when they are able to, with the exception of Math Boot Camps.
“It has been interesting to see this program grow from a room full of paper to the classroom it is today,” she said. “This program has helped a lot of young adults succeed when they thought they couldn't.”
Nolan said she began several years ago posting pictures of adult education graduates in their caps and gowns as a border in her regular classroom.
“I have pictures on my back wall of successful students that are making a positive impact in the real world and my hope is to make the ends meet," she said. "When someone new comes in and sees the pictures, they might recognize one of them and realize they can do it too."
The Maine Adult Education Association oversees 84 adult education centers in the state, and chooses two outstanding teachers for the award each from many nominees, all of whom have been teaching for more than five years.
Five Town CSD Adult and Community Education is based at Camden Hills Regional High School and the Adult Learning Center is located at 7 Lions Lane in Camden, in the Superintendent’s office building near the middle school.
For more information or to sign up for programs contact the adult ed office at 236-7800, ext. 5., or call Nolan directly at 236-3358, ext. 319.