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St. George teacher named top educator in Knox County

By Stephen Betts | May 19, 2020
Alison Babb-Brott

St. George — Alison Babb-Brott said she wants students to be critical thinkers who engage in thoughtful, respectful discussions when they need to make difficult decisions.

Babb-Brott's work and philosophy on education was recognized this week when she was named the Knox County teacher of the year by the Maine Department of Education. The 16 county teachers of the year are finalists for Maine teacher of the year.

She is a second grade teacher at the St. George School.

Superintendent Michael Felton said Babb-Brott is a phenomenal teacher.

"Her dedication to students is immense.She really gets what a community school is," Felton said.

Babb-Brott is in her fourth year at the St. George School. Before that, she taught a year at a public school in Boston and a year at a charter school in Boston as well.

She grew up in Ipswich, Mass. but her family have roots in Maine, and they all returned to the Midcoast, residing in the Camden and Belfast area. Her aunt, Andrea Conover, is a kindergarten teacher at the Lincolnville Central School.

Babb-Brott said the award she received is a recognition of the shared efforts of the staff of the school, and the parents, and students.

"I have a real passion for delivering high-quality education," she said.

Critical thinking is key to that education, she said.

"We want to have critical thinkers who can engage in conversations for making difficult changes. We want to create active, global citizens," the second-grade teacher said.

To achieve that, knowledge of language and word choice are key, she said.

"I like to say in the classroom that we are crew not passengers. Our actions impact on others," she said.

Babb-Brott said she has five key words to describe the education philosophy —perseverance, responsibility, reflection, cooperation and empathy. In the end, she wants students to be able have discussions while respecting viewpoints of others.

The second-grade teacher said the remote education required due to the COVID-19 outbreak has been a climb.

"There are many moments of joy and moments of despair," she said.

The school has provided wireless access and IPads for all students but she is still concerned about an equity gap for some students. She said she has an incredible amount of respect for parents during this time.

Babb-Brott said she is happy to have been welcomed into the St. George community and to be able to share her ability with the high-caliber staff at the school.

"I feel grateful I found a home in St. George," she said.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education, administered and partnered by Educate Maine, a business-led organization.

The Maine county teachers of the year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations. Throughout the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive state teacher of the year selection process.

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