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State finalists announced for 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year

Aug 19, 2020
Heather Webster works at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, who is a finalist for Maine's Teacher of the Year

Three Maine teachers have been announced as finalists for the 2021 Maine Teacher of the Year program. The finalists were chosen from the 2020 Maine County Teachers of the Year honored earlier this year during a special virtual ceremony which was viewed over 7,000 times.

The Maine Teacher of the Year program honors outstanding teachers who represent the thousands of excellent educators in Maine. Maine’s Teacher of the Year serves as an advocate for the teaching profession, education and students, and represents Maine in the National Teacher of the Year program.

Each educator was nominated by a member of their community for their exemplary service in education and dedication to their students. They were selected by a distinguished panel of teachers, principals, and business community members from a pool of hundreds of other nominated teachers in their communities.

Of the three finalists, The Maine Department of Education, Educate Maine, Maine State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association announced that local resident teachers Alison Babb-Brott and Heather Webster are moving on as 2021 State Finalists.

Alison Babb-Brott

Alison Babb-Brott is a second grade teacher at St. George School in St. George, where she has taught since 2016. Babb-Brott is inspired by the power and potential of young students and sets the bar for high expectations, as evidenced by her students' engagement and achievement. She believes that by teaching students to be the leaders of their classroom and academic careers, they will in turn become leaders of their communities and their world.

Babb-Brott teaches learning expeditions that connect students with authentic, local experiences - like her “Plants and Pollinators” expedition, in which students study local flora and fauna and plant pollinator gardens - and also expose students to global perspectives - like her “Schools and Community” expedition, in which students explore schools around the world to find similarities that connect them and differences that challenge them.

Underlying Babb-Brott’s content delivery is a fierce commitment to the development of her students' character. Every interaction is designed to teach and support integrous care for student dialogue, classroom culture, and academic achievement.

Babb-Brott graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and Tourism Management. She later received her Master of Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2015.

She returned to teach in Maine as the ocean and her family called her home. On a boat in Penobscot Bay or in the stands at her younger sister’s soccer games, she is happiest surrounded by friends and family.

Heather Webster

Heather Webster is an English teacher at Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro, where she has just completed her 19th year. Webster is an active teacher-leader who is always focused on improving the school experience for all students; she has served on many and varied committees and particularly enjoys developing student-centered curriculum. She is the co-founder of the school’s student-staffed writing center. She also started Storybook Theater, a community service drama program where high school students bring a book to life for elementary students.

Webster recognizes the importance of relationships and works to establish positive ones both in and out of the classroom. Her classroom motto, from the Apollo 13 mission, is “Failure is not an option,” and she works to provide students with choices and multiple opportunities to demonstrate knowledge, often seeking out or creating, project-based activities to employ in her classroom.

Webster graduated from the University of Maine in 1991, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English. She later completed the coursework for teaching certification and is currently pursuing a Master of Education in Literacy with a concentration in Writing and the Teaching of Writing at the University of Maine. Family, both nuclear and extended, are of utmost importance to Webster. Her husband, Phil, supports her endeavors, and parenting her 16-year-old son Russell has definitely contributed to making her a better teacher. She loves reading, writing, and scrapbooking, and can often be found on horseback navigating woods trails or circling a show ring.

The winning announcement will be in October after the final stages of the selection process are complete.

Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education, administered by Educate Maine. For more information, visit mainetoy.org.

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