My Teacher of the Year Journey

Gloria Noyes, 2009 Maine State Teacher of the Year

It’s been a long time!!!!

Sorry I have been MIA for the last year; however, I have been working diligently on my doctorate in Adminstration and Leadership for Teaching and Learning at Walden University. I have also been working on completing my Principal Certification…I have been just a little busy…ha.ha.

This year has been full of wonderful surprises like having a student nominate me for the Coast 93.1 Teacher of the Week. I was fortunate to have been chosen by the Coast station and our class received a visit from Eva! We also were given reusble Coast bags and water bottles!!! (Check out our picture above!) Not to mention, Ricetta’s donated pizzas for my students to enjoy. It was an awesome morning! I am including a link to my classroom Wiki page to see some of the things our class has been doing. 

Also, last Friday (May 6th, 2011)…I had the privilege of giving a testimony on behalf of LD 1422. I am a board member on the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education and for the past two years our team has been working on a plan to help graduate more Maine students and prepare them for higher education and the work force. It was my first time being involved in a educational hearing. I found it interesting that I was one of the only classroom teachers in that room and three educational bills were being heard.  My wish is  that more educators would be included in policy making committees, as well as  have opportunities to leave the classroom to share their experiences and expertise.

Here is the link to my Wiki page:



Why I Teach…

As I was preparing for my ASCD breakout presentation tomorrow, I was looking for my video titled “Why I Teach.”  While on my final Teacher of the Year trip in New York City, the Pearson Foundation sponsored a video made by each State Teacher of the Year titled “Why I Teach.” Making this video was an emotional experience, during filming one of the Pearson crew members asked me to share what I wanted my students to take with them when they left my classroom. I also talked about that special teacher that inspired me to teach, Mrs. Roberta Dutton-Morrill.

I just wanted to share my video and hope you go to the CCSSO website where my video is located to view all of the outstanding State Teachers of the Year for 2009.


I was privileged to be invited to share with Westbrook’s Chamber of Commerce what I so dearly love to do…teach and spread the word about the amazing things happening in the my own district and throughout the state.  Okay…I’m a huge user of technology and especially love it when it is working. Can you guess where this might be going? I was the first guest to arrive at the Larrabee Complex as I wanted to make sure I had plenty of time to set up my Notebook (MAC) presentation. This was fortunate, because the projector provided did not recognize the fact that I had my entire presentation in MAC!!! UGH!!! I needed a new projector.

I flew out the door and realized I had twelve minutes to get to my school…grab a projector and make it back for my 12:20ish start. NO PROBLEM!I made it back and noticed I actually had three minutes to spare…phew. Not really! Now I had more technological issues, but fortunately a few dear members where there to help get the show on the road. (Thank you so much Dr. Lane and Sue Joyce!) You have to love technology, it keeps you on your toes. :)

I went on to speak for approximately 30 minutes and truly enjoyed my time with this group. Thank you so much for inviting me to speak and for caring about education.

Yes, that is me with Bob Crowley!

What a “wicked” cool guy, Mr. Crowley is! My husband and I had the opportunity to spend a little time with the famous Bob Crowley from Survivor after attending the GOP Gubernatorial debates at the brand new Westbrook Middle School Performing Arts Center. We are looking forward to the Democratic debates that will also be held at the Middle School in the upcoming weeks.

Please check out the Westbrook School Department’s Website and Dr. Namin’s Newsletter for up-to-date information on activities happening in our school district.

Westbrook School Dept. Newsletter

Congratulations Westbrook ToYs!!!

Sarah Bradbury was Congin’s nomination for Westbrook Teacher of the Year!!!

Cynthia Martin (Facilitator of Curriculum) and Walter LeBlanc the Westbrook Teacher of the Year!

The Westbrook School Committee and Westbrook School Department celebrated the outstanding teachers  that were nominated for each school in Westbrook. There was a brief reception prior to the televised award ceremony at the School Committee meeting. Thank you all for being fantastic role models and advocates of best practice in the classroom. The nominees were: Walter LeBlanc (High School), Phil Rich (Canal School), Sarah Bradbury (Congin School), Pam Ridley (Prides Corner School), Peter Wilson (Vocational), and Wendy Gualrapp (Saccarappa School).

Unum Shooting Stars and the Red Claws!

Thank you so much UNUM…for investing in education! Your dedication to students and educators across Maine does not go unnoticed. My class, the parents, and many Congin staff members had an amazing time at the Red Claws game. It was so generous of you to offer tickets, t-shirts, and great seats for me to share with the people I love so dearly.

(This was another gift for being ME ToY 2009!)

White Shadow the Red Claws Master of Ceremonies and beloved super talented trickster…teaches me how to spin with the best!

Sara and Shelby were chosen to do a fun obstacle race, hence…the big shorts!


2011 TOY Nominee Dinner in Augusta

Jennifer Pooler addresses the 2011 Maine Teacher of the Year Nominees

Walter (Wally) LeBlanc is a nominee from the Westbrook School District, my alma mater and the district I have been employed with since 1993! Good Luck, Wally!!!

Each year former and current Maine Teachers of the Year gather to support and meet the upcoming year’s nominees. Tonight there were four T.o.Y.s present to speak, answer questions, and share the marvelous experience the T.o.Y. process offers. Argy Nestor (1995), Pete Pedersen (1999), Gloria Noyes (me, 2009), and Kevin Grover (2010) were able to make the dinner this year.

It is always a proud moment to witness a room full of educators that are passionate about doing whatever it takes to lead their students to success! Way to go…Class of 2011 T.o.Y.s. You are all winners! To view the nominees and semi-finalists click here….

Best wishes and if any of you need advice or support through your journey, please do not hesitate to contact me. Most of you received my card, but Jennifer Pooler at the D.O.E. can put you in contact with me as well.

Frameworks Institute Workshop

The Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education hosted a Frameworks Institute workshop for the MCEE Board as well as for other initiative partners involved in the Prepare Maine campaign. Please see the attached invitation for the complete schedule and information in regards to the Frameworks Institute. MCEE FRAMEWORKS MCEE INVITE

Here is an overview of what was accomplished during our session…

1. Understand the basics and profound importance of effective “framing” (how we use it every day, its foundation in cognitive science), how it runs counter to many traditional communications methods and how it can make all the difference in a message getting through as intended.

2. Gain vital insight into how people actually think about education and education reform efforts.

3. Gain knowledge that allows them to begin to assess the effectiveness of their own messaging.

Today’s Presenters were:

LYNN DAVEY is Vice President of the Institute. Before coming to FrameWorks in 2005, Dr. Davey served as Vice President for Research at the Maine Children’s Alliance and directed the Maine KIDS COUNT Project for six years. Davey was also professor of psychology at St. Joseph’s College, Maine, where she instituted the college’s Department of Psychology. Davey created major programs of study in both Psychology and Human Development and served as chair of the Department for seven years. Davey earned her B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from The Catholic University of America. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Research on Adolescence and the Society for Research in Child Development.

JANE FEINBERG serves as the Institute’s Deputy Director for Field­Building. She is an award­winning journalist who spent twenty­five years as a writer, producer and developer of public and commercial television programs and series. She served as Senior Producer and Project Manager of “Keeping Kids on Track,” a two­year media campaign for Boston’s ABC affiliate, WCVB­TV Channel Five, which won the coveted National Association of Broadcasters Service to America Award. For almost a decade, Feinberg was a producer for the local ABC’s nightly television newsmagazine show, and she produced public affairs and children’s programs for PBS, including segments for “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” a documentary about Amelia Earhart, and a business special that was nominated for a National Emmy. She was also Senior Researcher for PBS’ “The American Experience.” Outside of television, Ms. Feinberg has served as Director of Communications for the Boston Public Schools. She is a graduate of the University of Minnesota and holds a Masters degree in Journalism from Boston University. (Information taken from the Frameworks Invitation)

Department of Education Presentation

As an active board member of the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education, I was asked to speak to the Board of Education with Yellow Light Breen (the Chair of the Board), about the exciting initiative the coalition is embarking on. The Board was gracious, engaged, and responded with thoughtful interaction throughout our meeting time. Here are a few tidbits of information that may help you better understand the importance of our initiative know as: Prepare Maine…Education is job #1!

What is the call to action?

An initiative to mobilize a broad set of stakeholders around the state to promote and implement the need, goals and strategies to dramatically improve Maine’s education performance – pre K through post secondary – over the next decade.

Why do we need to Prepare Maine?

According to Professor Lynne Miller, USM:

For every 100 Maine 8th graders: •85 want to go to college •76 actually graduate from high school •50 are accepted to college •40 actually show up on campus in the fall •23 earn a degree


•15% of all young adults ages 18-25 in Maine are not employed and are not in school.

Who can help move this initiative forward?

•The Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education •Students •Parents •Educators •Maine’s business community •Allies and Partners •YOU!!!! (Information provided on this entry come from the Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education’s PowerPoint-February 2010)

For more information or to join our mission…please contact:


MCEEFinal Flyer (Here is a flyer with more information about this initiative)

I’m a published author!!!

This summer an offer to submit a story for the upcoming Chicken Soup for the Soul book titled Teacher Tales was presented to the State Teachers of the Year (SToY). Several of us (including me) were eager to take up this offer and submitted a story. The few entries received from our group were well received by CSS to the point that Amy Newmark, (owner and editor of CSS) spoke to our SToY group and invited all ToYs to submit a story. This was beyond wonderful to say the least!

If you are looking for that perfect book to get the new teacher, your child’s classroom teacher, or you just want to read some heart-touching, hilariously funny, or inspirational stories about school life…please read this extraordinary book called Teacher Tales. I have included a link to the amazon site that offers the book at a reduced price. Also, you can view the Table of Contents and other sections of this book…if you browse the Table of Contents my story appears under the heading “The Teacher Who Changed My Life” page 243. My story is about Mrs. Roberta Dutton-Morrill, my fourth grade teacher, who truly inspired me to become a teacher. If you look at my Biography on this blog site, you will see that a year ago I mentioned my placement in her room was what I consider a “divine intervention.” How fitting that the name of my story in this book be titled just that.

Thank you Mrs. Dutton for your unconditional love and support during that challenging year…you are an angel on earth. Bravo…Chicken Soup for the Soul publishing company for allowing us (the 2009 State Teachers of the Year) to share our stories and hopefully touch the lives of others.