My Teacher of the Year Journey

Gloria Noyes, 2009 Maine State Teacher of the Year

Archive for March, 2009

Maine Maple Sunday at Nash Valley Farm

 Every year Maine Maple Farms hold a special sampling of their incredibly delicious treats such as: maple syrup, maple cotton candy, maple candied walnuts, maple sugar candy, maple malted milk balls, maple taffy, maple hard candy drops, etc.  Can you see the “maple” theme???  At Nash Valley Farm  they had horse and carriage rides, animals to visit, trees tapped, and a garage full of goodies to sample and purchase, as well as a shed where they boil the sap…did you know that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup???  That is truly a labor of love! 

My boys loved the ice cream and syrup treat that was provided by the Nash family and of course they devoured the maple cotton candy, so did their mother…ha.ha.  I bought two extra bags to share with my class tomorrow.  If you are interested in purchasing any of these items you can call their home: 207-892-7019 or email: nashvalleyfarm@myfairpoint.net   Richard and Roberta Morrill are the owners of Nash Valley Farm, they are also the generous people who donated 60 mini bags of malted maple balls for my gift bags that went to all of the National Teachers of the Year, in Dallas this past January.  Thanks again, Morrill family for supporting me and education!!!  Happy Maine Maple Sunday!

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  • A gift to cherish…

    Mary is going to college!!!

    Mary is going to college!!!

    After attending the MCEE (Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education) Board of Directors meeting (I’ll write about this meeting in a separate entry), I rushed over to Westbrook High School to offer the Teaching it Forward Scholarship to a very remarkable young lady, Mary Maxwell.  Before awarding her with this gift, I met individually with each applicant and let them all know how genuinely impressed and proud I was of all that they have accomplished.  Each senior had a touching story of the hardships they have faced…let me tell you not one teacher who helped me score these applicants’ essays had a dry eye.  These young adults have been through so much and all they want is a chance to go to college.  Sadly, I do not have a scholarship for each student, but I am determined to try and find a way to get them some type of scholarship to help them pursue their dream of attaining a college degree.  (If anyone is reading this and knows of college monies available, please leave me a comment.) On Monday, I’m calling a few local colleges… so, cross your fingers.

    Although it was very difficult to only be able to offer one of the six students who applied for this scholarship the opportunity to attend the University of Phoenix, I was so impressed with the reactions I received from each senior. When they heard it was Mary, they all said she was so deserving and what a great person she is.  Wow!!!  How impressive and mature is that?  These incredible young adults could not have been more gracious and understanding.

    Mary was the last one to come into the room, she sat down and I could see the worry on her face.  I smiled at her and told her she was going to college…the next moment was priceless.  She didn’t believe me at first and when the words finally sank in, she just covered her face and the two of us started to cry…we ended up laughing in-between our sobs of joy.  To witness this beautiful girl receive something that seemed almost out of her reach was more than my heart could stand, especially knowing that she has suffered more losses and heart ache than most people have had to deal with in two life times.  The joy in Mary’s eyes is something I will cherish for all of my life.  She must have thanked me fifty times and we couldn’t stop hugging.  Mary wants to study Elementary Education…this gift is going to keep on giving.

    I personally want to thank the University of Phoenix for affording me this opportunity to give such a life changing opportunity to a Westbrook student of my choosing.

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  • Hall of Flags Ceremony

    Glo and the Gov.

    Glo and the Governor

    What a gorgeous day!  (Please look at the “Hall of Flags 09″ gallery of pictures)  It was so nice looking at the terrific displays that each nominee made.  I was so impressed with the passion and dedication these teachers have for teaching…it was incredible. http://pressherald.mainetoday.com/newsupdate.php?updates/maine-teachers-nominated-for-teacher-of-the-year

    The ceremony was flawless!  It was an honor to be in the presence of Governor, John Elias Baldacci, Deputy Commissioner of Education, Angela Flaherty, Rubin Lemelin from Hannaford Supermarkets and Ann Weisleder from the State Board of Education, as well as the past Teacher of the Year Awardees and the 2010 Nominees.

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  •  

    Argy Nestor (1995)...Me (2009)...Peter Lancia (2002)

    Argy Nestor (1995)…Me (2009)…Peter Lancia (2002)

    Tonight was the first time that all of the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year Nominees met the former/current T.o.Y.s, as well as each other.  What a fantastic group of nominees we have this year!  Any one of them would be an excellent representative for the Maine teachers.  Jennifer Pooler, the Maine Teacher of the Year Coordinator,  did a super job organizing this event.  The night started off with the nominees and former/present T.o.Y.s introducing themselves and after dinner there was a “Question and Answer” time for the nominees.  The night ended with a challenge… I told all the nominees that the 2010 T.o.Y. banner (which is partially in view behind Peter Lancia’s shoulder) is not really a banner, but rather it is a cape much like the one I wrapped around my shoulders and ran around the stage with during my assembly. (The Olympic mood struck me…what can I say?)  So, I told these fine nominees that if they should be the fortunate one to be honored with the T.o.Y. title …then they would have to continue this right of passage.  If they fail to do so, well…the cape is mine and I get to stay on as Maine’s T.o.Y. for another year.  “Game on, Nominees!”

    I truly enjoyed getting to know the nominees and their guests, as well as everyone there.

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  • This afternoon, I hobbled (I broke my toe the other day…when I dropped the iron on it! Ouch!!!)  over to the Westbrook High School to make a presentation to six precious high school students.  The week before I had called the H.S. guidance office looking for help in selecting candidates who would fit the criteria I came up with for this scholarship. (Please see my January 29th entry for more details.)  The criteria I decided on was not the typical set of standards, I want this scholarship to be a life changing gift for someone.  So, the criteria looked something like this:  The student may not be able to attend college due to financial constraints.  The student has had hardships throughout their school life, but kept their chin up and continued onward with a smile. (This by far was the biggest factor for me…what kind of endeavors had they encountered.)  The student does not have to have the highest G.P.A.; however, they need to show consistency and some dedication to their schooling.  If there should be two or more candidates who were very close in the above requests then I’d consider someone going into teaching.  Each candidate also had to answer the three questions that the University had in the packet…these responses would also be read and scored by the team of teachers I put together.  The students have to pass in their responses by Monday, March 9th. 

    I also put together a slide show presentation for the students to watch in order to give more insight as to what this scholarship was offering.  I spoke to them about how dear this opportuntity is for one of them… and how it could possibly change their life.  There was such a strong response from these young people, it truly moved me to tears.  As I often do in my own classroom, I wanted these students to see me as a person, not just as a teacher.  So, I gave them a little bit of my background and told them about a very special scholarship I received when I was a senior in high school.  At a school assembly, I was gifted the Horatio Alger Scholarship. http://www.horatioalger.com/news.cfm This was a complete surprise as I was working at the assembly, thinking that I was there to escort in the Governor, because I was on the Student Council…never realizing that this whole thing was for me!   I received $5,000.00 towards college costs and a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet some of the most outstanding and famous people who also belonged to this association or were being honored themselves.  That award has forever changed my life…it was one of the kindest gestures anyone has ever made to me and it helped me achieve my dream of becoming a teacher.  I told these six beautiful students that my one hope is… this scholarship helps them to achieve their professional dream, too.  I’ll keep you posted on the outcome. :)

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