My Teacher of the Year Journey

Gloria Noyes, 2009 Maine State Teacher of the Year


Who is Gloria Noyes you ask?

Well…first and foremost, I am a blessed person!  My life is full because I have the family I always dreamed of…my husband Steve who is a magnificent person, my best friend, and the outstanding father of my two healthy, loving, and spectacular sons, Isaac and Max.  I also have been gifted with a huge extended family and group of friends that are supportive, compassionate, hysterical, and the most loving group of people you could ever meet.

Early on in my life, I realized that I wanted to make a difference in the world.  For me, teaching was the answer.   In fourth grade, I was lucky enough to have had a teacher who understood the importance of honoring the whole child.  This teacher went out of her way to make us all feel genuinely special and cared about in her presence. More importantly, Roberta Dutton-Morrill believed in me at a time when I couldn’t have needed it more.

In the Fall of 1980, I was moving for my eighth time and I was only nine years old.  My father had passed away from Lung Cancer that May, and both of my grandparents (my mother’s parents) had passed away as well, one in June and one in July.  My mother had also gotten divorced for her second time during all of this, and we were moving in with her new boyfriend when I was placed in Mrs. Dutton’s class.  I like to call this placement…divine intervention.

I’m a person who truly believes in looking at the positive side of things and these challenging life experiences, along with many more I encountered have been some of the best things that ever happened to me.  These experiences have helped me to better understand my students and to look deeply at the child before me.  Like Mrs. Dutton, I see the multi-faceted child and teach to each child’s potential in order for them to shine brightly.  It is such an honor to be a teacher.  I’m so grateful that I was blessed to have Mrs. Dutton as my guardian angel and inspiration to become a teacher. My wish as a teacher is to also nurture my students’ souls as well as their intellect.

There’s so much that I want to share, but here’s the quick version of my bio:

Born: In Portland, Maine and raised in Westbrook from the age of two.

Live: I still live in the great city of Westbrook and that is also where I teach.  As I like to say, “You can’t take the Brook out of the girl.”  I love it here for many reasons like the great sense of community, the school system, the way we all pull together in a time of need or just for a celebration, and for the genuinely beautiful people that are my family and friends, neighbors, (past and present) students and their parents.

Years Teaching: 17… all in Westbrook, 16 of those have been in the fifth grade at Congin Elementary School.  Oh, did I mention that Congin is where I attended when I had my favorite teacher, Mrs. Dutton?  When I was hired to teach fifth grade at Congin guess who my mentor was???  It was Mrs. Dutton, she was still a fourth grade teacher.  How cool is that?  I’m hoping that I’ll be able to teach with one or more of my former students some day.  Actually, it’s looking promising as there are several dear students who are in college studying to be teachers.

Interests/Favorites: Spending quality time with my family and friends, volunteering time at a local nursing home, decorating, real estate, gardening, shopping for anything, entertaining, pretending that I’m a match maker, playing Guitar Hero with my oldest son, Isaac, the numbers 7 and 11, french fries, ketchup, summer time, disco and 80’s music, going to Storyland and Santa’s Village in NH with my boys, holidays with my family and friends, eating out, being a wife, a mom, a teacher and enjoying life!