Jeanne has spent her adult life in the field of education, working for 21 years as a high school teacher and serving as the principal of South Portland High School for 13 years. She is currently the assistant executive director of the Maine Principals’ Association. Jeanne also has two children, both of whom are in their twenties.
James is the coordinator of the Renewable Energy program at the University of Maine. He is involved in the development of undergraduate minors in Renewable Energy for University of Maine students.
Kate grew up in Lewiston, ME and attended Lewiston High School. She then left Maine to attend Harvard University in Boston, MA. After college, Kate stayed in Boston to teach math at an underperforming middle school. She now works for a small math education company based out of Cambridge, MA and is going to school to become a nurse midwife.
Dana grew up in Bangor and attended the University of Maine, where she studied psychology and child development. She then went on to get a master’s degree in adolescent development from UNH, as well as a master’s in school counseling from USM. For the past two years Dana has worked as a school counselor at Freeport High School in Freeport. She has spent much of her time as a counselor working with incoming freshmen and has seen firsthand the challenges and struggles that students face during the transition from middle school to high school. Here she offers insight into those struggles, as well as a few tips for how to overcome them and get off to a good start in ninth grade.
Doug has been working as a guidance counselor in New Hampshire and Maine for nearly 20 years and is currently the Guidance Director at Portland High School. Before entering the guidance field, he worked as a social studies teacher, a hotel manager, and in construction. Doug grew up in Ossipee, NH and has two children.
Kelly is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Maine. Originally from Indiana, Kelly moved to Maine after receiving her Ph.D. mathematics education from Indiana University – Bloomington, where she also earned her master’s degree in mathematics.
Paul is the principal of Gray-New Gloucester High and has been for the past nine years. Before that, Paul spent 11 years as an assistant principal at Portland High School. He has also worked as a guidance counselor at both the middle and high school levels. Prior to his career in education, Paul worked in the field of criminal justice. He enjoys working with young people and helping them to create better futures for themselves through education.
Sol Garfunkel is the executive director of the Consortium for Mathematics and Its Applications (COMAP), a non-profit organization that aims to improve math education for students of all ages. Garfunkel received his PhD in mathematical logic from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1967. He believes that math education in this country is in dire need of an update in order to help students be more successful in life and careers.
Rob is the co-director of Portland Adult Education. He has worked in adult education for over thirty years, beginning his career as an hourly teacher at the Cumberland County Jail. He enjoys working with adult students because they are eager to learn and strongly motivated to succeed.
Gregg is currently the principal of Falmouth High School. Previously, Gregg has served as the principal of Searsport District High School and Searsport District Middle School, as well as as a special education teacher at Brewer High School. Gregg graduated from the University of Maine and went on to study at the University of Iowa in their Writer’s Workshop program. He also has a master’s degree in Applied Behavioral Sciences from the University of Oklahoma.
Nancy is a professor of English at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. In addition to teaching courses in modern English literature and poetry, Nancy also teaches a number of writing courses. She believes that a firm grasp of English grammar and syntax is essential for every student and is passionate about teaching these skills well.
Ann Dean is the Director of College Writing at USM, as well as an Associate Professor of English at the university. As the Director of College Writing, Ann manages all of the first-year writing courses offered by USM. In her position, she has a prime view of the challenges students can face in developing the college-level writing skills essential to their future academic and career success. Here she outlines the issues that present problems for some students, as well as advice for how to better prepare for college-level work as a high school student.
John Fitzsimmons has been the president of the Maine Community College System since 1990. In this interview, John shares his insights on the skills students need to find jobs, offers information on some exciting new programs being offered by Maine’s community colleges, and talks about the serious problem presented by students’ need for remedial courses.
Bill Zima is the current principal at Mount Ararat Middle School in Topsham. Before that, he was the Assistant Principal at Massabesic Middle School in Waterboro. He has also been a teacher, a wildlife conservation expert for Disney’s Wild Kingdom, and a researcher in electronics. Bill has two children, a ten year old and an eight year old.
Derek has been the principal of Casco Bay High School since the school opened in 2005. Prior to that, Derek worked to found Poland Regional High School and served there as the principal. He has also worked as an english teacher. Derek has two children in middle school and one in elementary school.
Sheila grew up in New Sweden in Aroostook County. She has worked in education for many years in a variety of roles, including as a special education teacher, as a curriculum developer, and as a principal. Currently, Sheila is an assistant principal at Deering High School in Portland.
Emanuel Pariser lived all over the world as a young person before moving to Maine when he was 21. He then founded the Community School, an alternative school for students who had dropped out of conventional schools. He is still the co-director of the school, and is currently developing new alternative programs to help students who have not done well in other high schools.