LEWISTON — Peter Barlow was named Maine's Career and Technical Educator of the Year at a conference here Friday.
Barlow is a metal trades instructor at the Region 9 School of Applied Technology in Mexico where he's taught since 1991, according to a release from the Maine Department of Education.
He was surprised with the honor during the Career and Technical Educator Conference at Lewiston Regional Technical Center.
"He was very shocked when his name was read," Region 9 Director Brenda Gammon said. "He didn't even know he had been nominated."
Reached later in the day, Barlow admitted as much.
"Shock. That's what it was," he said. "I had absolutely no idea it was coming."
When the shock wore off, there was humility. Barlow credited the rest of the staff — other teachers and administrators — with creating a great working environment.
"It's not something that's just for me," he said. "It's for all of them. They're a great bunch."
Gammon said she was pleased that the award went to Barlow. It reflects well upon the school and the community, but she also described Barlow as a dedicated teacher who is all about his students.
"He puts his students first, always," Gammon said. "He engages them. The students are very fortunate to have him at the front of the classroom or in the shop with them."
State leaders also weighed in on the award.
“Students in Mr. Barlow’s classes know that with effective training and education, they will graduate with the skills they need to pursue successful careers,” Gov. Paul LePage wrote in a statement. “Congratulations to Mr. Barlow and to the Region 9 CTE school for your excellent work.”