NORWAY – Two area teachers are among 14 nominees for the 2007 Maine Teacher of the Year award who will be honored by Gov. John Baldacci at a ceremony March 9.

Gretchen Kimball, who teaches seventh-grade English, language arts and science at Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, and Danny Caron, culinary arts instructor at Lewiston Regional Technical Center, will join the governor and the other 12 nominees at noon at the State House Hall of Flags for the ceremony.

The winner will be announced in September. The 2007 Maine Teacher of the Year will be the 41st educator to be named. Nominating committees in their school districts selected the teachers.

Don Cannan, principal of Lewiston Regional Technical Center, on Friday described Caron as a “pretty incredible, dedicated guy.”

“All kids succeed in his program,” said Cannan. “They all master the skills and knowledge at a really high level.”

Cannan said Caron and his students had 104 catering jobs last year, many of them large ones including events at Bates College and Portland International Jetport. “Everyone loves him; you never hear a bad word about him,” he said.

Don Reiter, principal of Buckfield Junior/Senior High School, said Kimball is a “phenomenal teacher.”

“She really works with kids,” he said. “Coming into (Kimball’s) classroom from the outside is a beautiful thing.”

Reiter said Kimball involves herself and her students in community projects. They have visited the graves of war veterans to plant American flags and ensure the cemeteries were being maintained properly.

The 14 nominees represent all grade levels and all regions of the state. “This is a very special program honoring excellence in teaching and all Maine teachers,” said state Department of Education Commissioner Susan A. Gendron. “After all, teaching is the noblest profession. It needs to be recognized as such.”

Donna Tardif, a teacher at Montello Elementary School in Lewiston, was the 2006 award recipient.


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