AUGUSTA (AP) — The 2014 Maine Teacher of the Year contest is down to three finalists.

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen says the candidates are Hartland fourth grade teacher Mary Graziano; Milbridge Elementary School kindergarten teacher Suzen Polk-Hoffses and sixth- and seventh-grade English language arts teacher Karen MacDonald from the King Middle School in Portland.

Bowen says the program gives the state a chance to celebrate its classroom leaders who are helping to prepare children for success in college, careers and civic life,

The winner will be announced in September.

Last year’s honor went to Shannon Shanning, a special education teacher in Poland.

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