A Casco Bay High School teacher is one of 16 in the running to be named Maine’s teacher of the year.

Brooke Teller, a chemistry teacher at the Portland expeditionary learning school, was named Cumberland County teacher of the year, one of 16 county teacher of the year winners recognized Thursday at a ceremony in the State House Hall of Flags in Augusta.

“She (Teller) is a spendid educator and an even more splendid human,” Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce said in his nomination letter.

Pierce credited Teller with launching a new course, The Chemistry of Mars, which she taught with a University of Southern Maine professor. Teller also led a course on climate change, where juniors studied the chemistry of climate change and produced newscasts for local fifth-graders. The students then formed a group known as Climate Change Warriors.

Teller holds a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and a master’s from Central Connecticut State University. She was previously nominated as teacher of the year in Connecticut and has taught chemistry for more than 15 years.

The Maine Department of Education said in a statement Thursday that each county winner will submit a video showcasing their classroom practices before the field is narrowed to eight. After a portfolio review and presentations to the selection panel, the field will be narrowed to three.

In October, after a school site visit and interview, the state’s top teacher will be announced. The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine Department of Education in conjunction with Educate Maine, an education advocacy organization based in Portland.

Other nominees include: Nesrene Griffin of the Governor James B. Longley Elementary School in Lewiston; Christopher Coleman of the Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta; Jen England from Noble High School in North Berwick; John Dever, a teacher at Mt. Ararat High School in Topsham; and Lisette Bordes, a teacher at Messalonskee High School in Oakland.

Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at:

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