CHRISTINE DEL ROSSI, an art teacher at Mt. Ararat High School, is Sagadahoc County's 2018 Teacher of the Year. CHRIS QUATTRUCCI/THE TIMES RECORD

CHRISTINE DEL ROSSI, an art teacher at Mt. Ararat High School, is Sagadahoc County’s 2018 Teacher of the Year. CHRIS QUATTRUCCI/THE TIMES RECORD


For the second consecutive year, a Mt Ararat High School teacher is Sagadahoc County’s Teacher of the Year. Art teacher Christine Del Rossi was honored at an Educate Maine ceremony last week.

“It was really exciting for me,” said Del Rossi. “When I first got the email saying I had been nominated I thought it might be spam.”

Del Rossi taught at Mt. Ararat Middle School for 16 years. She’s been at the high school for six years now, but the transition was initially unexpected. Her position at the middle school was cut in half and there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding what her role would be the following year. After a retirement in the department, Del Rossi was able to get a fulltime position at the high school. The move presented new challenges for Del Rossi.

“At the last-minute I became full-time at the high school. I spent the whole summer preparing for teaching photography and AP art,” said Del Rossi. “I was going through getting my masters degree at the time I was like ‘how am I going to prepare.’”

Del Rossi, nominated by sophomore student Anna Cox, has many combined years of teaching to reflect on at the middle and high school level. It’s the connections she’s made with students that she remembers the most. She encourages dialogue, allowing students a chance to reflect on their work with their peers.


“The students are my favorite part. They’re all very different and inquisitive,” said Delrossi. “Some days I find myself talking about some interesting topics that seem kind of off topic but they’re all really important to growing up.”

Principal Donna Brunette believes those conversations in the classroom help bring out the best in students. She noted the peer discussion as well as guests Del Rossi will have in class to expand discussion.

“A lot of kids come in and its the connections they tend to make that allows them to blossom,” said Brunette.

It’s the development and growth of the students that Del Rossi enjoys watching and playing a part in.

“They learn about each other, and they learn a little bit about me,” said Del Rossi. “ I try to be as honest as possible with my students because I don’t think it’s helpful to gloss over the hardships of growing up.”

If interest in her classes is any indication of her connection with students, Del Rossi had 27 students sign up for her advanced placement art class next year. A number she said will be smaller out of necessity for her peer discussions and critique, but she wants to accommodate as many students as possible.


As a member of the Mt. Ararat community for the last 22 years, she has seen many former students move on and start careers of their own. She has two co-workers at the high school she once taught. Del Rossi had Brunette’s son in her first sixth grade class.

While chaperoning prom over the weekend to send off the members of her senior advisory group, she had an unexpected encounter with another former student.

“At the prom I was leaving and one of my former students is a Bath police officer. I hear ‘Ms. Del Rossi,’” she said. “He gave me a big hug and it just made my day,” she said.

[email protected]

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: