CBHS teacher garners trio of awards for excellence

Mallory Haar, an English language learner teacher at Casco Bay High School, is the winner of three awards for outstanding teaching. Haar has won a 2018 Lawrence W. O’Toole Teacher Leadership Award from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, which includes a $15,000 grant, and is the 2018 recipient of the Education for the Common Good Award from Bowdoin College. She also recently was awarded a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms grant.

The Lawrence W. O’Toole Teacher Leadership Awards recognize public high school teachers who are advancing student-centered approaches to learning throughout New England. Haar is one of just 13 New England educators to receive the award this year and one of only two in Maine. Nellie Mae selected Haar because she “seeks to overcome education inequities caused by language barriers.”

Haar plans to use the O’Toole grant to support the district’s goal of equity by bolstering professional learning among teacher-leaders in the middle and high schools about the causes of educational inequity and strategies to disrupt the structures that perpetuate inequities.

Bowdoin gives the Common Good Award to educators who represent the three core values of the college’s Education Department: be aware of the big picture, embrace theory and practice and live and model a spirit of inquiry.

Haar also was notified this summer that she is the recipient of a Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms grant. Those grants are given out for academic and professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership.

Derek Pierce, principal of Casco Bay High School, said the recognition is well deserved. “Mallory Haar is one of this planet’s finest educators, and her students and colleagues are so grateful for the opportunity to learn alongside her,” said Pierce, who was a winner of a Lawrence O’Toole award in 2014. “Ms. Haar is an irresistible champion for her students and adept at inspiring them to ever greater feats of academic achievement and character.”

Haar and the other winners of the O’Toole award will be recognized at a formal award ceremony on Nov. 2 in Boston.

This is the second year that Bowdoin has bestowed its new Education for the Common Good Award. Haar was selected from a pool of educators nominated by Bowdoin alumni and school partners. A formal presentation of the award will take place at Bowdoin on Oct. 18.

Doris Santoro, associate professor and chair of Bowdoin’s Education Department said, “Mallory represents the practicable ideals we hope to impart to our education students at Bowdoin. She demonstrates an unquenchable thirst for learning about her students and their communities.”

Haar is one of approximately 76 U.S. citizens who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Teachers for Global Classrooms Program in 2018-19. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program gives students, scholars, teachers, artists, and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas, and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.

Haar said that the TGC Fellows program has not yet announced where she will be traveling next summer. “Wherever I land,” she said. “I’ll be collaborating with other teachers and learning about different educational models. The focus of the program is to promote global competency.”

Local students among semifinalists for Merit Scholarships

Several Portland students were among 16,000 semifinalists in the 64th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. The high school seniors will continue in the competition for 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth more than $31 million that will be offered next spring.

To be considered for a Merit Scholarship award, semifinalists must fulfill several requirements to advance to the finalist level of the competition. Over 90 percent of the semifinalists are expected to attain finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win a National Merit Scholarship, earning the Merit Scholar. title.

In Portland, the following students were named: Elinor J. Tierney-Fife, Casco Bay High School; Aidan M. Thomas, Cheverus; Isabel H.  Clayter and Lauren B. Paradise, Portland High School; Phoebe C. Hart, Waynflete.