STANDISH — Bonny Eagle High School administrator Erin Maguire has been named the Maine Assistant Principal of the Year.

The Maine Principals’ Association and the National Association of Secondary School Principals recognized Maguire for her work in building and implementing a “standards-based grading and reporting” system. The Maine Principals’ Association association announced the 2020 winners in December 2019 and held a virtual awards ceremony on Oct. 20.

Maguire spoke with the Lakes Region Weekly about her work transitioning students and teachers to a new grading system focused on creating “formative roadmaps” for student progress, in contrast to traditional points-based grading, the rewards of being an educator and not letting COVID-19 overshadow the good work being done at the school:

Maguire with Bryce, a junior at BEHS, in January. Courtesy of Erin Maguire

Lakes Region Weekly: What does “standards-based grading and reporting” mean for teachers and students?

Erin Maguire: Standards-based grading and reporting has been a giant cultural shift over the last seven years for our district. It is the change to giving feedback to students (and scoring) based on their demonstration of concepts and skills.

For teachers, it has been an overhaul of how they think and assess and has led to incredible conversation, reflection and growth in teaching based strongly in the work they have done with each other. For students, it is intended to give better feedback, that is more useful and grounded in what a student needs to improve on, study or practice.

LRW: As the curriculum coordinator, how have you approached hybrid and/or remote learning under COVID-19?

EM: For me, it has been important to keep what is best for kids as part of the conversation every step of the way, and to advocate in that area … Much of it has been spent building and rebuilding a remote pathway for grades 6-12 that aids families who cannot or are not ready to send their students back to school in person.

At the same time, it is crucial that we keep moving forward on the good work happening in our school, and not let COVID steal that away. So, the rest of my time is helping create viable professional development opportunities for staff in hybrid teaching, supporting at-risk students, and changing the way they look at “class time” to fit this new reality.

LRW: What do you find most rewarding about being an educator?

EM: The relationships you make with staff, students, parents and the community catch you off guard. Those moments you didn’t see coming when someone shares a success, asks for help when in need, takes a risk and then wants to include you in their journey. Those are the best.

LRW: What does the national and state-wide recognition of Assistant Principal of the Year mean to you and your team at BEHS?

EM: It has been wild and humbling. But it is more about what it is for MSAD 6 and BEHS … This award is a reflection on an amazing school, with dedicated professionals who leave it all on the line for their students … And a community that rises up to support its own, time and time again.

An award like this is recognition of all of that because I certainly could not have achieved this without being surrounded by greatness every day.

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