SEDGWICK — Sedgwick Elementary School art teacher Sarah Doremus was named Hancock County’s Teacher of the Year last week.
“I’m honored and a little humbled,” said Doremus. “I’m also very flattered.”
The nine-year public school veteran worked as an artist before a School Board member approached her about teaching art at the school. Doremus said her initial thought about teaching was she’d rather gnaw her arm off than work with children.
But she kept an open mind.
“Nine years later, I can’t think of anything else I’d rather be doing,” said Doremus, who was perpetually surrounded by inquisitive pre-kindergarten students Tuesday morning.
Doremus said the recognition allows her as a teacher to advocate for some things she finds important. First and foremost is project-based learning, which results in more meaningful learning for the children.
Project-based learning integrates subjects together, such as math and art, so students learn on a deeper level.
Doremus is an advocate for STEAM-based learning. That’s science, technology, engineering, the arts and math. Not every student is going to be a professional artist, she said, “but if they can use STEAM hopefully their education will help them be successful.”
“School should be fun, but it should also be rigorous,” said Doremus, who wants her students to make mistakes so they can learn how to fix them.
School officials appreciate the artist in the classroom.
“Ms. Doremus is like a spark of energy in our school,” said Principal Carla Magoon. “She works with teachers and students to make learning both meaningful and fun. The enthusiasm she brings to every class is contagious. She overflows with ideas that ignite our students’ learning.”
Superintendent Christian Elkington said integrated, project-based, creative, student-driven learning is flourishing at Sedgwick Elementary School because of Doremus’s determination and ability to team and work with any and all staff members.
“No matter what the idea is Sarah will sit down with a student or staff member to see the possibilities in what might come to being,” said Elkington. “Sarah is an educator with many skills and talents who thrives in any and all situations and settings always looking to make lemonade. She is a great choice for Hancock County Teacher of the Year.”
Doremus gives credit to her colleagues and Principal Magoon for the supportive atmosphere at the school.
“One of the really wonderful things about the Sedgwick school is we work together,” she said.
The Maine Department of Education will select one teacher from a pool of each Maine county’s Teacher of the Year to serve as the Maine Teacher of the Year.
The announcement is usually made in the fall.
Through a rigorous application process, one teacher from each county is selected as the county Teacher of the Year by a panel of teachers, principals and business community members within the county.
After being named, county Teachers of the Year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students and quality education statewide throughout the year, and continue to participate in an intensive Maine State Teacher of the Year selection process.
The county Teachers of the Year are available to make presentations to local and regional organizations.