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2 Portland teachers semifinalists for Teacher of the Year

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2 Portland teachers semifinalists for Teacher of the Year

PORTLAND — Thomas Fournier and Jayne Quinn Sawtelle were named semifinalists for the Maine Department of Education's Teacher of The Year Award.

Fournier, an engineering technology teacher at Lincoln Middle School, helped create a sustainability lab and classroom in a geodesic dome on school grounds. In addition to developing units to integrate science and technology, Fournier also co-wrote more than $100,000 in grants for school projects, including one for solar panels. 

Sawtelle, a music teacher at Hall Elementary School, has worked with teachers to incorporate other class content areas into her music class. She started a student guitar club, rock band and three ensembles that meet during recess. She also leads the school chorus, comprised of students, parents and staff, and the school's steel drum band, Blueberry Pancakes. 

The six semifinalists were selected from 14 nominees; Kevin Grover, a teacher at the D.W. Lunt School in Falmouth, is also a semifinalist.

The winner will be announced in September, following portfolio reviews, oral presentations, school site visits and interviews to be conducted by a panel of teachers, principals, DOE staff, and members of the Maine Education Association and the business community.