Southern School Notebook: Aug. 26

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South Portland teacher receives presidential award

Kaler Elementary School teacher Laura Stevens has been recognized with a Presidential Award for Mathematics and Science Teaching. Stevens was one of only 213 teachers nationwide to receive the prestigious honor.

The educators will receive their awards at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 8.

Stevens has taught in South Portland since 1999, first at Small School and at Kaler since 2014. After earning her doctorate in personality and social psychology from UMASS Amherst in 1995, she completed her training in education at the University of Southern Maine.

“We are proud that the accomplishments and expertise of this outstanding educator are being recognized at the national level,” said Superintendent Ken Kunin. “Teachers approach their critical jobs with energy, caring and intelligence and it is gratifying to see this noted and rewarded.”

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. Those awarded represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity schools. The winners are selected by a panel of scientists, mathematicians and educators following an initial selection process at the state level. Each nomination year of the award alternates between teachers in the kindergarten through sixth grade, and those teaching grades seven through 12. The cohort of award winners represent the two nomination years.

Winners receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion.

Dean’s lists

Champlain College

Cape Elizabeth – Georgia Morris

Scarborough – Will Vafiades, Rachel Hatem and Kyle Netherland

St. Joseph’s College

Cape Elizabeth – Ian Riddell 

Scarborough – Elyse Caiazzo, Hajra Chand, Abigail Cook, Leah De Cesare, Mikaela Gove, Jean Halle, Emily Howes and Emma Tirrell

South Portland – Matthew DiBiase, Daniel Fox, Nathaniel Fox, Olivia Garland, Thao Kieu and Victoria Nappi

Tufts University

Cape Elizabeth – Josephine Barth, Mathias Barth, Vanessa Blair-Glantz, Helen Bourdeaux, Caroline Gleason, Emma Inhorn and Sterling Weatherbie

Scarborough – Misha Linnehan

University of New Hampshire

Highest Honors

Cape Elizabeth – Emily Ham

Scarborough – James Rudolph and MacKenzie Bowker

South Portland – Angela Tirabassi and Joseph Hendricks 

High Honors

Scarborough – Hailee Flaherty, Elizabeth Kennerly and Nicole O’Leary

South Portland – Samantha Fuller and Kate Kunin


Cape Elizabeth – Rachel Seekins

Scarborough – Shelby Bernier and Cameron Bowker

Champlain College

President’s List

Andrea Tolman, of Scarborough


Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Logan Gaddar, of South Portland, Bachelor of Science in civil engineering

Rochester Institute of Technology

Eric Johnson, of Scarborough, Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Sarah Kearns, of Scarborough, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry from the College of Science.

Alden Porter, of South Portland, Bachelor of Science in economics from the College of Liberal Arts.

St. Lawrence University

Meghan M. Doiron, of Scarborough, majoring in performance and communications arts and psychology.

University of Rhode Island

Matthew M. Propp, of Cape Elizabeth, Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering

Amanda E. Junkins, of South Portland, Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering, and a Bachelor of Arts in French cum laude

Elizabeth A. Hardy, of South Portland, Doctor of Pharmacy magna cum laude

Jack H. Clark, of Scarborough, Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering, Bachelor of Arts in Spanish summa cum laude