February 2020 Print

Welcome New Members

MCSS is pleased to welcome our newest board members!

Ryan Bernard
Nicole Willard
Bard Lopes
Matthew Corbett
Michelle Strattard
Brittany Liscord

We are very excited for these new additions to our team!

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Announcements and News

"Preparing Our Students
to Hold the Office of Citizen"

200 Stuart Street
Boston, MA


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Calendar of Events

Save the Date, MCSS 2020 Conference 11/9 at the Augusta Civic Center.

More information to come in Spring 2020.

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Opportunities for Teachers and Students

Maine Launches Innovative Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative; An Opportunity 200 Years in the Making

The Maine Department of Education (DOE), in collaboration with the Maine Bicentennial Commission (maine200.org) and the Maine Historical Society has launched an online resource designed to help Maine teachers integrate Maine’s Bicentennial into their classrooms. The Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative enables educators to share their own lesson plans, download lesson plans created by other Maine teachers, and access new curriculum resources and primary documents related to Maine, its history, and culture. This Initiative is supported by funding from Jane’s Trust and the Maine Bicentennial Commission.

Available through the Maine Memory Network, the statewide digital museum created by the Maine Historical Society features historical items, online exhibits, and stories contributed by 270 organizations across Maine, the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative is a resource designed to encourage and support Maine’s pre-k through adult educators in sharing ideas and best practices for implementing engaging and effective lessons to commemorate Maine’s Bicentennial with Maine students. Educators are invited to visit the Bicentennial Education Initiative web page to search by grade level, topic, content area, standard, and other fields for incredible ideas on how to commemorate our State’s Bicentennial with students of all ages. The launch of the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative opens the site for your contributions. Please consider uploading a lesson plan, browse the initial lesson plans that have been added to the site, and explore extensive Maine history content. Check back frequently: the site will grow throughout the year and become a permanent resource for teachers.

To submit a lesson plan, educators can visit mainememory.net/lessons/submit to complete a simple submission template, and then upload additional resources. Once uploaded, lesson submissions will be reviewed for completeness and then placed on the Bicentennial Curriculum Initiative web page, where other educators from across the state can access them. Educators who participate by sharing resources will have their names entered into a random monthly drawing (February 2020 – December 2020) for $400 in cash for use in their classrooms. Participants for this program are intended to be public and private school educators for grades pre-k to 12, Career and Technical Educators, Adult Education Instructors, and Post-Secondary Instructors. For more information or to ask questions about the process, please contact Kathleen Neumann [email protected]


Maine History Teacher of the Year Nominations

The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is seeking nominations for the Maine History Teacher of the Year. State History Teachers of the Year receive $1,000, an archive of materials for their school’s library, and an invitation to attend a 2020 Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar.  The deadline for 2020 nominations is March 31, 2020. Nominate someone online or check out their website for more information.

Seeking National History Day Judges - Maine State Competitions

John Taylor, the state coordinator for National History Day (NHD) in Maine, is looking for people to serve as volunteer judges for both the regional and state level competitions. NHD is a nationally recognized academic program that promotes the study of history in middle and high school classrooms. Participating students develop research papers, exhibits, documentaries, performances, or websites on a topic they select connected to an annual theme. This year’s theme is “Breaking Barriers in History.” For more information about their program please visit their webpage.

Last year over 600 students participated in the program and they anticipate even more this year! No experience is required and there is a judge orientation on the day of the contest. It is roughly a 1/2 day commitment with breakfast and lunch being provided for judges. As someone who has served as a judge for many years, I can attest to both the need for judges and how much fun you will have working with the competitors!
March 6 Southern Regional Contest (Museum LA, Lewiston)
March 28 Northern Regional Contest (John Bapst Memorial High School, Bangor)
May 2 State Contest (UMaine, Orono)

To begin, go to the top left “create account” dropdown menu and choose “judge.” Registration deadlines can be found here. If you have any questions, please reach out to John Taylor directly at [email protected]


Application Process Open for Student Position on Maine State Board of Education

  • Student voice is critically important to the Maine State Board of Education, and they are seeking applications for the newest student member to join the Board. Applications are being accepted until February 24, 2020. The Maine State Board of Education has two nonvoting student members who join the Board as high school juniors and serve for two years, one enrolled in a school in Maine's First Congressional District; the other enrolled in a school in the Second Congressional District. At all times, the State Board has one high school junior and one senior as members, with staggered appointment.

    Applications are currently being accepted from students who attend school in the Second Congressional District (including Androscoggin, Aroostook, Franklin, Hancock, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Somerset, Waldo, and Washington counties, and part of Kennebec County) and are currently a high school sophomore. Application materials are available on the State Board of Education web page. The Board has also mailed application materials to all second congressional district high school principals and guidance counselors. Completed applications should be mailed to:

Mary Becker

Maine State Board of Education

23 State House Station

Augusta, ME 04333-0023

Margaret Chase Smith Library Essay - “How Life Should Be”

As the Pine Tree State celebrates its bicentennial in 2020, there will be much celebration of the past. For the 24th annual Margaret Chase Smith Essay Contest, the Margaret Chase Smith Library would like to invite high school seniors to look to the future and share with us ideas of how they would propose to make Maine “the way life should be” for young people so that more of them will choose to live in a state with one of the oldest populations in the nation.

The rules of the contest are minimal. It is open to Maine high school seniors. Essays must be typed and double-spaced. Electronic submissions are accepted. Contestants should provide complete contact information in order to receive notification of final results. For publication purposes, essays should be no longer than 2000 words. As always, quality of evidence, argumentation, and writing is more important than quantity of pages. The best essays support personal opinions with historical context and cited facts. The Library will award $1000 for first place, $500 for second place, $250 for third place, and five $50 honorable mention prizes. Essays are due by April 1, 2020. Prizes will be announced by May 4th. Check out their flyer for more information and for direction about how to submit.

Historical society of Pennsylvania Summer Institute 

The Historical Society of Pennsylvania, founded in 1824, is one of the nation’s largest archives of historical documents. HSP is offering a summer institute to teachers nationwide. Apply by March 1 to be considered. From June 21 to June 26, thirty Summer Scholars will be chosen from a national pool for the NEH-funded The Immigrant Experience through Primary Sources.  The institute will use the history of immigration to Pennsylvania as a lens for immigration to the country as a whole from the 1700s through today. Teachers will not only be immersed in content but will be exposed to a variety of ways to teach the topic and work with a Master Teacher to develop classroom-ready materials.  Teachers receive a stipend to offset the cost of travel and lodging during the course at the completion of institute. 

Living on the edge of empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity

Living on the Edge of Empire: Alliance, Conflict and Captivity is a National Endowment for the Humanities Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshop for K-12 teachers and librarians hosted by the Deerfield Teachers' Center of the Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield, MA. The workshop will be presented the week of July 12 through July 17 and again the week of July 26 through July 31, 2020. The workshop places the Deerfield Raid of 1704 in the broader context of the history of Colonial New England. The deadline for applications is March 1, 2020. Go to http://edge-empire.deerfield-ma.org/ for a description of the program and instructions on how to apply. NEH Summer Scholars who are chosen for these workshops will be awarded a $1200 stipend to help defray travel and accommodation costs.

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