Maine Teacher Of The Year: Hampden School's Kelsey Stoyanova

HAMPDEN, Maine (AP) — An eighth grade language arts teacher has been selected as Maine Teacher of the Year.

Kelsey Stoyanova teaches at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden. She was previously named the 2021 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.

The award announced Wednesday is given by the advocacy organization Educate Maine in partnership with the Maine Department of Education, the Maine State Board of Education, and the Maine County and State Teacher of the Year associations.

Two students, Tessa Castrucci and Stella Fox, nominated Stoyanova for the award, for which a winner is selected through a yearlong process that requires applicants to submit a portfolio and resume along with interviews, presentations and classroom visits.

Stoyanova serves on her district's equity in education committee and designed a community reading challenge to highlight diverse authors and characters. She has also advocated for student involvement in curriculum development.

"If there is one thing I want students to know, it is that they always deserve to feel seen and heard, in the classroom and in all of life’s pursuits,” she said Wednesday.

Hampden is just south of Bangor.