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Hampden educator named 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year

Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 11:53 AM EDT
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HAMPDEN, Maine (WABI) - Kelsey Stoyanova is the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year!

The 8th grade teacher at Reeds Brook Middle School in Hampden was honored at a surprise assembly Wednesday morning.

It was the school’s first assembly in a year and half.

Kelsey told TV5 that gave her a bit of an idea that something was up.

State education leaders, colleagues, and her students all singing her praises during the event.

Students talked about the atmosphere she creates.

“She was there with an open heart, ready for ideas and our questions and our curiosity. She shared a space in which her students could express themselves in comfort and without fear,” said Rox O’Reilly, student.

“You always made us feel like our voice was important, no matter the subject, and you made it clear that the classroom was a safe space,” said Stella Fox, student.

“I tried really hard not to cry. I had some tears in the eyes. This isn’t the first time they’ve made me cry, if you can imagine. I just work really hard to ensure that these kids have a safe space when they come to school, and to know that they heard me, and they’ve taken that to heart, and they’ll continue to take that to heart, no matter where they go, it means the world to me,” said Stoyanova.

Her colleagues also noted that Stoyanova, an avid reader, has a “superpower” for matching books to students as a way to get them involved.

She will now move on to the National Teacher of the Year contest.

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