Breakout Sessions #1:
Session Title: The Gentlemen: Evolution of an Equity Initiative
The Gentleman, a mutual support group for boys of color at Lyman Moore Middle School, is both controversial and impactful. It began as a safeguard against biased discipline but has evolved over five years to be a vital force for change, both for the participants and for the school itself. Join our session to hear from these students and learn some of the unique challenges boys of color face in our schools and how to mitigate them while learning about the unique assets these same boys of color bring to our communities and how we can cultivate those assets.
Jake Giessman, Assistant Principal, Lyman Moore Middle School
Jane Hubley, School Social Worker, Lyman Moore Middle School
Abdifatah Ali, Educational Technician, Lyman Moore Middle School
Lyman Middle School student participants
Session Title: Collaborating to Support Students Through Career Focused College Pathways
The Innovation Centers at Thomas College have launched several Career-Focused College Pathways in collaboration with business, non-profit, and PK-12 partners. These pathways feature a number of different opportunities for students to explore careers, learn relevant skills, reduce time and cost of college, earn credentials of value, and develop relationships with mentors and key members of the industry of their interest. The pathways also offer participants the opportunity to earn college-validated digital badges, which unlock other incentives. The overall goal is to increase the employability of Maine students by creating a highly supportive and personalized path to, though, and beyond college. This session will provide an overview of best practices for increasing employability, as well as an opportunity to learn from and discuss strategies for success from four different pathway programs at Thomas College.
Ed Cervone, Executive Director of CIE, VP of Innovative Partnerships, Thomas College
Session Title: All Learning Counts: Increasing Adult Attainment of Quality Credentials and Understanding Recognition of Learning Potential
This panel discussion will focus on two of the New England Board of higher Education initiatives: All Learning Counts – New England (ALC-NE) and Upskilling New England. ALC-NE seeks to increase and accelerate adult attainment of quality credentials in New England through new policies and programs related to recognition of learning (ROL), stackable credential pathways, new tools and resources for state policy makers, postsecondary education leaders, and adult learners. Upskilling New England, a related project, aims to bridge the gaps between educators and employers in New England and encourage the development and implementation of education and training programs that lead to career pathways that offer family-sustaining wages. In the COVID-19 era, policies and practices stemming from these initiatives will be fundamental to rebuilding New England’s economy and ensuring equitable education and career opportunities for working adults. This session will share best practices, examples of successful upskilling policies, and an understanding of the ROI for these programs.
Charlotte Peyser, Senior Policy and Research Analyst, NEBHE
Candace Williams, Director of Policy, Research and Strategic Initiatives
Tim Lyon, Vice President for Analytics & Strategy, Maguire Associates
Session Title: A Rising Retail Lifts All Boats: How the RISE Up Credential Enhances Maine's Workforce
In a roundtable discussion with local employers, attendees will learn how RISE Up retail business training can be integrated into existing course programs, or as a standalone credential, to open up pathways to sustainable jobs particularly for special populations such as new Mainers. Adaptable to fully online, distance learning, or blended with classroom-style settings, RISE Up culminates in three stackable credentials that are recognized by a growing number of employers throughout the state. RISE Up is a nationally-recognized program presented by the Maine Business Education Partnership, seeking to connect Mainers who may currently have barriers to employment with training partners who can help overcome some of those barriers through a program that results not only with a credential, but with skills that will help learners flourish in established secure career paths.
Mari T. O'Neil, General Manager, Outlets at Kittery
Curtis Picard, President and CEO, Retail Association of Maine
Session Title: The Learning Space, MOOSE, and More: How Maine’s Education Community Came Together to Increase Equity for Maine Students in the Middle of a Global Pandemic
In March, as COVID-19 shuttered physical school buildings and Maine classrooms moved to emergency distance learning, Maine’s education community wasted no time coming together to address the increased education inequities exposed by the pandemic. In this session, representatives from Maine’s education organizations, including MDOE, Educate Maine, Maine Public, Maine State Teachers of the Year, and more, will share how they quickly pivoted to increase access to high quality education programming for Maine students. Exciting and innovative initiatives shared in this session include: The Learning Space, a Maine Public Television program featuring lessons created by Maine educators; MOOSE: Maine Online Opportunities for Sustained Education, an online library of asynchronous learning modules (MLR aligned) for students PK-12; and other exciting endeavors underway to support a strong and robust public education system in Maine.
Tamara Ranger, Educator Excellence Coordinator, Maine Department of Education
Heather Whitaker, 2020 MTOY, Alternative Education Teacher, Gorham Middle School
Kaitlin Young, 2018 MTOY, Music Educator, RSU 68
Page Nichols, Chief Innovation Officer, Maine Department of Education
Emily Doughty, Educator Effectiveness Coordinator, Maine Department of Education
Dolly Sullivan, Program Director, Educate Maine
Cory Morrissey, Chief Business Development Officer, Maine Public
Session Title: Maine's Biggest Threat to Our Economic Future
Maine is the oldest state in the country, yet our greatest opportunity and our greatest threat is with our youngest citizens. 75% of children under 6 in Maine have all parents in the workforce. This session explores the connection between business and childcare, drills down on the early education ROI, and opens the door to some solutions.
Camelia Babson-Haley, M.Ed, Executive Director, Youth & Family Outreach
Melissa Cilley, Board Vice Chair, Youth & Family Outreach
Session Title: High School Career Exploration: Experiences in the Workplace
This session will focus on learning about two programs that provide career exploration opportunities to high school students; the WEX Junior Associate Program and the IDEXX Information Technology Career Exploration Program. Representatives from both programs will be joined by Greely High School’s Pathways Coordinator to discuss engaging high school students in career exploration during their junior and senior years.
Mariah Cunningham-Knaus, Consultant, Educate Maine
Kaylyn O’Brien, Strategic Talent Programs and Partnerships Manager, WEX
Cindy Yuill, Global Head of IT Quality Engineering, IDEXX
Daniel Westoven, Pathways Coordinator, Greely High School