Education commissioner honors 10 for work with at-risk youth

Posted June 21, 2011, at 9:54 p.m.

AUGUSTA — Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen honored 10 people in a Blaine House ceremony June 3 for their contributions to meeting the needs of children and youth at risk in their schools and-or communities.

Recognized were William Braun, superintendent of RSU 19/MSAD 48 (Newport); Travis Collins, alternative education teacher at Mount View High School in Thorndike (RSU 3/MSAD 3); Martha Kempe, program director at the Community School in Bangor; Tom Morrill, superintendent of Auburn Schools; Page Nichols, a teacher and volunteer at the REAL School in RSU 14 (Windham); Valerie Peacock and Ander Thebaud, who direct the Summer Pathways Program at Sumner High School in RSU 24; Anna Perkins, director of the Glenn Stratton day treatment program at Good Will-Hinckley School; and Willo and Tom Wright of the Seeds of Independence Program in Freeport.

Martha Kempe, program director at the Community School in Bangor, has served as director of the Passages program for the past seven years. The Passages Program was established to help dropout parents earn their high school diploma while continuing to care for their children at home. Kempe’s work has focused on meeting the needs of Maine’s youngest parents, providing a cutting-edge curriculum leading to a state approved high school diploma. Kempe is a fierce advocate for the students and staff. Her belief that teen parents deserve our respect, our support and our encouragement to become self-directed learners informs everything she does.

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