Education News


Camden Conference hires Erin Towns as first Education Outreach Liason

The Camden Conference is pleased to announce the hiring of Erin Towns as its Outreach Liaison to Maine high schools. Erin is a high school educator at Edward Little High School in Auburn with over 15 years of experience teaching geography, world history and contemporary global issues. She became interested in making education relevant for students and began a quest to bring the world directly into her classroom and has been involved with Camden Conference in the Classroom (CCC) program since its inception in 2015. The CCC promotes courses being offered on current foreign affairs in Maine high schools and seeks to increase the attendance of high school students at the Camden Conference. The teachers are given support in the form of resources about the topic of the Conference and a workshop in September featuring presentations by experts on the topic.  Erin quickly became a leader of the group of…

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Education Chair-Peter Imber

Peter Imber moved to Maine in 2010 with his Rockland born wife, Jo Dondis, after a 28-year career in network television news. For most of that time he was a producer for ABC News and worked for its broadcasts, including World News Tonight, Nightline and Good Morning America. His work was nominated for National News Emmys four times, winning once. He has also received a DuPont-Columbia Award and a National Press Club Award. Peter grew up in Pennsylvania, graduated from Dartmouth College in 1969 and lived in Israel during the 1970s where he was a member of a kibbutz and served in the Israel Defense Forces. After returning to the U.S. he received an M.F.A. from U.C.L.A. in Motion Picture/Television Production. He has taught several classes at Belfast Senior College and is teaching another at the Camden Library this spring. He has been a volunteer with the Camden Conference and served…

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Oceanside and Medomak Valley high school students talk of ‘China’s Global Ascendancy’

Pen Bay Pilot article, posted June 10, 2019 Students from Oceanside High School in Rockland and Medomak Valley High School in Waldoboro addressed the public Wednesday evening, May 22, with presentations on China’s Global Ascendancy as part of the continuing Informed Young Leaders Series. At the conclusion of the presentations, the students engaged with the audience in an active round of Q & A, answering questions such as ‘What was the biggest surprise you encountered when researching this topic?’ to which a number of the students replied, “Finding out how quickly China’s economic and technological gains are accelerating,” according to the Series, in a news release. One member of the audience commended the students, saying, “I learned a lot about China tonight that I suspected but never knew. I can’t tell you how impressed and grateful I am for your thoughtful presentations.” Jake Newcomb of Medomak Valley High School, and…

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Students from Portland High School present their Capstone projects

Two Portland High School students, Mariam Douale and Elisa Membreno, presented their Capstone projects to the Portland Board of Public Education on May 21. Their projects were based on this year’s Conference topic “Is This China’s Century?”, which they attended in February 2019 with their teacher, Troy Crabtree, as participants in the Camden Conference in the Classroom program.

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“For the Love of Words”-Profile of CC student volunteer Maggie Samuels

It’s a long way from growing up in rural Maine to a graduate fellowship at Georgetown University in Washington DC.  Maggie Samuels, daughter of a Maine fisherman from Searsmont, is in her first year of a two year master’s degree in the prestigious Thomas R Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program.  Two uniquely Midcoast programs were part of that journey.  But it all started with a love of words. Maggie was a shy, reserved child. Exploring different languages helped her to step out into the world.  “Words have nuance and shades.  Knowing the right word helps you to convey what you mean.”  She started to study different languages:  Cherokee, Latin, Spanish, Inuit, Farsi, Japanese, and Turkish.  Foreign languages were a completely different way of seeing and broadened her world. “Language shapes a culture; the brain is hardwired from its language.  You can’t literally translate one language to another.  When I realized…

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Piscataquis Community High School Teacher and Camden Conference in the Classroom educator, Joe Hennessey, Named Maine 2019 Teacher of the Year

Press release from Maine Department of Education: In an all-school assembly today at Piscataquis Community High School, Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr. named English teacher Joseph Hennessey Maine’s 2019 Teacher of the Year. Hennessey was selected earlier this year as the 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year. He began his teaching career in 2012 and has held teaching positions as both an English teacher and a teacher for at-risk youth ever since. He specializes in English literature and composition and has taught speech and debate as well. In his current position at Piscataquis Community High School, Hennessey has implemented a college prep, literature based interdisciplinary course that focuses on students’ interests and aims to prepare them for life after graduation. “Mr. Hennessey is a unique and highly effective teacher. His formal manner and personality combined with a dry sense of humor and setting high standards…

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On Saturday, September 29, the participants in the coming year’s Camden Conference in the Classroom program (CCC) gathered at Rockland Public Library to discuss their respective plans for classes based on the theme of the upcoming 2019 Conference, “Is This China’s Century?”  Teachers representing fourteen high schools from across Maine met with Education Committee Chair, Elaine Keyes, and members of her committee for a full day to confer on ways to present the China material. The teachers appreciate the opportunity to network with each other and share their ideas with colleagues they might not meet otherwise.  The pilot program for the CCC originated in 2015 with 56 students from 7 schools. In 2018, the program had expanded to include 11 schools from 10 of 16 Maine counties.  In each participating school, a course curriculum is designed by that school’s CCC teacher within the school’s guidelines.  These for-credit courses range from a…

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Two Camden Conference in the Classroom teachers, Hennessey and Goodall, are finalists for the 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year

Article from The Piscataquis Observer, August 29, 2018: Three Maine teachers have been announced as state finalists for the 2019 Maine Teacher of the Year. Among the three is 2018 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year Joseph Hennessey who teaches American, World, AP Literature and Composition and Camden Conference Seminar for grades 11-12 at Piscataquis Community High School. He has been teaching for six years. Joining Hennessey is 2018 Penobscot County Teacher of the Year Shana Goodall of Orono High School and 2018 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year Connie Russell who is a grade 2 teacher at the Mabel I. Wilson School in Cumberland. The finalists were chosen from the 2018 Maine County Teachers of the Year honored earlier this year. Among the 16 county honorees was former SeDoMoCha Elementary School art teacher Anthony Lufkin, who taught for four years at the school in Dover-Foxcroft a decade ago, as…

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The Camden Conference is pleased to announce that Eileen Griffin from the University of Maine, Orono, is the winner of its college and university student essay contest which focused on the 2018 Conference theme: New World Disorder and America's Future.  Her essay was titled The Great Powers and the New Great Game: Central Asia, Kazakhstan and the Balance of Power Between China and the United States. The Conference congratulates her. This award was established by Captain Bill Taylor who was a longtime supporter of the Camden Conference and of education programming. Captain Taylor had a distinguished career as a Naval Officer, an Academic in Warfare Science, and Director of Long Range Strategic Planning for Anti-Submarine Warfare at the Pentagon. His career took him all over the world during various wars, and his creative influence on Naval Warfare lingers. College and University Essay-Eileen Griffin Read More