Our speakers on January 28, 2020 were Chris Record, Assistant Superintendent of Gorham Schools and Adam Parvanta, Technology Integrator/Teacher at Gorham High School.  Chris was named Maine Assistant Superintendent of the year for 2020 and Adam was awarded a Milken Educators Award in 2019, one of only 40 nationwide. We were sorry to miss Heather Whitaker, Maine Teacher of the Year 2020, due to illness in her family.
Adam has a passion for working with the kids and staff on media and video projects. There is power in the digital universe and in developing media skills.  The kids create short narrative videos, as well as cover live events for sport and the arts.  His objective is to teach them how to understand and use digital media correctly.
These projects engage several academic disciplines.   This includes math in post-production to edit and crop, etc.  Also understanding frame rates (frames per second) and how that translates to slow motion capture.  Language arts are used in scripting, including in documentary story telling.  Science is seen in factors like light balance.  Students learn how to think critically and problem solve.
A video Adam shared was done to document the Adopt a Classroom initiative in which high school kids spent time in elementary classrooms across the town.  The high school students talked about the range of classes available in high school and how those can relate to careers.  There is attention to detail in every scene, including lighting, backgrounds and final edits.
Chris, a product of Westbrook schools, spoke briefly about his role as Assistant Superintendent. He was GHS principal for 8 years. prior to that he was Assistant Principal at Oxford Hills where was selected Maine Assistant Principal of the year in 2008.  He works with kids and staff at all grade levels K-12. He observes new teachers and works with the school committee on policy.
Heather has been in alternative education for 9 years, working with non-traditional students. Experiential learning is an important component of her work with partnerships in the community that provide opportunities for problem solving.  She has been getting exposure both at the state level and nationally, and will be headed to a Google Leadership program and Space Camp. We hope to be able to hear from Heather directly at a later date.
In honor of these three talented educators, Westbrook-Gorham Rotary donated three books to the Baxter Library. 
Here is the link to one of the videos Adam shared with us during his presentation: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1cbTWj7fHiv1WlcuYqsOhpeZw26P-JUaY/view?usp=sharing
To read more about Adam and the Milken Award: https://www.milkeneducatorawards.org/educators/view/Adam-Parvanta
To read more about Heather: https://www.newscentermaine.com/article/features/maines-2020-teacher-of-the-year-announced/97-e0b569a4-391c-4089-84bb-97539206ab1d