Clara L. Soule, Portland
Founding President, 1952-1953
Clara Lyon Soule graduated from Portland High School and the Portland Training School for Teachers. She continued her education at Columbia, Boston College, Harvard, the University of Maine, Colby and Bates.
She was a model teacher at the Portland Training School, principal of Woolson Elementary School, and Supervisor of Education for the Eastern District of Portland. In 1922 she became Director of Americanization where she served for 21 years. Her final position in Portland was as Director of Reading from which she retired in 1950 completing a career of 48 years in education.
In addition to being founding president of MRTA she was a founding member of Beta Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma.
Florence Pierce, Springvale
Florence (Mrs. Charles) Pierce was a member of the first Board of Directors of MRTA beginning her service in 1953. Later she served as State Director of NRTA.
Amy Phillips, Waterville
Amy Phillips graduated from Waterville High School and attended Westbrook Seminary in 1897-98. She later studied summers at Gorham, Bates, Clark, and the University of Maine.
She taught in the Waterville schools from 1898 to 1940. She held life certificates at the elementary and junior high school levels.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she held several other offices in the association.
Ella Bates, Bath
Ella Bates taught domestic science at Morse High School, Bath, 1923-27. She left Bath to marry. After her husband's death in Wold War II she returned to Bath to teach eighth grade English at Central Grammar School.
She served as president of the Bath-Brunswick area retired teachers organization. Elected president of MRTA in 1957, she resigned shortly thereafter being called to Washington, D. C. on urgent family business.
Kathleen Fraser, Masardis
Kathleen Fraser was elected president of MRTA at a special meeting of Directors and Representatives of MRTA to succeed Ella Bates. She had been serving as first vice president.
She was responsible for organizing the Aroostook County Retired Teachers Association and was its president from 1956 to her death in January, 1964. She also served on the MRTA Board as Director from Aroostook. In 1963 the MRTA paid her expenses to stay in Augusta for two weeks to act as MRTA lobbyist.
Virginia D. Marston, Bangor
Virginia Dillingham (Mrs. Arthur) Marston attended Wheaton College in 1906-07 and the Bangor Kindergarten Training School graduating in 1910. Her Bangor experience in education included teaching at Longfellow, Fairmount and Thirteenth Street schools.
She served briefly as MRTA president resigning in 1960 because of ill health not having presided at an annual meeting. She served as president of the State Association of Childhood Education in 1941-42. She was a founding member of Alpha Chapter of Delat Kappa Gamma. She was state Delta Kappa Gamma president 1943-46.
Mary G. Worthley, West Lebanon
Mary Ginn Worthley was a Maine native. She taught in Maine then left to spend most of her teaching career out of state. She taught math, was a debate coach, and was an acting librarian. At the end of her career she returned to Maine to regain her health.
She succeded Virginia Marston as president of MRTA. She had been serving as vice president. During her presidency the last four of the county organizations were established. The Clarion was instituted during her presidential term. She also served as Executive Secretary of MRTA for no salary but later was paid $500. As legislative agent for MRTA from 1956-63 she worked extensively on pension improvement. She was also a National Director for NRTA.
She was involved in many social service activities in Maine. In recognition of this work she received a placque from Diocesan Human Relations Services (Catholic Charities, Maine) in 1975. In 1972 on the occasion of NRTA's 25th Anniversary she was named Maine's Retired Teacher of the Year.
Maud Haines, Portland
Maud (Mrs. Harold) Haines graduated from Deering High School and received a bachelors degree from Our Lady of Mary College. She also studied at Gorham and Boston University. Her study of music began at age 6.
She was director of music at Portland's Lincoln Junior High School for 39 years retiring in 1956.
In addition to serving as MRTA president she held many other offices and presented musical programs for the Association. During her presidency Campus Days began. She was coordinator of the NRTA Consumer Information Center. From 1972 to 1974 she was natinal secretary of NRTA. She also was a founder and president of the Cumberland County Retired Teachers Association. She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in MRTA in 1985. Mrs. Haines left part of her estate to the MRTA which was invested for future use.
She was a church organist for 65 years. She was granted a special citation from Gorham State Teachers College for her contribution to music.
Leora E. Prentiss, Benton
Leora E. Prentiss graduated from MCI and from Colby, cum laude, in 1912.
She taught at Freedom Academy, Gardiner High School, Sanford High School and finally for 36 years at Cony High School. At Cony she was head of the French department, Dean of Girls, and the founder of the guidance department. She retired in 1956.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was State Director of NRTA for 10 years. She was a delegate to the White House Conference on Aging in 1971. She wrote the Collect which is still used by many of the county RTA's. In 1972 she was appointed to NRTA's ten member National Informative and Protective Services Committee. She also served as state president of Delta Kappa Gamma. In 1962 she received a gavel and Colby brick from Colby College.
Susie Sylvester, Brunswick
Susie (Mrs. Howard) Sylvester was a Massachusetts native who graduated from Salem (MA) Normal School.
She taught in New Britain, CT, Lisbon Falls, Topsham, and Brunswick.
In addition to serving as MRTA president she was president of the Bath-Brunswick (Sagadahoc County) RTA in 1962. She also served as a vice president of MRTA. During her presidency the MRTA did a survey of nursing homes in Maine and found several which did not meet accreditation standards. As an active teacher she was instrumental in forming the Brunswick Teachers Club in 1920.
She served on the Brunswick School Committee, was involved with the PTA, and suppported the activities of the Pejepscot Historical Society. She was Vice-chairman of the 1960 Republican State Convention, was a member of the Cumberland County Republican Committee, and was a close friend of Margaret Chase Smith. She was the 1960 Woman of Achievement of the Brunswick Business and Professional Women's Club, and in 1967 she was presented the tenth annual Citizenship Award by the Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce.
Anne L. Fickett, Dexter
Anne L. (Mrs. Arthur) Fickett was a graduate of Castine Normal School.
She taught elementary school in Etna, Stetson, Levant, Exeter, Newport, Dexter, and Brewer. She was a guidance director in Bangor for several years. Her career in education spanned thirty eight and one-half years.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was vice president for two years. In her active years she was president of the Bangor Teachers Association and vice president of Alpha Chapter, Delta Kappa Gamma. During her presidency MRTA voted to support gun registration at the national level.
Clyde Russell, Winslow
Clyde Russell graduated from Colby in 1922. In 1962 he was granted an honorary Doctor of Pedagogy degree from the University of Maine.
He was teacher and principal at Winslow High School and served as instructor in education at Colby College. He was Executive Secretary of the Maine Teachers Association from 1945 to 1966. In this position he was a major voice for improved rights and benefits for active and retired teachers.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA he was advice president and editor of the Clarion.
He served as trustee of Higgins Classical Institute, as a Corporator of Waterville Savings Bank, and as president of the Educational Press Association.
Hilda Taylor, Farmington
Hilda (Mrs. Helon) Taylor graduated from Stratton High School and Farmington State Normal School. She did further study at the University of Maine and Oregon State Teachers College.
As an active teacher she taught in Anson Valley and, after raising her family, for twenty five years in the Guilford area. She was a member of the District 4 Teachers Association.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was vice president of the Association. While president she represented MRTA throughout the state and at the national level. She remained active in retired teacher association activities well into her 80's.
In other activities she was a Past Matron and District Deputy in Eastern Star, involved with the Girl Scouts, and participated in White Shrine, the Extension, and the Women's Club.
Howard Bowen, Augusta
Howard Bowen graduated from the University of Maine and received an honorary doctorate from the University in 1957.
In his career in education he was a teacher, principal, superintendent, and college instructor. He was Associate Commissioner of Education of the Maine Department of Education. He also served as an educational consultant.
He received a citation from the National Society of the Daughters of Colonial Wars as an outstanding educator for encouraging patriotism and interest in American history. He also was president of the Maine Congress of Parents and Teachers. In spare time he was a volunteer researcher at the Maine State Museum.
Margaret Ford, Thomaston
Margaret Ford had a career in education spanning more than 40 years. Before retiring in 1971 she was principal of Appleton Elementary School.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was Assistant Director and then a Director of NRTA. She was the first state coordinator of NRTA/AARP after the merger of these two organizations. She left that position in 1986. She also served as MRTA pre-retirement chair. She was appointed to the NRTA Pre-retirement Advisory Committee in 1978.
Forrest Stowell, South Paris
Forrest Stowell was a graduate of Farmington Normal School. Later he earned a degree from Farmington State Teachers College. Additionally he attended summer sessions widely.
He was a teacher, junior high school principal, and high school assistant principal in Mexico, Maine from 1927 to his retirement in 1961.
During his MRTA presidency he attended an NRTA national meeting in Kansas City, Missouri. He was Oxford County RTA president from 1968 to 1970. In addition to his educational activities he was a lay preacher at the Paris Hills Baptist Church. He was active in the Gideon Society. He regularly visited patients in the hospitals and nursing homes.
Marion Johnson, Orrington
Marion (Mrs. Aaron C.) Johnson was a graduate of Bangor High School. She received a degree from the University of Maine where she was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Phi Kappa Phi.
She taught English at Brewer High School for more than 40 years.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was president of Gamma Chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa.
Edward L. McMonagle, South Portland
Edward L. McMonagle is a graduate of Chevrus High School, Holy Cross, and the University of Maine. In 1967 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from St. Joseph's College, Windham.
He taught at Chevrus and St. Francis School, was superintendent of schools in Madawaska and Rumford, worked as superintendent of schools for the Unorganized Territories for the Maine Department of Education, and was Controller and Assistant to the President at St. Joseph's College until his retirement in 1985.
In addition to serving as MRTA president he was president of the Cumberland County RTA. He was a member of the boards of the Dental Health Association, Catherine McAuley High School, and the Maine TB/Lung Association where he was also board president. He was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in MRTA in 1988.
Geneva Kirk, Lewiston
Geneva Kirk's career in education spanned more than 40 years. She began teaching at Norridgewock High School, was an instructor at Central Maine General Hospital, moved to Cony High School, and ended her career as chair of social studies at Lewiston High School.
While actively teaching she was a three term president of the Lewiston Teachers Association, president of the Androscoggin County Teachers Association, and a member of the NEA Credentials Committee. She served as president of the Maine Teachers Association.
In her wealth of educational and community service she was president of Androscoggin County Retired Teachers Association, trustee of the Maine Technical College system and the University of Maine system, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Lewiston/Auburn College of the University of Maine. She served on the United Way Board, the Lewiston Historical Commission, and several church committees. She was given an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Bates College. A building at Central Maine Technical College is named for her. United Way has created an annual Geneva Kirk award for community service. She is an Honorary Life Member of MRTA.
John B. Annett, Auburn
John B. Annett is a graduate of Colgate University. He served as Assistant to the President of Bates College from 1946-69. After a short time at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, he finished his career teaching American history at Edward Little High School.
In addition to his presidency of MRTA he was a retired delegate to the MTA Representative Assembly for several years. He has served on the Board of Licensure in Medicine, as chair of the Maine Certificate of Need Advisory Committee, and on the board of the United Baptist Church of Lewiston. He was a member and chair of the Auburn School Committee and served as president of the Auburn-Lewiston Kiwanis Club.
Martha C. Smith, Bucksport
Martha C. (Mrs. Merton) Smith began teaching in 1936. She taught in three rural schools and then took time for her family. She returned to teaching at the Orland elementary school then moved to Phillips to teach elementary grades. After receiving a degree from the University of Maine she taught English and history at Phillips High School. She then transferred to the Mt. Abram School from which she retired in 1974.
As an active teacher she was president of the Phillips Teacher's Club and of the Franklin County Teachers Association. She was state president of Alpha Psi, Delta Kappa Gamma. She was also active in a variety of community organizations.
In addition to her MRTA presidency she served as president of the Hancock County RTA. She also served six years as state coordinator for AARP/NRTA.
She was awarded an Honorary Life Membership in MRTA in 1990. She was given a gold medal achievement award from Alpha Psi for outstanding contribution to Delta Kappa Gamma. In 1997 she was Maine's candidate for Retired Educator of the Year celebrating the 50th anniversary of NRTA.
Perham L. Amsden, Brewer
Perham L. Amsden is a graduate of Crosby High School, Belfast. His college degrees are from the University of Maine.
His career in education began as a teacher in Limestone. He then taught at Caribou High School and was social studies chairman at Kennebunk and Bangor High Schools. He was Assistant Principal at Bangor High School, principal of Harlow Street School and Union Street Junior High School. He reitred from secondary education in 1978 and went to the University of Maine where he was Co-director of the Teacher Corps Project and later Associate Professor in the College of Education.
As an active teacher he was president of the Maine Council for the Social Studies, president of the Bangor Education Association, and a member of the Board of Directors of the NEA. He was president of the Maine Teachers Association.
In addition to having served as president of MRTA he is editor of the Clarion and coordinator of the annual convention and meeting. He has been a retired delegate to the MEA Representative Assembly. He has volunteered for AARP in various capacities including a term on AARP's National Legislative Council. He has served many health care regulatory organizations on the national level including as chair of PRONET, the national organization of medicare beneficiary representatives. He was a member of the Board of Directors of Maine Blue Cross-Blue Shield, member and chair of the Brewer School Committee, and has held many leadership positions at the Hammond Street Congregational Church of Bangor.
Jane P. Ritter, Ogunquit
Jane P. (Mrs. Chris) Ritter is a native of Idaho. She graduated from Pocatello (Idaho) High School. She studied at UC Berkeley, the University of Maine Portland/Gorham, and received a degree in education in 1965 from the University of Maine at Orono.
She taught in Springfield and Blackfoot, Idaho, before moving to Maine. From 1958 to 1978 she taught fifth and sixth grades in Wells.
As an active teacher she was Publicity Chairman of the Math Association. She was a District 1 Uniserve Council member and president of the Wells-Ogunquit Teachers Association in 1967-68. She co-authored a cultural enrichment program for the Wells school children.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA she was retired representative on the MEA Special Services Committee.
She was president of the Ogunquit Women's Club and won three awards in their yearly short story contest. She was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership in the Oqunquit Art Association's Friends organization.
Paul R. Lynch, Presque Isle
Paul R. Lynch is a graduate of Fort Fairfield High School. His college degrees are from the University of Maine.
His career in education was entirely at Presque Isle High School where he taught agriculture and driver education. Through all of his years he was FFA Advisor. Also for many years he was audio-visual coordinator. He retired in 1988 after 36 years in the classroom.
While an active teacher he was president of the Maine Vocational Association and the Maine Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association. He was president of the Presque Isle Teachers Association. He was a delegate to the MTA/MEA Representative for more than 25 years.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA he has served as parliamentarian. He has been president of the Aroostook County RTA. He has served as a retired delegate to the MEA Representative Assembly.
In community affairs he served on the Presque Isle Housing Authority, the SAD 1 School Committee, and for the Northern Maine Fair. He has also been active in many activities of his church, St. Mary's of Presque Isle.
Philip A. Gonyar, Waterville
Philip A. Gonyar is a graduate of Orono High School. He earned his degrees at the University of Maine at Orono.
He started teaching in 1958 at Bucksport High School, was social studies department head in Bangor, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction in Bangor, and completed his 33 years in education as social studies department chair at Waterville High School. He also taught in the continuing education programs at UMO and Thomas College. For several years he taught in the Elderhostel program.
While actively teaching he was president of the Union 91 Teachers Association and the Bangor Education Association. He was president of the Maine Council for the Social Studies and of Maine ASCD. He served as president of the Maine Teachers Association. On the national level he was a member of the Board of Directors of the NEA and co-chairman of the Joint Committee of the NEA and the American Library Association.
In addition to serving as president of MRTA he represented retired members on the MEA Strategic Plan Implementation Committee. He has been a retired delegate to the MEA Representative Assembly.
In other activities he was president of the Bangor Historical Society and the Joshua Chamberlain Civil War Round Table. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of Fort Western Museum. He was chair of the Diocese of Portland Board of Education and of the Board of Directors of Catholic Charities Maine. Active in the Waterville area sister city connection, he visited their Russian sister city, Kotlas, several times. He was elected to the Waterville Board of Education and served on several other city committees.
Edward T. Curran, South Portland
Edward (Tom) Curran graduated from South Portland High School. He earned his undergraduate degree from Gorham State Teachers College and his Masters Degree from the University of Maine, Orono.
His 35 year career as an educator was at Westbrook Junior High School where he taught English and social studies for 12 years and served as guidance counselor for 23 years.
While actively teaching he served five terms as president of his local association and was active on most of its committees including the negotiations and certification committees. On the state level he has served on most committees including the Executive Committee. He served three terms as vice-president of the association and currently serves as a member of the MEA Human and Civil Rights Committee. He was Trustee of the MEA Benefits Trust and was chairman of that trust. Tom was named an Honorary Member of MRTA in 2002. He also served on the national level as a member of the NEA-R Advisory Committee, vice president of NEA-R, and in 2011 was elected president of NEA-R
He had a long career in Scouting as a boy and adult leader. He worked for 23 summers on the staff of Camp William Hinds, BSA. He also served as chair of the Camping Board for the Diocese of Portland when the Catholic Church operated Camps Gregory, Pesky, and Our Lady of the Lake.
Catherine R. Sullivan, Portland
Catherine R. Sullivan graduated from St. Joseph's Academy, Portland; received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Saint Mary College, New Hampshire; and was awarded her Master's of Education degree from the University of Maine, Orono.
After teaching English for three years at Sanford High School, she took a position at Westbrook High School. There she continued to teach English, became chairperson of the English Department, then served in the position of Assistant Principal for her last working years, retiring in 1996.
During those years, she served in various capacities in the local association, including negotiator and president. That association, the Westbrook Education Association, honored her with an award named the Catherine R. Sullivan Award, which continues to be presented annually to a WEA member who is an active advocate for the rights and benefits of educators.
She was president of the Maine Teachers Association and served on its Executive Committee for a number of years. She represented MTA on the state Professional Standards Advisory Committee and the Certification Advisory Commission. She was a member of the NEA Board of Directors as well as an NEA representative for eight years on the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). She also was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, Beta Chapter. She served on the MEA Structure and By-laws Committee and was an MRTA delegate to the MEA
Charlene Thompson, Portland
Charlene Thompson (Mrs. Franklin) was a graduate of Thornton Academy. She earned her degree at Gorham State Teachers College and did advanced study at Boston University and the University of Southern Maine.
Her entire teaching career was in the Saco School System where she taught English, literature, and social studies in grades 5-8. She was chair of the Language Arts department at Burns Junior High School for several years. Thompson was one of the initiators of New Horizons, one of the first programs for gifted and talented students in the state. As an active teacher, she served the Saco Education Association in many capacities, including negotiator and president for several terms. She represented SEA for many years at the Maine Teachers Association (MEA) Representative Assembly. She served on many MTA committees, including several terms on the Board of Directors. Thompson was one of the founders and organizers of MTA Women's Caucus and helped organize and present a series of statewide workshops on Non-sexist and Non-racist Teaching Techniques. She represented Maine at the NEA Convention for more than 15 years and was a representative at NEA-Retired and NEA Conventions.
Following her retirement, she became active in the York County Retired Teachers Association serving on several committees and was twice elected as its president.
At MRTA, she has served as legislative chair, program vice-president and served as its president.
In other activities, she served for many years as treasurer and was on the Board of the Sweetser Lecture Series in Saco. Thompson was an active volunteer in AARP serving as Liaison to Retired Education Associations in Maine and as its state acting president for 18 months. She was also president of the York County Chapter of the American Association of University Women. She served on several state committees, as well as being its state president.
Marilyn Hall, Oakland
Marilyn Miller (Mrs. Albert) Hall graduated from Hampden Academy. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Farmington State Teachers College and was awarded a Masters of Education from the University of Maine at Orono.
She started teaching at Waterville Senior High School in 1958 but with the arrival of a daughter she changed grade levels and taught a Kindergarten in 1961. Soon after two more daughters arrived and she took a leave from public school teaching for the next ten years from 1964 to 1974. During the ten years she was an at home mother, she ran a private nursery school in her home and then at a local church.
Union #52 needed a first grade teacher in late August of 1974 so she returned to public school teaching. The next twenty years she taught in the Winslow school system, in First Grade, Pre-First and Second Grade. Six of those years were spent in a portable classroom but the last three and a half years were in a brand new, beautiful elementary school.
During her years of teaching in Winslow, she was active in the local community as a member of the Waterville Historical Society, Waterville Parent Teacher Organization, Waterville Woman’s Association (granting scholarships to girls and women), Girl’s Club Parent Group, Girl Scout Leader and Band Parent’s Group. While teaching in Winslow she was a member of MEA and treasurer of the Winslow Education Association, member of the Winslow Parent Teacher Organization, served on numerous curriculum committees and developed the first Pre-One Curriculum for Winslow. She was a substitute teacher at the elementary school, did achievement testing for Winslow, and wrote comprehension passages for Measured Progress Testing Company. She and her husband had a small antique business. She does story hour once a month at the Oakland Public Library.
Upon retirement in 1994 she became active in MRTA as Community Participation Chair, Corresponding Secretary, Second Vice-president, First Vice-president and as President. She has been treasurer and president of Kennebec County Retired Teachers Association.
She and her husband traveled throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and part of Asia. All of her trips were exciting but the two-week Samantha Smith sponsored trip to Russia was the most memorable and re-awarding. Upon returning home from Russia she vowed to never, ever complain about anything again.
Sandra S. Crehore, Westport Island
Sandra (Mrs. Benjamin) Crehore graduated from Windham High School in Willimantic, Connecticut. She attended the University of Connecticut and then transferred to Willimantic State Teachers College in order to receive a B.S. in Elementary Education.
Her teaching career began in Massachusetts where she taught fifth grade in Monson. When her son came along, she became a homebound tutor in Monson and additionally in Ashford, Connecticut. In the late 60’s, she and her family moved to Maine where she worked as a bank teller and substitute teacher, both short term and long term until their youngest child was a senior in high school when she returned to education full time, first in Bath, then in SAD #75 and then for thirteen years in Durham where she taught middle school. Crehore served the Durham Teachers Association as Secretary and then as President for 4 terms. She served one term on the Leadership Development Committee and two terms on Statewide Bargaining for the MEA.
Following her retirement, she became active in the Lincoln County Retired Educators and has served as their President for eight years. As a retiree, she served on the Resolutions Committee for MEA. Crehore was recording secretary for MEA-R before running for a vacancy for 2nd Vice President and then served as its President.
Crehore is active in the community having served on the Planning Board for Westport Island and now as a member of its School Committee. She is a member of Eastern Star, serving them as secretary. Her volunteer work has included the Wiscasset Public Library, secretary of Friends of the Wiscasset Public Library, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Surrogate Parent for the Special Education Department for the State Department of Education, tutor and volunteer at the Wiscasset Middle School, a member of the Advisory Council for the Adult Education Program in the Wiscasset School System and treasurer of the Lincoln County Rifle Club. She enjoys knitting and knits for her grandchildren as well as being a member of a local group that meets weekly to knit for charity.
Paul J. Bouchard, Fort Kent
Paul J. Bouchard graduated from Fort Kent Community High School in 1958. He earned his B.E. degree majoring in Industrial Education from Keene State College in Keene, NH in 1962 and an M. Ed. in school Administration in 1971 from the University of Southern Maine.
He started teaching in 1962 at Brewster Academy located in Wolfeboro, N.H. He returned to Fort Kent in 1963 and taught 3 years – at Fort Kent CHS before moving to Wisdom High School in St. Agatha in 1966. He returned to Fort Kent in 1968 as the Dept. Head for Industrial Arts and Vocational Director for SAD # 27. In 1973 he took a one year leave of absence from education and became the Service Manager and Purchasing Agent for the H.O. Bouchard, Inc. firm located in Hampden. He returned to Education in the fall of 1974 and served as Principal of Wisdom High School for the next 20 years. In 1994 he was appointed Director of the St. John Valley Technology Center serving students from Madawaska, SAD # 27 and SAD # 33. He retired five years later in 1999.
While actively teaching he was involved in the local association holding several positions including becoming President of Northern Aroostook Teachers Association in 1972-73. In 1972 he was selected Aroostook County’s outstanding Industrial Arts teacher of the year. He was a member of the Aroostook Principals Association, Maine Principal Association and National Association of Secondary School Principals for 25 years. (1974-1999)
Upon his retirement he became a member of (AREA) Aroostook Retired Educators Association. He served them as 2nd V. P., 1st V. P. and in 2001 was elected President of AREA. He served as Second Vice president and First vice president of MEA-R. He represented MEA-R as a delegate to the NEA-R and NEA-RA National conventions for the past several years. He also represented MEA-R at NEA-R Eastern Regional and NRTA sponsored Leadership Conferences.
In other activities he served 9 years on the Fort Kent Town Council, four as chairman. He was appointed to the Northern Aroostook Regional Airport Authority in 1996 and still serves on that board,the last 4 as chair. He is currently serving his fourth 3-yr. term on UMFK’s Foundation Board. He has held many other civic duties. He is an active member in his church.
In 1999 he was awarded UMFK’s Distinguished Service Award during commencement exercises for his Boundless Time, Energy, and commitment to UMFK. In 2002 he was awarded Aroostook County’s MEA-R Leadership Award. In 2007 he was presented with the “Citizen of the Year” award by the Greater Area Chamber of Commerce in Fort Kent.
Gweneth Faulkingham (Mrs. Richard) Strout received her BS from UMM and MA in Education from UMO.
Gwen raised her two girls as a stay at home mom until they were in third and fifth grades respectively, and then she began her commute from home fifty miles a day to get her education in Machias. Once she had attained that, she drove the hundred and fifty miles to Orono and back nights and summers until she had the advanced degree, while maintaining the home and family, and teaching full time.
Gwen began her teaching experience as a fifth grade teacher at Milbridge Elementary, and during the seventh year there, she was also the teaching principal. She transferred to Narraguagus High School and become a member of the English Department. She remained there for eighteen years, and for seven of those years she also taught Driver's Education as a summer program.
Gwen has coached girls basketball and cheerleading, Jr. Speaking, and directed Adult Education. She has been active in church, taught Sunday School, sung in the choir,and played in the orchestra.
Gwen actively participated in community affairs: she was a member and officer of Harrington's
Extension Service for over thirty years and participated in fund-raisers for the local schools . Presently, Gwen is director, treasurer and secretary for Gallison Memorial Library.
Professionally, Gwen became active in MSAD 37 Teachers Association, serving as president and chief negotiator for several years. She has belonged to Delta Kappa Gamma International since 1978, and has held both local and state offices.
In retirement Gwen has actively participated in Washington County's RTA and held several offices including president. Gwen received the MRTA Volunteer Leadership Award in 2001.
She has been an officer in MEA-R since 2005, serving as 2nd Vice President, 1st Vice president,
and President (2009-2011).
Gwen and her husband have traveled to Alaska and throughout all the Canadian Provinces and
many parts of Maine in their motor home since her retirement. They enjoy their two children and
two grandchildren and have made their home in Harrington for over fifty years. Gwen also enjoys
many hobbies including art, sewing, baking, and reading.
Representative Assembly. She represents MRTA on the Executive Committee of the state AARP. She is also a trustee of the Maine State Retirement System.
In 2001, she received a Distinguished Service Award from the Maine Council of Senior Citizens. She is an active member of her church community. She is a lector, Eucharistic Minister, has served on her parish council as well as various committees within her parish and the Diocese of Portland. She is a volunteer at the Wayside Soup Kitchen.
Peg Newberg lives with her husband, Don, in Harpswell where they raised two boys who now live with their families in Maine. Peg graduated from Boston University in 1959 and went on to teach fourth grade in Lincoln, MA. Always the social activist, she involved other staff to speak out for equal pay for equal work, and for female dress codes that made sense for bus/recess duty! During this time, Peg became a developer, trainer, and consultant for Elementary Science Studies through EDC, a think-tank with national scope.
Her next stop was Louisa, Virginia in 1965 working as a Title 1 Director for the segregated public schools, flying to Washington, DC to train black teachers in Science and Social Studies, and helping black women in rural Virginia through the local NAACP.
There would be two more adventures before coming to Maine in 1976.Val D'or, Quebec, Canada, consulting in both English and French schools and then off to Hamilton, NY. Peg earned a MA in Sociology from Colgate University which allowed her to turn to her passion for History and teaching at the Secondary Level.
In Maine, Peg taught History and Social Studies at Mt. Ararat Middle and High Schools. She was President of Merrymeeting Educators Association, President of the New England History Teachers Association and a member of the Harpswell Democratic Committee.
At, present, Peg is a avid gardener, political activist, a member of Harpswell Aging At Home steering committee and Food/Chores Sub-Group, volunteer for the Harpswell Food Mobile, and the Harpswell Common Garden. She also gets in quality time with her four grandchildren.
Laurance (Larry) Given
Larry was born in Island Falls during the time of the great fire on Mount Desert Island and grew up on a farm in Southern Aroostook County. Having grown up there, he quickly learned the importance of hard work and being responsible. He attended local public schools and decided in third grade he would like to become a teacher. His teaching aunt can be credited with influencing this career interest. In 1965 he graduated from Island Falls High School and went on to attend Farmington State Teachers College, graduating in 1969 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education, with a major in Mathematics and a minor in History.
His first teaching job was at the Emerson School with the Richmond School Department, teaching in grades 6 through 8. He vividly remembers being asked to join the MEA and NEA day one of his teaching career by his teaching mentor. In addition to teaching math, social studies, reading and outdoors physical education, he coached basketball, and began a “Pee Wee” basketball program with a colleague. Later in his career, while teaching math at the junior high level, he took on administrative responsibilities and became the athletic director for the Richmond Junior and Senior High School. At the same time he was chosen to serve on the Class B, C, and D basketball committee of the State Principal’s Association.
Following a move to teach high school math, Larry began to attend state and regional MEA and NEA conferences, and became active in his local association, taking on the job as chair of the Negotiations Committee and President of the Richmond Teachers (Education) Association.
Continuing work on his own professional development, he got involved with the ‘tech prep’ movement and began incorporating Tech Prep I and Tech Prep II into the math curriculum. Larry was also involved in reviewing and adopting Geometry Tech Prep modules with other educators around the country. Because of his concern for meeting the needs of his students, he provided additional opportunities for them to pick up math credits by offering additional classes. This was recognized and appreciated by his students who on several occasions nominated him for ‘Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers.’
Throughout his career, Larry has been active with the Maine Education Association, attending state and national conferences, and serving on various committees and boards. After retiring he became active with Kennebec Retired Educators Association and was elected President for two terms, 2007-2011. He then served as 2nd Vice President for the Maine Education Association Retired from 2009-2011, 1st Vice President from 2011-2013, and President from 2013-2015. Larry has continued to be active with MEA-Retired serving as immediate Past President, and as the chair of the Policy Committee. He has also been active in his local community, volunteering with the Litchfield Food Pantry.
Maine Education Association - Retired
(A work in progress, edited by Phil Gonyar)
Past Presidents of MEA-R
Maine Education Association Retired
~Promoting the economic, professional and social welfare of retired educators.