Ellen Flores, a special education teacher at Lincoln Middle School, is the recipient of the 2022 Maine Psychological Association Educator Recognition Award in honor of her commitment to advancing positive mental and behavioral health outcomes for Maine students.
The award was presented to Flores at the Maine Psychological Association’s annual conference in Freeport on Nov. 4.
Flores is a case manager at Lincoln in the district’s Breathe Behavioral Health Continuum, which serves students with serious behavioral and emotional needs. She was selected for “her skills in conducting functional behavior assessments and developing individualized behavior intervention plans; her ability to establish and maintain strong, trusting relationships with students that serve as catalysts for their growth; and her unconditional acceptance of and compassion for all students,” according to Jamie Pratt, president of the Maine Psychological Association and associate professor of educational and school psychology at the University of Southern Maine.
Pratt added, “MePA is grateful for Ms. Flores’ contributions and proud that she chooses to work in Maine schools.”
Superintendent Xavier Botana said, “Congratulations to Ellen for this greatly deserved recognition. She is amazing and a great example of our dedicated PPS special education team – educators who are committed to ensuring that every Portland Public Schools student with special needs can successfully access a rigorous, meaningful education.”
“We all know how incredible Ellen is and I'm so glad the world is catching on,” said Lincoln Assistant Principal Blake Kastle, who formerly was assistant principal of the district's Breathe program. “Ellen is so deserving of this award and I am so proud to be able to get to work with and learn from her.”
Flores said, “Being recognized for this award is a huge accomplishment. My reaction when I won this award was: “It really matters.” She thanked Patrick O’Connor, a Yarmouth psychologist and school consultant, for nominating her, MePA “and the many families I have had the privilege of working with and learning from. Si Yu'os ma'åse' (Thank you)!”
Flores, a Pacific Islander from the Marianas Islands who also has roots in Lubec, has served the Lincoln community for more than seven years. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in special education from the University of Guam. She also earned a Certificate in Applied Behavior Analysis through the University of Southern Maine and worked to receive National Board Certification as a Behavior Analyst. (BCBA).
Photo: Lincoln Middle School educator Ellen Flores (left) receives the 2022 Maine Psychological Association Educator Recognition Award from Jamie Pratt, president of the Maine Psychological Association and an associate professor at the University of Southern Maine.