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PAE Educator Named ‘Outstanding Teacher’

Shoshana Hoose, a dedicated ESOL teacher at Portland Adult Education (PAE), is the recipient of the Maine Adult Education Association’s Outstanding Teacher Award. Hoose was presented the award by colleagues and the Maine Adult Education Association (MAEA) at the association’s annual conference in June. 

“Shoshana Hoose is one of our master teachers at Portland Adult Education,” said PAE Executive Director Abbie Yamamoto. “She has designed curricula that are creative and impactful for our adult learners who have a diverse and unique set of strengths and needs. She is also a strong leader among the hourly teachers, who compose the majority of our teaching staff. We are proud and honored she has been acknowledged as this year’s Outstanding Teacher by the Maine Adult Education Association.”

Superintendent Ryan Scallon said, “On behalf of the Portland Public Schools, I congratulate Shoshana Hoose for receiving this honor. Not only is she an outstanding teacher clearly deserving of this recognition, but she also is exemplary of the committed Portland Adult Education teachers who empower PAE students to achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals. Many of these adult students have children in our schools and the success of PAE students helps entire families realize their full potential as members of the community.”

MAEA Executive Director Shirley Wright said nominations are taken in the spring for the yearly Outstanding Teacher Award and are then scored by a panel based on the teacher's communication skills, ability to make students a priority, use high quality curriculum materials, and work well as part of a team.

“We look for those who go over and above,” Wright said. “There were many nominations this year since we have not given this award for three years due to COVID.  Shoshana rose above in the pool of her peers.”

Trace Salter, also a veteran PAE hourly teacher, nominated Hoose. Another of her PAE colleagues, Heather Wood, gave a short speech at the award presentation, speaking glowingly of Hoose. “Several qualities stand out for me about Shoshana,” Wood said. “She's a committed adult educator, going above and beyond to develop creative curricula for our ESOL 5 courses; she's a strong advocate for project-based learning and community involvement – as evidenced by many PAE Showcase Events in which students presented about topics such as the similarities and differences between an aspect of life in their home countries and life in Portland, Maine; and she's fierce and determined, advocating relentlessly for what she believes is best for students.”

Hoose praised her fellow teachers and students. “I feel very fortunate to work with colleagues at Portland Adult Education who have taught me a lot over the years,” Hoose said. “I'm really proud of how our school helps students move ahead in their lives- and also helps Portland's economy by training immigrants to work in local businesses. One of my former students now works as an assistant engineer at the Maine Department of Transportation. Another works in finance at USM.  Others are CNAs, bus drivers and ed techs. I admire their motivation in studying English while also working and, often, raising children.”

Hoose has been a PAE ESOL teacher since January 2014. Before beginning her teaching career, she worked as a newspaper reporter, documentary film maker and communications director for nonprofit organizations, including the Portland Public Schools. She holds a B.A. from Yale University, and a master’s degree in ESOL from Hamline University. 

Hoose also will be recognized by Educate Maine when that organization announces the teacher awards for K-12 in December.

Photo: From left, Shoshana Hoose, Portland Adult Education ESOL teacher, is flanked by PAE colleagues Trace Salter and Heather Wood, as Hoose is presented with the Maine Adult Education Association's Outstanding Teacher Award in June.

Portland Adult Education, part of the Portland Public Schools, serves approximately 2,000 adults each year in academic and English language classes, as well as enrichment and workforce classes, empowering students to achieve their educational, professional, and personal goals.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 50 languages. 49.8 percent of the district’s students are white and 50.2 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.