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Outstanding DHS Teacher Wins Russell Award

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Outstanding DHS Teacher Wins Russell Award
Posted on 05/19/2020
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Deering High School English teacher Jamie Romano is this year’s Russell Award winner.

Each year, the University of Southern Maine, under the auspices of the Walter E. Russell Chair in Philosophy and Education, honors a Deering High School teacher for excellence in teaching with the award. Recipients are chosen by fellow faculty.

Walter E. Russell Award recipients demonstrate a firm commitment to the teaching profession, the ability to share with students a love for learning, intimate involvement in the ongoing life and activities of Deering High School and creative self-renewal to teaching.

All those criteria apply to Romano, according to Wendy Toole, the Deering ELL teacher who nominated her and who has worked alongside Romano and her students.

Toole wrote that Romano “is wonderful with her students. With them she is upbeat and encouraging. She motivates them by playing to their strengths and setting high expectations. She rapidly adapts her instruction … to meet an individual student's needs. She manages behavioral issues by helping the students refocus, never criticizing them or "calling them out" in front of classmates. She is enthusiastic about literature and writing. I am so impressed with her sophomore ELA curriculum that she has adapted to meet the students' abilities, interests, and background knowledge.”

Toole also noted that as a colleague, Romano “is a role model for working hard to better our teaching community. She sets a high professional bar for all of us. She does all this with good humor and grace.”

In short, Toole said this week: “Jamie rocks!”

Romano said she is thankful to teach at Deering. “I feel honored to be recognized by Deering's talented staff who, on a daily basis, challenge and support our students on their path toward self-discovery,” Romano said. “I feel grateful to be part of the Deering community.”

Walter E. Russell was principal of Gorham Normal School, a teachers’ college that eventually merged into the institution now known as USM, from 1906 to 1940. A preacher and educator born in Fayette, Russell died in 1948. Concerned about the lack of qualified schoolteachers in Maine during the 1930s, Russell emphasized building up a source of quality teachers for the state.