HAMPDEN — The Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine announced the 2022 Teacher of the Year award at Reeds Brook Middle School, where students and faculty gathered Wednesday to honor one very special teacher.
“Mrs. Stoyanova makes the classroom feel like a home, she creates a family,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.
Kelsey Stoyanova has already been named the 2021 Penobscot County Teacher of the year. On Wednesday, another dream came true when she was named the state’s top teacher for 2022 after having been selected from 400 nominees statewide.
The eighth-grade teacher at the Hampden middle school also was honored by representatives from both Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King’s offices.
“It’s so important to thank your teachers and that’s why it’s such a thrill on behalf of Senator king to be with you today, so Kelsey, congratulations,” said King spokesman Eddie Smith.
Students shared their experiences with their beloved teacher.
“In Mrs. Stoyanova’s classroom, you feel heard, you feel seen, you feel loved,” said student Rosalyn O’Reilly.
“I will never forget the way Mrs. Stoyanova to me is not just a compassionate, kind, drive teacher, she is a friend,” said Stella Fox.
Stoyanova said it was one extra special teacher that inspired her to pursue her passion for education.
“Mrs. Tory Cornfield was one of my high school’s public speaking teachers. She is absolutely the season why I’m a teacher today. I wanted to be a vet and she told me I am really good, but for me, she saw me in high school, she made me feel loved and heard,” said Stoyanova.
She shared some advice for aspiring teachers.
“Relationships are everything. Form relationships with kids, with colleagues, with the community. Work on trying to be your best self and when you are your best self, the people around you are their best selves too,” said Stoyanova.