McLaughlin named 2023 Piscataquis County Teacher of the Year

AUGUSTA — Sixteen Maine teachers were announced as 2023 County Teachers of the Year at a ceremony in the Hall of Flags at the Maine State Capitol during Teacher Appreciation Week  on May 11. Gov. Janet Mills joined Maine Department of Education Deputy Commissioner Dan Chuhta, Educate Maine Executive Director Jason Judd, State Board of Education Chair Fern Desjardins, 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year Matthew Bernstein, and Maine County and State Teachers of the Year Association Co-President Heather Whitaker to announce and honor the new class of County Teachers of the Year.

Milo Elementary School/Brownville Elementary School physical education and health education teacher Dawn McLaughlin is the 2023 Piscataquis County Teacher of the year.


More than 500 teachers across Maine were nominated by a member of their school community and these 16 outstanding educators were selected as County Teachers of the Year by a panel of teachers, principals, and business community members within their county. They range from having taught six years to 30, include elementary, middle, high school, and adult education teachers, and teach subjects ranging from science, reading, and social studies to graphic communications, health, and physical education.

Maine County Teachers of the Year serve as ambassadors for teachers, students, and schools throughout their year of service. Throughout the summer, they will continue to participate in an intensive Maine State Teacher of the Year selection process and Maine’s Teacher of the Year will be announced in the fall.

“As the daughter of a longtime public school teacher, I have the deepest respect and admiration for the Maine educators who work tirelessly to equip our students with the knowledge and skills they need to have bright futures,” said Mills. “I congratulate this year’s County Teacher of the Year honorees for their commitment to excellence in education, and most importantly, for their outstanding work in teaching our children.” 

“These 16 extraordinary teachers were nominated by colleagues, parents, and students for their passion, leadership, dedication, and the difference they make in the lives of their students and school community. They make each student feel seen and valued, inspire everyone around them, and engage their students in rich, meaningful learning. I want to offer my sincere appreciation for everything that you do and it’s such an honor to celebrate you as Maine’s County Teachers of the Year,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin.

“We’re excited to announce the 10th County Teacher of the Year cohort in 2023 – a group of outstanding educators who will serve as ambassadors for students, teachers, and quality education in Maine. We’re honored to work alongside them during this year of recognition and are confident that they will continue to inspire and make a positive impact on their students, schools, and communities,” said Judd.

The Maine Department of Education’s Teacher of the Year Program is administered through a collaborative partnership with Educate Maine. To learn more about the Teacher of the Year Program visit The event was also broadcast live on the Maine Department of Education’s YouTube page.

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