The Star-Herald

Aroostook Aspirations to honor scholars, awardees at Night with the Stars

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Five years ago, the Aroostook Aspirations Initiative introduced its 2014 Gauvin scholars and hosted its first annual Night with the Stars. This year, on Thursday, Sept. 13, AAI will host its fifth annual celebration at the University of Maine at Presque Isle’s Campus Center.

Business leaders from around the county will meet with the 2017 Gauvin scholars and enjoy a night filled with fun, laughter and refreshments.  The emcee for the night will be Shawn Cunningham from WAGM-TV. Dr. Robert Clark, president of Husson University, will offer the keynote address, after which AAI organizers will present annual awards.  

This year’s format will change things up a bit. The evening will begin with a reception and hot hors d’oeuvres in The Owl’s Nest. Attendees will then move to the multi-purpose room for the evening’s program and award presentations, where dessert, coffee and tea will be served.

The Mentor of the Year award will go to an individual who has positively impacted the lives of Aroostook County students. Last year’s recipient was Don Hansen, a shop teacher at Washburn District High School.

The Innovative Educator of the Year Award will go to an educator in Aroostook County who implements new programs, strategies, techniques and technology within their classrooms in order to better serve and engage the students. Last year’s recipient was Gina Jandreau, a teacher at Madawaska Elementary School.

The Business of the Year Award recognizes a business that reflects the mission and values of Aroostook Aspirations Initiative through their support of the organization, their leadership in the community and through workforce development. Last year’s recipient was Chris Anderson, president and CEO of F.A. Peabody Company.

AAI will also present its fourth annual Road Back Home award, given to an individual who strives to make Aroostook County a better place and to brighten the future for The County. This year’s recipient will be Chris Condon, president and CEO of United Insurance.  

“AAI’s mission is to support the educational goals of the youth in our region and mobilize the future prosperity of Aroostook County,” said AAI co-founder Sandy Gauvin. “We realize that education is the great equalizer, and that given opportunity and access to postsecondary education, the future will be brighter for the young people of The County.”

For more information, contact AAI at (207) 768-9487 or, or visit

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