National Teacher of the Year is next UMPI lecturer

7 years ago

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — The University of Maine at Presque Isle will present Sarah Brown Wessling, author, international speaker and 2010 National Teacher of the Year, as the next speaker in its 2017-2018 Distinguished Lecturer Series on Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Campus Center.

The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend.

During her talk, titled This I Believe: Letting Go So That Others May Learn, Wessling will discuss education from both a teacher and student perspective. While on campus she will meet with UMPI education students and host a workshop with local educators.

Wessling was selected as the National Teacher of the Year in 2010. Since then she has given more than 250 talks and workshops in 39 different states as well as internationally. She is laureate emeritus for the non-profit Teaching Channel, and is an author of “Supporting Students in a Time of Core Standards,” which is focused on efficient methods of student-centered teaching.

Wessling is a 19-year veteran of the high school English classroom and has been a national board certified teacher in English language arts/adolescence and young adulthood since 2005. She also oversees her own blog, “Open Teaching,” where she answers common questions for anyone who asks. She advises students and teachers on using good education experience using common core. To view her blog, visit

Wessling attended Iowa State University, where she earned her bachelor’s degree in English in 1998, her master’s degree in English in 2003, and completed the teaching licensure program. She received awards for her thesis, “Using Literary Theory in an Advanced Placement English Classroom.” While a member of the faculty at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, she has taught courses ranging from at-risk to Advanced Placement and has served the department and district in a variety of leadership roles. In 2009, she was named the Iowa Teacher of the Year.

Currently, she maintains a hybrid teaching position that keeps her in the classroom and allows her to write, speak, and work on teacher leadership initiatives around the country. Her focus areas now include educational leadership, student development, and educational technology.

The University’s Distinguished Lecturer Series was established in 1999. Each year, the UDLS Committee sponsors four to six speakers who come from Maine and beyond, representing a range of disciplines and viewpoints. While the emphasis tends to be on featuring visiting academics, it is not exclusively so. The speakers typically spend two days at the University meeting with classes and presenting a community lecture.

UMPI welcomes the campus and the community to hear Wesslign speak on Oct. 27. For more information about this event, contact the University’s Community and Media Relations Office at 207-768-9452 or email