The Star-Herald

Maine educators invited to strategy workshop

PRESQUE ISLE and BELFAST, Maine — Well-known teacher and author Tom Wells will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual S-T-R-E-T-C-H your Teaching Strategies workshop to be held from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, at the Hutchinson Center in Belfast. 

Wells is the author of the recently published book, “Dear Mr. Wells: His Students Speak.” After 41 years of teaching English at Cony High School in Augusta, Wells, with the help of his students, explores the teaching profession and its contribution to the development of meaningful, confident individuals in his book. His own students, along with some “interesting” anecdotes, prove that an effective educator is a world-changer. 

Educators from all parts of Maine are invited to attend. 

Co-director Elaine Hendrickson of Presque Isle, 2001 Maine Teacher of the Year, said there will be nine sessions from which participants may choose. 

“Our goal is to help teachers S-T-R-E-T-C-H their thinking by learning new strategies to help students be more successful,” Hendrickson said. 

Experts in the fields of autism, occupational therapy, resilience, and chronic absenteeism will present strategies to help teachers encourage students who need extra help to be successful. Other workshops will give useful and creative tips to improve students’ self-worth and confidence in themselves, as well as the teaching of math, science, technology and language arts. 

Teachers from Aroostook County will be among the workshop presenters.

Julie Gardiner from Presque Isle Middle School and Michelle Tardif from Zippel Elementary School in Presque Isle. They will present “Building Connections, Building Confidence,” in which they will share techniques teachers can use to help students feel more confident, which may in turn lead them to becoming more engaged learners. 

Ali Stone from the Greater Houlton Christian Academy in Houlton will present “How to Design a STEM Project that Leaves Spaghetti and Marshmallow in the Dust.” She will identify key components of a STEM project that not only reinforce science and engineering concepts, but is also fun and exciting for students.

Lunch that includes soup, sandwiches, and a salad buffet will be provided and served by students from the Waldo County Technical Center. Lunch attendees may continue their discussion with Wells, who will also sign books available for purchase. 

The registration fee of $40 includes snacks, lunch, door prizes and 5.5 contact hours. College students may attend for$10. Registrations are due by March 16 for those who would like lunch.

S-T-R-E-T-C-H Your Teaching Strategies is sponsored by the Maine State Organization of DKG International, a world-wide professional organization dedicated to providing professional development and personal growth for educators. 

For further information or a registration packet, contact Hendrickson at, or visit the Maine State Organization of DKG International, PD Opportunities, at

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