The Star-Herald

Local teacher inspires Elks contest winners

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — Each year the Maine Elks Association sponsors a poster contest for fourth- and fifth-grade elementary students related to a theme on preventing drug abuse. A winning entry is chosen from all the entries by boys and all the entries by girls from throughout the state, yielding two statewide first-place awards annually. 

Three students from the same fifth-grade classroom of June Hoffses at Zippel Elementary School in Presque Isle have won the first-place award in the last two years. 

Presque Isle Elks program chairman Alan Harding recently presented Hoffses with $100 in honor of her classroom’s first-place showing. Hoffses will use the funds in her classroom.

Conceding that there was still room for improvement, as the students from her class of 20 to 25 fifth-graders annually had only won three out of the four available first-place awards, Hoffses attributed her students’ success to her good fortune in being assigned particularly creative, artistic, bright and motivated young people in her classroom. 

Participation in the poster contest is voluntary for all fourth- and fifth-grade teachers and students. Hoffses presented to her students the opportunity to enter the contest and encouraged them to apply their creative and artistic abilities to address the drug abuse prevention theme.

After graduating from the University of Maine at Presque Isle in 2005, Hoffses began teaching in SAD 1, where she has remained. She and her husband, John, reside in Mapleton. They have two children, ages 4 1/2 and 2 1/2.

Chris Hallett, Zippel principal, said, “We are very fortunate to have teachers with the ability and motivation of Mrs. Hoffses to inspire their students to perform to their full potential. It is a testament to our school district that we are able to attract and retain teachers of the caliber of Mrs. Hoffses.” 

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