“Don’t start crying. I will,” Wiscasset Elementary School reading interventionist Carol Adams told longtime colleague, first grade teacher Trae Stover at the outdoor classroom Friday, May 13.
“Too late,” Stover said.
The sunny morning’s celebration came less than a day after Maine named Stover Lincoln County teacher of the year. Before Stover came outside, students were told, when she did they could make as much noise as they wanted. Their practice cheer was loud and 12 seconds long. Almost a minute later, Stover and her class emerged from the school and the roar restarted. It lasted a minute and half, throughout the class’s walk toward the classroom and the first of the hugs Stover would get from staff.
Addressing students, staff and Partners in Education (PIE) which provided the popsicles, Principal Kathleen Pastore said this was her first school year in the job but it did not take long for her to see “how wonderful a teacher Ms. Stover is.”
Pastore said she and Adams did not know about each other’s nomination of Stover. “When we both found out that we (both) nominated her, we both said it’s just meant to be.” WES is lucky and blessed to have Stover, Pastore said.
Second grade teacher Chris Miller recalled, when she went from teaching older kids to younger ones at the then-Wiscasset Primary School, Stover was the first teacher there “to embrace” her and make her feel at home. “Ms. Stover’s my friend, but she’s also a teacher friend ... When I want to learn something or know something, I go to her, because in the building she is the person I have the most respect for as a teacher.”
Adams told the gathering she nominated Stover “because I’m in awe of her teaching abilities and dedication to her students and their families. (She) has high expectations for each and every one of her students (and) makes sure they know how much she cares about them.” And she said Stover stays in contact with and mentors past students.
Said Adams, “Ms. Stover is an excellent role model for new teachers, and perhaps most important is a supportive human being for a multitude of colleagues, friends, families and children.”
Asked inside the school later how she was feeling about everything, Stover said “overwhelmed.” Thirty-five years in, is she retiring any year soon? “I’m not going anywhere. They may never get rid of me.”