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PATHS Ed Tech Is RISE Award Finalist

The Portland Public Schools is proud to announce that Martha Thompson, an educational technician at the Portland Arts and Technology High School (PATHS), is among 11 Maine finalists for the national Recognizing Inspirational School Employees (RISE) Award.

The Maine Department of Education (MDOE) announced the 11 state finalists and two state honorees on Jan. 18.

The RISE Award was passed by Congress in 2019 and is overseen by the U.S. Department of Education. It honors classified employees in the education workforce who provide exemplary service. MDOE, in coordination with the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills, selected 11 finalists from a pool of more than 80 exceptional nominees submitted from across Maine by local educational agencies, school administrators, professional associations, nonprofits, parents/caregivers, students, and community members. 

Thompson has been an ed tech at PAThS for the past eight years, serving in both the Careers in Education program and the Carpentry program. Her enthusiasm to learn new skills in order to better serve students shows her commitment and high level of professionalism and hard work. Those around her attest that she brings her job to a higher level and overachieves at all she does. 

She was nominated by Eva Rodd, PATHS Careers in Education instructor.

“Martha is flexible and understanding when asked to cover other programs, even if she is unfamiliar with the curriculum,” Rudd said. “As the building technology coordinator, she has been instrumental in helping our staff to navigate the unsteady waters of remote learning, as well as other technological tools that we need in order to do our jobs well.”

“Portland Arts and Technology High School is by far the most dynamic and inspiring educational setting I've ever worked in,” Thompson said. “I love connecting with our students and accessing the wealth of expertise that makes up our staff. It's an incredible place to work and contribute, and I look forward to being part of the ongoing rise of career and technical education."

The governor issued a statement about the RISE Award finalists. “On behalf of all Maine people, I sincerely congratulate our RISE Award winners on this well-deserved honor, and I thank them for all they do for our state,” Mills said.

To learn more about the other Maine finalists for the RISE Award, click HERE. Each of Maine’s finalists will be honored with a letter from the Maine Commissioner of Education and be featured on the MDOE website.  

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 60 languages. 52 percent of the district’s students are white and 48 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals.