Freeport – The Maine Psychological Association (MePA) honored three outstanding Maine educators at its Annual Conference on November 3, 2023, during an all-day event at the historic Harraseeket Inn in Freeport that celebrated diversity and excellence in psychology and education.
The MePA Educator Recognition Program recognizes PK-12 educators who prioritize the establishment of positive relationships with their students, effectively integrate social-emotional learning within the classroom, and model leadership and advocacy within their school communities. Recipients of the 2023 Educator Recognition Awards included Jeni Frazee, Waterville Public Schools, Joy Jancewicz, RSU 56, and Catherine Newell, Scarborough Public Schools.
Jeni Frazee, a grade-5 teacher at the Albert S. Hall School, was honored for her trauma-informed approach to supporting students in the classroom. Frazee shows a deep respect for the dignity of all students and adeptness in providing guidance and mentorship to colleagues. She also responds to challenging behaviors in the classroom with empathy and practical coping skill development.
Joy Jancewicz, a grade-4 teacher at Dirigo Elementary School, was recognized for her innovative approach to integrating social-emotional learning into the classroom and commitment to partnering with families to support positive student outcomes. Jancewicz uses “respect circles” to give her students voice and shows unwavering dedication to whole-education and trauma-informed practice.
Elementary Music Educator Catherine Newell received the award for her commitment to the Responsive Classroom approach and skillful integration of self-regulation tools and strategies within the classroom. Newell’s recognition of how traditional classroom expectations may contribute to challenges in emotional and behavioral regulation, coupled with subsequent efforts to create a more inclusive learning environment and curriculum, highlights her dedication to meeting the diverse needs of students.
During the ceremony, MePA President, Jamie Pratt, PsyD congratulated the educators for their exceptionally psychologically minded performance and dedication to advancing positive mental and behavioral health outcomes for Maine students. “These teachers understand the importance of supporting students’ mental and behavioral health and make a tremendous impact by creating psychologically safe environments for learning,” said Pratt.
For more information about MePA and its mission, please visit mepa.org.
The Maine Psychological Association’s mission is to advance psychology as a science, as a profession, and as a means of promoting human welfare. The organization’s membership consists of psychologists, academicians, researchers, students, and other professionals committed to the practice of psychology.
In addition, MePA helps consumers identify psychologists around the state for referral and provides a searchable online database at no charge. For more information about MePA and its mission, please visit mepa.org.