Maine Memory Network Teacher Advisory Board

The following teachers have extensive and diverse experience with using Maine Memory Network in their classroom and community. They provide Maine Memory Network staff with feedback on new educational initiatives and welcome questions and inquiries from novice Maine Memory teachers.

James (Ron) Bilancia, Social Studies Teacher, Grades 7 & 8

William S. Cohen Middle School (Penobscot County)
304 Garland Street
Bangor, ME 04401
(207) 941-6230
Email Ron

Ron's Maine Studies class has created 5 exhibits (one per year since 2009-2010) on Bangor's community history site. Four sections of students work throughout the year to create the exhibits; every facet of the project is done by students.

"It is so exciting to be able to offer my 7th-grade Maine Studies students the opportunity to work a day week on our annual web exhibit project. This is an authentic hands-on history project where students learn each element of the process from topic selection, to establishing essential questions, to locating and accessing information, to selecting and digitizing images, to writing the narrative, to building and unveiling the web page. This activity fits very well within our information literacy curriculum, teaches an array of valuable skills, and brings history to life for our students."

Lynn Bonsey, Reading & Social Studies, Grades 6-8

Surry Elementary School (Hancock County)
754 North Bend Road
Surry, ME 04684
(207) 667-9358
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Lynn's 2011-2012 class worked throughout that academic year to help create Surry's community history site. Lynn's unique role as a reading and Social Studies teacher allowed her to use Maine Memory across the disciplines.

"My students and I grew and learned so much from this project that I don't think I can overstate the magnitude of its success. It gave us all an unprecedented opportunity to read and analyze different types of texts, to develop a deeper appreciation of the storytelling power of artifacts, and to connect with a range of people, including for some of us, our ancestors. Best of all, this project will live on as my current and future students continue to research and add to this dynamic website."

Jessica Kelly, Gifted and Talented Education Teacher (Verbal), Grades 6-8

Scarborough Middle School (Cumberland County)
21 Quentin Drive
Scarborough, ME 04074
(207) 730-4800
Email Jessica

Jessica's classes have participated in two year-long projects with Maine Memory. In 2009-2010, 20 students helped create Scarborough's community history site. In 2014-2015, 20 students participated in Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project, writing and performing a play based on an online exhibit created by the historical society, "Scarborough: They Answered the Call." Jessica has integrated Maine Memory into her teaching since the early days, using the multimedia resources on MMN related to the Finding Katahdin textbook.

"Including primary sources from Maine Memory Network into instruction is a surefire way to ensure students meet Common Core State Standards. David Coleman, one of the authors of the CCSS, noted that 'a student's ability to comprehend a primary source is usually indicative of his or her overall reading achievement.' So, as a middle school teacher I try to incorporate primary sources from MMN into instruction whenever possible."

Theresa Overall, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Education; Chair of the Division of Secondary Education & Community Health

Department of Education
University of Maine at Farmington (Franklin County)
186 High Street
Farmington, Maine USA 04938
(207) 778-7049
Email Theresa

Dr. Overall, who has focused much of her research and work with pre-service teachers in technology integration in education, has worked directly with two communities (Farmington and the Western Foothills Region/RSU 10) on major Maine Memory Network projects. She also introduces her UMF students to Maine Memory as a teaching tool.

"Secondary education majors at University of Maine Farmington investigate Maine Memory Network as a tool for use in their future classrooms. It is one of the most powerful information tools they are introduced to all semester. Whether researching the history of an event or location through the use of primary documents or contributing new artifacts to the collection, by working with and interviewing members of their community, students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills and information in a real-world context."

Kurt Rowley, Social Studies Teacher

Dirigo High School (Oxford County)
145 Weld Street
Dixfield, ME 04224
(207) 562-4251
Email Kurt

During the 2012-2013 school year, Kurt's students participated in the Western Foothills Region/RSU 10's community history project by creating an exhibit about Dixfield's Tuscan Opera House. This led to an initiative, on the part of the students, to revive the long-shuttered opera house with a silent movie night that brought in a huge crowd and engaged the community in its history. The students repeated the event the following year.

"My students and community benefitted from this project in a number of ways. Most impressive was the multigenerational atmosphere and exchange of stories, knowledge, and skills that flowed in both directions."

Sue St. Pierre, History Teacher/Department Chair

Spruce Mountain High School (Franklin County)
33 Community Drive
Jay, ME 04239
(207) 897-4336
Email Sue

Sue led a three-person teaching team in the creation of a special elective course for juniors and seniors, "Our Hands-on History," to undertake the Local & Legendary: Maine in the Civil War project in 2013-2014. Students participated in every aspect of the project, including creating the exhibit "The Washburns of Livermore: A Maine Connection to the Civil War" as well as writing and performing a play based on the exhibit. For more information about the course, read this Maine Memory blog post and listen to this video produced by Sue's colleague, tech teacher Kym Bryant.

"High school students rarely have the opportunity to do the hands-on work of the historian. This project provided our students with the chance to sort through documents and artifacts to determine which items would best convey the story of the Civil War and its impact on the local community of Livermore. Students conducted research, digitized and transcribed documents, and constructed the online exhibit. Maine Memory provided the vehicle by which students can take pride in the work they completed beyond what is shared with their teachers."