In a surprise ceremony held at Casco Bay High School in Portland, Matt Bernstein, a ninth-grade humanities and social studies teacher, was announced as the 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year by the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine. The event was filled with celebration and admiration for Bernstein’s exceptional teaching skills and his unwavering dedication to his students.
“We are thrilled to announce Matthew Bernstein as Maine’s 2023 Teacher of the Year. Today we celebrate Mr. Bernstein’s love of teaching, his dedication to his students, and his leadership role in education,” said Maine Education Commissioner Pender Makin. “Mr. Bernstein’s students and colleagues at Casco Bay High School have described him as energizing, empowering, inclusive, a mentor, supportive, patient, and loving.”
Bernstein’s instruction revolves around student voices and activism, as he believes in empowering students to contribute to a more equitable world. He is dedicated to creating an environment where students experience joy and a sense of belonging. “This place is so special because of you, the students. This award is a reflection of you. I’m being recognized as Teacher of the Year, but you are students of the century. Your potential is limitless,” Bernstein expressed with gratitude and admiration for his students.
Matt Bernstein’s Teacher of the Year journey began earlier when he was named the 2022 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year. As the 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year, Bernstein will serve as an ambassador for educators and students across the state. He will also represent Maine in the National Teacher of the Year competition.
During the ceremony, Superintendent Xavier Botana expressed his pride in Bernstein’s accomplishment and recognized him as an outstanding educator who exemplifies the district’s commitment to excellence. Casco Bay High School Principal Derek Pierce echoed these sentiments, stating, “Matt represents Casco Bay and teaching at its best.”
The recognition of Matt Bernstein as the 2023 Maine Teacher of the Year highlights his exceptional dedication to his students’ growth and success. His commitment to empowering student voices and fostering a sense of activism will undoubtedly continue to inspire and shape the lives of countless students in the years to come.