HAMPDEN, Maine — Kelsey Stoyanova teaches eighth-grade language arts at Reeds Brook Middle School, Regional School Unit 22, in Hampden. She was named the 2022 Maine Teacher of the Year on the school's soccer field Wednesday morning.
The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program designed to honor and celebrate educators in the state and is presented by the Maine Department of Education (DOE).
"She is a really understanding teacher who plans lessons with her students in mind, making the lessons suited to fit the class and environment," said Tessa Castrucci who is a student of Stoyanova. "She forms meaningful relationships with her students and creates an environment that is welcoming. Along with that, I feel like I can be challenging in her class to do my best while also developing and working on skills that might be harder for me."
Stoyanova serves on the Equity in Education Committee where she designed and implemented the RSU22 Reads Three Reading Challenge for students and community members to participate in, which has so far highlighted Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) authors and characters, women in literature, Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) voices, and LGBTQIA+ authors and characters.
"She makes learning fun, and she makes sure her classroom is a safe and fun learning environment for everyone to share their thoughts and interact with others," shared Reeds Brook student Stella Fox about Stoyanova. "Not only is she a teacher, but she is an incredible mom, friend to her students, a person to talk to, and overall, someone you can trust."
Stoyanova has been described as an advocate for student involvement in curriculum creation by her students. She has a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education with an English concentration, a Mater's Degree in Education with a literacy focus, and is working toward her Educational Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership at the University of Maine.
In 2021, Stoyanova was nominated by two of her students as Penobscot County Teacher of the Year.