This morning, Monday September 10, at a school assembly at the Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, Shannon Shanning was surprised with the announcement that she has been named the 2013 Maine Teacher of the Year by the Maine Department of Education. Shanning, a special education teacher, found out when Principal Shawn Vincent made the announcement. Her family, Poland firefighters and other dignitaries were on hand to watch her receive the award presented by Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen.

Shanning received bachelor’s degrees in community health education and special education from the University of Maine at Farmington and will now go on to compete in the selection process for the 2013 National Teacher of the Year. That will be announced in April 2013 at the White House.