top of page

AEA Educators of 2024 
and the Martin Mackey Scholarship Awardees  

Note: for the AEA Educators 2024 winners, we are recognizing several different levels of service. 

John Hawley Pic.png
Christine _Cappy_ Caprio.png
Ed Shrood Pic.png
J. Holmes Pic .jpeg

Middle School Alternative Educator of the Year 

John Hawley


Mt. Ararat High School: Teacher

John has been working in Alternative Education for 6 years. John is described by his colleagues as someone who advocates for students at all times. Moving them beyond the "at-risk" label, he provides students with opportunities to actively engage in their learning, helping them feel connected to school and each other.  

Each day is an opportunity and John fights for the Alternative Education program at every level, both community and state included. All of this excites his students and makes everyday another opportunity to learn, all while having the very best of times doing it. John serves as a pillar of the Mt. Ararat Middle School Community, always bringing people together to better serve students both inside and outside his classroom. John’s goal is to always build the best possible Alternative Education Program for his students. Please join us in recognizing John Hawley as the Middle School Alternative Educator of the Year! In terms of his approach to working with his students, John says, "My approach is to develop a collaborative team of students working on their grade level project based curriculum."

Congrats John! 

Christine "Cappy" Caprio, York High School, Teacher and Program Coordinator.

Christine Caprio wrote the grant that provided the funding for the Alternative Ed. program at York High School 19 years ago and has led the program to where they serve more than 30 students each year. Through her commitment to the program she graduates close to 100% of her students within four years. She has implemented a project based curriculum for York students that emphasizes student ownership and relevance to the curriculum.


She exemplifies a lifelong learner having attained multiple degrees in education. It is very rare to find someone who creates an alternative education and continues teaching in the program for over 15 years. During the covid outbreak in 2020, Ms. Caprio delivered food to her students weekly and forged a connection with them to check on their academics and mental health. She individually taught her students in their driveways to help them pass courses and graduate. A person she works closely with stated the following: "In my thirty years in education I know of no other educator who has given so much and done so much for her students than Christine Caprio." 


Ms. Caprio says this about her approach to working with High School students: "My work with students is rooted in community and connection; I seek to foster students' natural curiosity and to challenge and engage them with meaningful, relevant project-based learning curriculum."

Congrats Cappy!

 Ed Sharood and Jacqui Holmes, Teachers, Kennebunk High School

Jacqui Holmes and Ed Sharood have shaped and built a vision for expanding the scope and reach of alternative education in Kennebunk. Their innovative programming takes students off of the school campus and into the community where students work in and for local partners. Students who have not found purpose or connection in traditional education are welcomed and challenged in tasks which have tangible real world impact.


Jacqui and Ed, with 8 and 18 years in Alternative Education respectively, travelled to the National Alternative Education Association Conference as ambassadors of Maine Alternative Education and advocates of purpose-driven, innovative curricular design. They became the first presenters from Maine in recent memory and drew both accolades and attention for their work. A colleague had this to say about them - "These two are simply inspiring. They have given so much of themselves to create an environment where each student experiences purpose, challenge, and respect. After talking with Jackie and Ed, I feel like I want to do my own job better."


The Dynamic Duo had this to say about their approach to students in their program: "Through a project and community based curriculum, we strive to create a space where students feel a sense of belonging and are empowered to take ownership of their own education."

Congrats Jacqui and Ed!

Martin Mackey 2024 Scholarships 

Martin Mackey was a lifetime educator who spent much of his time devoted to Alternative Education students in Maine. It was truly his passion. The AEA of Maine established this Scholarship in recognition of his lifetime of work. 

Here are the 8 Recipients of the 2024 Martin Mackey Memorial Scholarships, awarded annually by the Alternative Education Association of Maine. All of these students have overcome many obstacles in their Educational journeys.  We again received many nominations and we wanted to recognize as many as possible. In all we awarded students from 8 different schools. All the winners will be getting a $500 Award, for a record total of $4,000 in scholarships.


Congratulations Students!!

1. Aidan Conley, Endeavor Program, Freeport HS

2. Alexis Foss, Machias HS

3. Gavin Howie, Katahdin Program, Windham HS

4. Riley Tibbetts, MSLC Program, Skowhegan HS

5. Kai Voye,

Nu Program, Brewer HS

6. Ann Prickett,

Waterville HS

7. Ayla Gayton, ExCEL Program, Gray-New Gloucester HS

8. Kamdynn Hardgrove,

Presque Isle HS

bottom of page