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Director of Alternative Education

The Learning Center- Bonny Eagle MSAD #6 

Leonard Homes

Lenny started in education in 1988, has his Masters in Educational Leadership and has been working solely in Alternative Ed for the past 4 years and has held many leadership positions in Education.

Alternative Educators in Maine are some of the most caring people I have met in all my years in education. Their dedication and willingness to work with some of the most at -risk students is often the only thing for many students between a diploma and becoming a dropout. This is the MOST rewarding work I have ever done and I am extremely proud to be the President of this noble group of individuals

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Vice President- Kennebec Region

 Alternative Education Teacher

Marti Stevens Learning Center 

MSAD #54 Skowhegan

Tristen Hinkle

Tristen is in her 7th year working in Alternative Education At Marti Stevens Learning Center in Skowhegan Maine.  She received her Masters in Educational Leadership through the University of Maine Farmington in 2020. She prides herself in providing both an interesting and rigorous project-based curriculum while supporting students through teaching social-emotional learning skills.  She believes that to support our most at-risk students is to blend education with community experiences and partnerships.  


Kennebec Regional  Rep

Alternative Education Teacher

Marti Stevens Learning Center

Skowhegan, ME

Kevin Jackson


Jacqui Holmes 

Regional Rep - York County

Jacqui has been working in Alternative Education for five years. She has designed an authentic, project and community-based curriculum that is aligned to the KHS proficiency standards for graduation. The program aims to provide a space for students to grapple with and discover the importance of active, engaged citizenship on a local, national, and global level. 

"From knowing comes caring, from caring comes change."


Chris Brennick

Regional Rep - Western Maine

Chris Brennick is an alternative education teacher at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford. This is Chris’s 2nd year teaching alternative education and before taking on that role he was a special educator for 9 years. The Falcon Connections Alternative Program is a student-centered program where students work at their own pace in order to earn the credits, they need to graduate from Mountain Valley High School. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in middle/secondary education from The University of Maine at Farmington and a Masters in educational leadership from St. Joseph’s College of Maine


Dawn Matthews


Regional Rep - Aroostook

Dawn is a teaching principal at Summit Academy in Houlton, ME.  Dawn and her teaching partner work with one Ed Tech to educate up to 30 students from 4 local districts. In their first year, they were displaced from their building when it was badly damaged by a fire, and then COVID hit two months later! The Summit Academy program is now in its second year, and it is running very smoothly. 

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Tracey Menard 


Alternative Ed Coordinator/Humanities Teacher

Deering High School 

Portland ME 

Tracey Menard has worked in Alternative Ed for 12 years and counting. Tracey has her Masters in Teaching and Learning. She believes in meeting all students where they are at, and helping them gain skills and knowledge to succeed as adults. She takes pride each year in building a community of learners who participate in service learning and project-based curriculum.  


Christopher Betts

Regional Rep - Hancock

Alternative Education Teacher

Ellsworth High School

Ellsworth, ME

Chris has worked with at-risk youth his entire adult life. For the last 14 years he has worked in Alternative Education settings. He believes that all students want to succeed but some struggle to identify their strengths and passions. He is there to guide students while they search for their unique potential within the educational and community setting. Recently, he received his Master's Degree at the University of Maine in Interdisciplinary Studies.


“No one is born fully-formed: it is through self-experience in the world that we become what we are.” 
― Paulo Freire


Heather Whitaker is the alternative education teacher at Gorham Middle School in Gorham, Maine, where she has been teaching for 20 years. Whitaker is passionate about combining learning opportunities with the needs of the community. She started her school’s garden, which donates over 800 pounds of produce for the local food pantry each year. Whitaker graduated from Boston College in 2000, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education with Moderate Special Needs, with a minor in Human Resources. She later earned her Master of Science in Literacy Education at the University of Southern Maine.Whitaker was named Maine's 2019 Cumberland County Teacher of the Year and the 2020 Maine Teacher of the Year.

Heather Whitaker 

Regional Rep - County

Alternative Education Teacher

Gorham Middle School

Martha Simpson

Regional Rep - County

Mt. Ararat Middle School in Topsham, MSAD75.

Martha works as an ed-tech co-teaching with John Hawley.  She has been doing Alt. Ed. for 4 years, and teaching for 29 years. Meeting the standards through the projects, they have departments in culinary, woodworking/engineering, and aquaponics.  She has her masters in teaching from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma ,WA


Cammi Carter 

Regional Rep - Penquis Region

Orono High School, RSU 26 

Penquis Alternative Education CORE program

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Ben Chase 
Regional Rep- York

Ben is a 2end year English Teacher teaching in the Multiple Pathways Program at Noble High School (MSAD 60).  Ben received his B.A. in English Teaching from the University of NH (2013)

The multiple pathways program is a traditional program with a focus on community.

"Just to be sitting there meditating and praying for the world with another earnest young man - 'twere good enough to have been born just to die, as we all are." (Kerouac)

Andy Despres

Regional Rep - Western Maine

Lisbon School Department Alternative Education Teacher

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