Air date: Saturday, September 28
Guest: Rachelle Tome
Host: Steve Woods (Stevoe)
Studio Contributor Debi Davis
Executive Producer: Mark Gould (Sharky)
Assistant Producer: Shannon Maguire
Chief Academic Officer of the Maine Department of Education, Rachelle Tome is a Maine native, but in her youth spent some time in Texas. Tome remembers being told by her eighth grade teacher in Texas that as a lower-income minority student, she was not college material. That experience seared into her mind from a very young age the impact a teacher can have on a student and has guided her interactions with every child. Tome says even those who are the most challenging deserve to have teachers who truly care about them and believe they can succeed. Tome and Stevoe discussed how teachers need to know that what they say affects students in their crucial developmental stages. Tome has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine and is now pursuing her doctorate at UMaine.
Tome has been with the Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) for a decade, first as a School Improvement Specialist and most recently as Chief Academic Officer. Prior to joining the Department, she spent 25 year serving students in MSAD 11 schools – including as a fourth and fifth grade teacher at the Marcia Buker School in Richmond and as principal of Teresa C. Hamlin School in Randolph. From her very first day in the classroom as a fifth grade teacher, she has been a tireless advocate for accountability and improving even our most struggling schools so that every Maine child has the same opportunity to pursue a quality education.
In her position as Chief Academic Officer, Tome directs Maine’s DOE core focus on school improvement and accountability. She provides policy and operational leadership for the major programs related to: implementation of the state’s system of Maine’s Learning Results, curriculum development, instruction and assessment; oversight of federal ESEA programs and the state’s comprehensive assessment and accountability system; Adult Education and Family Literacy; Career and Technical Education; and the Department’s work with higher education to advance the Department’s mission of improving student outcomes.