Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 16, 2019
Nell Herrmann named Hancock County Teacher of the Year
BHCS science teacher recognized for excellence
From left, Blue Hill Consolidated School Principal Shelly Schildroth, former principal Della Martin, Hancock County Teacher of the Year Nell Herrmann and state representative Sarah Pebworth pose at the May 9 ceremony at the Augusta State House.
by Anne Berleant
Teaching science to middle school students is its own reward for Blue Hill Consolidated School teacher Nell Herrmann but she was nevertheless recognized by the Department of Education for her excellence and commitment.
Herrmann was named Hancock County Teacher of the Year in a May 9 ceremony at the State House in Augusta.
A former high school science teacher in Pennsylvania, Herrmann began her teaching career at BHCS and returned as a middle school teacher in 2013.
“I found if I could share my love of science with kids, it was incredibly rewarding,” she said in a 2014 interview. After being honored in Augusta, she explained further: “The thing I like about teaching middle school is that the kids, in some ways, are so open. They haven’t had a lot of exposure and can get excited.”
When not in the BHCS classroom, Herrmann has studied changing ocean floor conditions in Antarctic and climate change effects on plants and caribou in Greenland, and was twice a science communication fellow on the R/V Nautilus.
“I’m very impressed with her,” Superintendent Mark Hurvitt said. “Not only is she a middle school teacher, she is a real scientist….She’s a great representative for Hancock County.”
In 2017, Herrmann won the Louis P. Lambert Award, given each year to a public or private school science teacher by the Maine Science Teachers Association.
Nominated by two different people for 2019 Teacher of the Year—former BHCS cook Anne Redman and World Ocean Observatory founder and Sedgwick resident Peter Neill—Herrmann was “very surprised and very humbled, for sure,” when her name was called out at the award ceremony.
However, she is withdrawing herself from consideration as Teacher of the Year, she said, as she will be on leave for the 2019-20 school year to be a visiting science teacher at the Margaret School in the Bahamas.
“It’s one year,” she said, “to do some citizen science and Skype back to the students here in a virtual exchange.”