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Senator Collins Meets with Maine Teacher of the Year from East End Community School in Portland

2024 Maine TOTY - Joshua Chard

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Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Education Committee, met with Joshua Chard, the 2024 Maine Teacher of the Year.  Joshua is an elementary school teacher at East End Community School in Portland. He also leads the drama club at Deering High School in Portland.

“Joshua is a wonderful educator who has inspired so many Maine students both inside the classroom and onstage,” said Senator Susan Collins. “It was a pleasure to meet with him in Washington and congratulate him on receiving the prestigious Maine Teacher of the Year Award for 2024.”

Senator Collins has visited more than 200 schools throughout Maine during her Senate service and has long led efforts to honor our nation’s public schools and improve our education system.

Joshua was raised in rural Maine and attended the University of Southern Maine, majoring in Elementary Education with a concentration in Theatre. He began his career as a student teacher at a Portland elementary school in Munjoy Hill, and has continued to teach in the Portland area for the past 31 years. In supporting his nomination for Teacher of the Year, Joshua’s teaching colleagues remarked on his ability to build relationships with his students by meeting them where they are at emotionally and academically, valuing the uniqueness of each child, and making all feel welcome. Joshua says he has dedicated his entire career to working in high-need, urban schools, and he is proud to teach in two of the most culturally diverse schools north of Boston.

Outside of the classroom, Joshua is a freelance theatre director and has directed shows along with his husband, most recently at the Children’s Museum and Theatre of Maine. He also serves on the Board of Lyric Music Theater in South Portland.