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Middle School instructors recognized on state, national levels

Two Cape Elizabeth instructors have gained recognition by professional organizations for their contributions to state and national efforts.

At Cape Elizabeth Middle School, physical-education teacher Andy Strout was named by the Maine Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance as the 2014 "Hoops for Heart" outstanding coordinator of the year. Cape Elizabeth schools participate annually in the fundraising effort to benefit the American Heart Association. Strout has been invited to receive the recognition at the association's conference in Rockport next month. At the Oct. 14, 2014 meeting of the School Board, Superintendent Meredith Nadeau said Strout did a "phenomenal" job with student participation, fundraising and supporting the Hoops for Heart campaign.

Also recognized at the meeting was Jonathan Werner, library-instructional technology specialist at the High School and Middle School, who was a finalist for a 2014 Bammy Award presented by the Academy of Education Arts and Sciences International and organized by BAM (Body and Mind) Radio Network. The network provides online radio programming for educators and parents. "The Bammy Awards is a cross-discipline honor that identifies and acknowledges the extraordinary work being done across the entire education field every day," according to the BAM website.

Werner was one of five finalists selected from 16 nominated nationwide for the award in the school librarian category. Awards were presented in 27 categories from more than 375 nominees on Sept. 27 in Washington, D.C.

In an email to the superintendent, Middle School Principal Mike Tracy said Werner in the last two years has been instrumental in transforming the school library into a "thriving and exciting Library and Learning Commons" in partnership with Librarian Amanda Kozaka. Werner has 1,600 followers on Twitter, where he maintains connections with educators around the world as co-organizer of #1to1techat, held Wednesdays at 9 p.m. He also does outreach with students and teachers throughout the day and offers "boot camps" or orientation sessions to help parents understand and navigate the use of the student iPads, Tracy said.

"I am thrilled Jonathan was nominated and then a finalist for a Bammy Award," Tracy said. "I could not be more pleased and appreciative of his contributions to our school and district."

Werner nomination was anonymous, likely from a peer in the International Society for Technology in Education, for his work on a national level - conference presentations and social-media presence.