The Maine Adult Education Association (MAEA) is proud to present this Virtual State Conference. Join us from the comfort and safety of your home or workplace for a day of workshops and sessions hosted by expert presenters in their field on trending topics.


Friday, December 3rd

8:30 am – 8:50 am ET – Opening

  • Welcome – Jeremy Lehan, Director MSAD 54, Skowhegan Area
  • Remarks – Josh Farr, MAEA President
  • COABE Update – Sharon Bonney, CEO COABE
  • Overview of the Day – Shirley Wright, MAEA Executive Director

8:50 am – 9:30 am – Keynote

Rebuilding a Prosperous Economy by Yellow Light Breen

Developing the skills and talents of Maine people, especially working age adults, is crucial to their and our economic future now more than ever. This skill development and education must occur in the unique context of our history and assets – what is so special or unique about Maine?Change and growth must be supported by vital and diverse communities that are prepared to embrace innovation and change. Is your community ready to be part of economic growth and prosperity? Is your educational program ready? It is possible to embrace change and set the pace for future growth through education and asset reflection.

9:45 am – 10:45 am ET – Session 1

Seeing Ourselves in the Past by Libby Bishof

Maine’s recent bicentennial of statehood (2020) provided an opportunity to reflect upon the well-known history of the land we now call Maine, as well as aspects of Maine’s past that have been glossed over or ignored. In this richly illustrated talk, I will highlight significant events in Maine’s history through objects, drawings, maps, photographs, and postcards–highlighting a history of this land that stretches back over 12,000 years, long before settler-colonists arrived. This presentation centers the concept of historical empathy, and engages a discussion of why it is so important for all those who live, work, and learn together on this land to be able to see themselves reflected in narratives and depictions of the past, as well as Maine’s present and future. I will also emphasize the importance of an honest reckoning with the past for students of all ages and abilities, especially adult learners, and how class discussions of visual and text-based historical sources can help connect historical and contemporary issues.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm ET – Session 2

What if I Dared to Dream? By Wendy Smith, Nancy Allen, Jeremy Lenah

This presentation is based around my personal journey from pre-addiction, active addiction and recovery. It is focused on the mind state of an addict, internal and external stigmas, how the

addicted brain thinks, family effects, and what recovery looks like. This gives a “through the lens” view from someone that is affected by substance abuse disorder and the struggles we face

on a daily basis to find freedom from addiction. I hope you leave with an understanding that no dream is too big, and that change is possible.

12:15 pm – 1:00 pm ET – Breakout Rooms

Resources for ELL Classroom by Greg Stultz

In this session, Greg will introduce new tools and resources, effective instructional strategies, and engaging activities for you to use with your adult English language learners. At the tail end, he’ll share how to sign up for a free digital trial or pilot! Greg will explain the principles of Evidence-

Based Reading Instruction (EBRI).Participants will be introduced to techniques that include phonics work and reading fluency, vocabulary building, close reading, citation of evidence, and more. Providing a model/template for a lesson using EBRI, Greg will demonstrate ways to augment EBRI-focused lessons using a fresh, weekly supply of authentic, high-interest articles on news and current events. Wrapping up the session, Greg will briefly introduce two other digital resources and give attendees the opportunity to request a free 30-day trial, or a 90-day pilot!

Helping Adult Learners Win by Sharon Johnson

Increase confidence, upskill and focus on an area of career interest through industry certifications.
Industry certifications, tested for on iCEV, are developed by industry leaders, reflect the needs of
real-world career expectations and distinguish individuals from their peers when applying for jobs.
iCEV can be used in person, in a hybrid model or completely online.

Finance Authority of Maine: What FAME Can Do For Adult Learners by Maria McDougal

Learn about how the Finance Authority of Maine (FAME) can assist adult learners. We’ll discuss print and digital resources, possible presentations for college planning, personal finance and more, as well as resources for you as educators.

UMS Success Center: Navigating Pathways to Higher Education by Scott Cook, Tessa Winship

Adult learners have specific challenges when pursuing their education, usually in the form of financial and time limitations. In addition to balancing classes with their jobs, many adults have family responsibilities. Join us to learn how UMS offers specific programs and services to support adults navigating various pathways to personal and career success.

Academy of Medical Professions: Grow, Know, Glow by Amy Catlin

Healthcare in the state of Maine is in desperate need of skilled workers, now more than ever before. Exciting new bridges to career success are developing each day between our programs and Maine’s largest healthcare employers. Find out how the Academy has achieved a balance of flexibility that students need,skills and knowledge that employers desire- and how you can “AMP” up your community (and your bottomline) by partnering with us and hosting our programs.

Education to Change Lives by Peggy Bernard

A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for most adult learners. Because of this, teachers often struggle to create learning plans to fit varied needs. Learn how to use High School Equivalency courses – GED Academy™, HiSET Academy®, and TASC Academy – to pinpoint the missing skills and then create a unique learning pathway for each student, all while accessing the resources needed to make sure every student is successful and taking steps towards a brighter future.

Improving CASAS Scores by Karen Crowe Ruiz

Let’s look at how Aztec and Paxen products can improve students’ CASAS scores and bump up your reporting! This session will outline specific steps your instructors can use to identify areas of need with CASAS Content Standards Reports and remediate those skills gaps with CASAS-aligned Aztec and Paxen activities.

Prepare Students for Demand of WIOA by Brandi Cardwell, Ticiana Coleman, Robert Breitbard

WIOA requires Adult Education programs to provide increasingly rigorous instruction for their students. Burlington’s comprehensive suite of online, standards-based courses helps your program stay WIOA focused, with an emphasis on Integrated Education and Training (IET) and Integrated English and Civics Education (IEL/CE). In this session, you will learn how Burlington’s blended curriculum promotes academic preparation, civics knowledge, career readiness and technology integration at all levels and areas of instruction. With BurlingtonEnglish, teachers will have all the resources they need to prepare students for post-secondary education and entry into the workforce.

1:15 pm – 2:15 pm – Session 3

Embracing our Magnificence by Samara Cole Doyon

Magnificence as an Act of Resistance is a discussion about how we balance crucial social action in these days of injustice and multiplying crises with self-preservation and community care. It’s a multimedia exploration of the ways in which joy, unapologetic self-love, and artistic expression allow systematically marginalized people to survive and transcend oppression, transforming the world in which we live. And ultimately, it is a chance to reflect on how we can all add creative and restorative methods to our resistance toolbox.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm – Session 4

Rethinking Democracy, Social Media by Judith Rosenbaum

The popularity of sites like Twitter and Facebook has reignited the debate about the state of American democracy. Scholars and social commentators alike have raised questions about how well-informed social media platforms leave the average citizen, whether and how these platforms contribute to the

polarization of society, and if they allow for much-needed civic dialogue between opposing parties. This workshop will answer these questions and more through a discussion of findings from recent research into the potential of social media to serve as a virtual public sphere. We will reflect on what a well-functioning democracy looks like in a world dominated by social media and consider how and when the often inflammatory and one-sided discussions on platforms like Facebook and Twitter can still be seen to make a meaningful contribution to American democracy.

3:40 pm – 4:00 pm – Closing

  • Jeremy Lehan, Conference Chair
  • Paul Charpentier, Southern Maine Community College
  • Pender Makin, Maine Commissioner of Education
  • Shirley Wright, MAEA Executive Director