Pat Sammer Named as VFW Middle School Teacher of the Year

By Natalie Boomer


This year’s VFW statewide Teacher of the Year award for Middle School has gone to Pat Sammer. Along with Kathy Smith of Calais High School and Jody Deacon of Princeton Elementary School, Sammer was nominated by her fellow faculty and staff members for the award. “This is my 28th year working as a Special Education teacher and I know there is a lot of talk of burn out, but the amazing part of teaching is that every day is different,” mentioned Sammer. 

Sammer grew up in Calais and graduated from Calais Memorial High School. She had always known that she wanted to teach, so after high school she moved on to receive her Bachelor’s degree in child development from the University of Maine at Orono. “When I first graduated I got a job at a preschool in Baileyville for two years. This was just a part time position and there were no openings in the schools at that time,” said Sammer. She later got a job at Calais Federal Savings and Loan and remained there for twelve years, until she decided to go back into the teaching field. “I believe every experience gets you ready for the next part of your life and this was a great experience.  I knew I wanted to get back into education and that was when I made the move to Charlotte Elementary,” said Sammer.

Sammer taught at Charlotte Elementary School as a special education and part-time gifted and talented teacher for two years until she was hired at the Calais Middle School as the special education teacher for grades 5-8. “I worked with some incredible teachers there that really mentored me.  When Calais made the decision to add onto the high school and move 7 and 8 down there, I made the move with them,” said Sammer. Although she is the middle school teacher, she began to become more and more involved with classes that took place at the high school with her former students. “I began doing this as I thought it was of great benefit to the students as they move into the high school to already have a connection with a teacher they will have some contact with,” said Sammer.