Harpswell resident Jean Palmer-Smith displays a plaque recognizing her as the 2022 Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year during a conference in Lewiston on Oct. 7. From left: Julie Kenny, president of the Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education; Dwight Littlefield, director of career and technical education for the state of Maine; Palmer-Smith, creative digital media teacher at Region 10 Technical High School; Pender Makin, Maine’s commissioner of education; and David Keaton, executive director of the Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education.

The Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education recognized Harpswell resident Jean Palmer-Smith last month as 2022’s Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year.

Palmer-Smith has taught creative digital media at Brunswick’s Region 10 Technical High School for 4 1/2 years. She received the award during a conference at the Lewiston Regional Technical Center on Oct. 7.

Maine Commissioner of Education Pender Makin and Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education President Julie Kenny congratulated Palmer-Smith.

In her introductory remarks, Kenny quoted from Palmer-Smith’s nomination by Paul Perzanoski, former director and superintendent of Region 10 Technical High School.

“Having observed Jean’s teaching firsthand on many occasions, and having seen the impact she’s had on both her program and our school community as a whole, it is without exaggeration that I say that she is among the most talented, dedicated and extraordinary educators I’ve ever experienced in my many decades as an educator,” Perzanoski said in the nomination.

Palmer-Smith has transformed a half-time program that struggled to attract students into the school’s most popular program, Kenny said.

“She has made significant contributions to her students’ technical and cultural education, to Region 10’s web presence and functionality, and to all the school’s marketing, outreach and recruiting efforts,” Kenny said. “Like so many of you here today, Jean is a tireless and unyielding advocate for her program and her students who will spend every last moment, penny and resource to improve the lot of her students and her program.”

The accolade was not the first of Palmer-Smith’s career in education — she received the I Make a Difference Teacher of Excellence award while teaching graphic design in Palm Beach County, Florida, a district with 13,000 teachers, according to her biography on the Region 10 website.