FALMOUTH, Maine — D.W. Lunt Elementary School second-grade teacher Kevin Grover, a former Maine Teacher of the Year, died Thanksgiving Day, according to a state Department of Education official.

Grover, 40, taught for 15 years, the last 10 at Lunt, and was the 2010 Maine Teacher of the Year. Department of Education spokesman David Connerty-Marin said Grover collapsed after returning home from a run.

Grover made service-learning a regular part of his students’ school experience, taking them regularly to participate in community service, Gloria Noyes, president of Maine’s Teacher of the Year Association and mentor to Grover the year he won, said Friday.

“Kevin is going to be greatly missed,” Noyes said. “He was someone that was highly regarded in the world of education and left an impact on all of us. It’s a great loss for education and educators in Maine. He made a mark on all his students’ lives.”

Noyes said Grover was a key element in building and inspiring teachers through the Teacher of the Year Association. He started a Speaker’s Bureau within the association, which brought together past recipients of the award to speak at businesses or schools about their expertise, she said.

At Lunt, Grover was a leader in technology and always willing to help inspire other teachers to use it, Noyes said.

“He was a brilliant guy and very creative; he was excellent with technology” she said. “Staff would always go to Kevin for instruction and enhancement of their skills.”

Grover grew up in Greene and graduated from St. Dominic Regional High School in Auburn. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine at Farmington and a master’s degree from the University of Southern Maine.

From 1996 through 2001, Grover taught first and second grades at Lake Street School in Auburn before moving to Lunt School.

Grover and his wife Rebecca have two young children. A telephone call to their home in Falmouth on Friday afternoon was not answered.

Neither Falmouth Superintendent of Schools Barbara Powers nor Lunt Elementary School Principal Karen Boffa could be reached for comment.