Region Two Instructor Amber Sloat, right, stands with current Region Two Director Aimee London after being named CTE Teacher of the Year. Credit: Alexander MacDougall / Houlton Pioneer Times

HOULTON, Maine — Amber Sloat, who was chosen for the statewide Career and Technical Education Teacher of the Year award, was praised Friday for the high number of students who get certified in their fields.

Sloat is an introduction to medical professions instructor at Houlton’s Region Two School of Applied Technology. Winning the state level qualifies her to be considered for a northeast region award.

The award is given out annually by the Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education to a teacher at one of the several trade schools across the state. It is usually presented during a conference in Lewiston, which was canceled this year due to the pandemic. Instead, it was presented at Region Two, with Sloat’s family and school faculty attending.

Several people also joined in via Zoom to congratulate Sloat on the award.

“We determined that Amber would be an excellent candidate, given she’s still a new CTE teacher and she has such high results with her students,” said Dave Keaton, the former director of Region Two who now serves as the executive director for Maine Administrators of Career and Technical Education, during the presentation.

“Since she’s been here, she’s had a 100 percent completion rate for students in phlebotomy certification, which is pretty huge,” he said. Phlebotomy refers to the practice of drawing blood in a medical environment.

In her time at Region Two, Sloat has also partnered with University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Community College to give her students an opportunity to earn college credits for their work at Region Two.  

“I’m very overwhelmed. I’m very surprised,” Sloat said. “It’s such an honor to be teacher of the year, I actually can’t even wrap my head around it.”

Sloat, who recently obtained a Master’s Degree from Husson University, said she wanted to thank Region Two staff and administrators for being incredibly supportive of her throughout her career.

“I tell my students that teaching is the best part of nursing I’ve ever done. It’s the most rewarding when you’re teaching something and students finally just get it, they understand it and they love it as much as I do,” she said.

Having received the award, Sloat will be considered for a regional CTE Teacher award along with candidates from other states in the American Northeast. This is followed by a national award to be given to the top instructors across the country.