Hannah Bard, Lead Learner, Director of MMRACE
Hannah Bard boasts an extensive track record of dedicated support for the Mid-Maine Regional Adult Community Education (MMRACE) program. Commencing her journey in 2010 as one of three evening secretaries, she initially aspired to become an upper-elementary school teacher. However, her trajectory took a turn, leading her to earn a Master’s in Adult & Higher Education from USM in 2016.
Over the years, Hannah has embraced various roles at MMRACE, serving as an evening secretary, College and Career Advisor, GED/HiSET Test Administrator, and most recently, assuming the position of Director. A Waterville native, she currently resides in Benton with her husband, Mike, their daughter, Josephine, and their two dogs and two cats.
Beyond her professional commitments, you can find Hannah reveling in winter activities on Nordic ski trails and actively supporting the cross country teams at the Jr High and High School during the fall. Her affinity for all things nerdy is palpable, and she delights in sharing her passion for learning with both the staff and learners at MMRACE.
Hannah has earned a Master’s in Adult and Higher Education from USM and a Bachelor of Science in Education from Thomas College.
Tekia Cox, Academic Programs Coordinator
Tekia Cox’s profound connection to adult education is rooted in her family’s extensive engagement with the field, where many members sought diplomas to enrich their lives. This familial influence led Tekia to explore adult education as a career, and upon doing so, she found her calling.
During her undergraduate studies in Cultural Anthropology, Tekia focused her research on education and resource inaccessibility, making adult education a natural fit for her interests. Since 2019, she has been actively contributing to the field, holding roles such as administrative assistant, administrative coordinator, academic and career advisor, digital literacy tutor, instructional designer, HiSET test administrator, and her current position as the Academic Programs Coordinator.
Residing in Gardiner with her partner, Mike, and their two dogs and two cats, Tekia embraces creativity and adventure in every facet of her life. Both personally and professionally, she is dedicated to fostering positive environments that enable communities to thrive. Her commitment to lifelong learning underscores her ongoing pursuit of knowledge and personal growth.
Tekia is currently pursuing a Master’s in Adult and Higher Education at USM. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology with a minor in International and Global Studies from UMF. Tekia is trained in Restorative Justice Practices and Trauma-Informed Teaching.
Linda Davis, Academic Student Coordinator
Linda Davis has devoted eight years to Mid-Maine Regional Adult Community Education (MMRACE) and retired from full-time teaching in 2010, amassing over 35 years of teaching experience.
Within the dynamic environment of MMRACE, Linda Davis plays an integral role as the Academic Student Coordinator. Beyond these responsibilities, she brings her wealth of experience to the classroom, serving as an instructor for courses that encompass a diverse range of subjects, including Microsoft Office Suite, Bank Teller Training, Career Preparation, and Financial Literacy. Linda’s commitment to education extends beyond the local level, as she has actively engaged in numerous national organizations and committees, contributing to the broader landscape of educational initiatives.
Linda finds solace and joy in sharing precious moments with her family, connecting with friends, and enjoying the company of her two feline companions, Cleo and Ivory.
Linda has earned a Master’s in Secondary Education from UMO and a Bachelor of Science in Business Education and Computer Education from UMM. Linda holds a State of Maine Certification in Business Education and Computer Education.
Aqeel Mohialdeen, MLL Community Navigator
Aqeel Mohialdeen is originally from Baghdad, Iraq, and in 2010, he embarked on a journey to the United States as an immigrant. Aqeel was granted a special immigrant visa in recognition of his exceptional and unwavering service as a marketing specialist to the U.S. government in support of international development projects in Iraq, specifically with USAID.
Aqeel’s professional journey has been a diverse and dynamic one. It began in 1999 after he earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design from the University of Baghdad. Over the years, he has worked across an array of roles, spanning graphic design, photography, journalism, documentary filmmaking, marketing, campaign strategy, cross-cultural consultation, and expertise in outreach and multimedia.
Living through the tumultuous times marked by wars, political upheaval, and economic instability in Iraq, Aqeel developed a keen interest in the dynamics of governance. He sought to understand what underpins effective or ineffective governance and how diverse populations from different cultural backgrounds interact socially, economically, and politically. He delved into the challenges governments face in accommodating individuals with diverse ideologies and interests.
In September 2015, as part of the process to become a naturalized United States citizen, Aqeel had to prepare for the civics test. This test served as an eye-opener to the fundamental principles that have made America one of the most culturally, economically, and politically diverse countries in the world. Aqeel realized that newcomers to the U.S. should not have to wait, sometimes for up to a decade, to become citizens before learning about the history, norms, and core values of their new home. In May 2016, he took an important step by publishing Maine’s first Arabic-printed newspaper, “The Hanging Gardens of Babylon.” This publication aimed to educate newcomers who were not yet proficient in English about their new home, its customs, and its laws, ensuring they were aware of their rights and responsibilities.
Samantha "Sam" Jamison, Administrative assistant
Samantha Jamison is a graduate of Waterville Senior High School who furthered her education as a graduate from Southern Maine Community College. She received her Associates of Applied Sciences degree majoring in Communications & New Media in May of 2018.
During her college experience she discovered her passion for helping others while being a resident assistant. After graduating her work experience flowed from the hotel industry to the service industry to the sector of realty. Using her vast interactions with a wide range of people at different stages in life she’s happily brought her knowledge and experience to the team at Mid Maine Regional Adult Community Education as the Administrative Assistant.
Joyce Anderson, Messalonskee Site Secretary
Joyce is a graduate of Lisbon High School and continued her education journey at the University of Maine PI. She later earned her Associates in Business Administration/Executive Secretarial from KVCC. Joyce’s connection with adult education began when her children were in high school, and she took classes from Adult Ed in Fairfield. This connection deepened when she discovered that one of the Adult Ed teachers in Waterville also taught at KVCC. Encouraged by this connection, Joyce took a class at KVCC, enjoyed it immensely, and eventually applied for admission.
Her journey with Adult Ed took a new turn when a friend informed her about a Secretary opening at Messalonskee Adult Ed. Nervous yet determined, she went for the interview and successfully secured the position. Now, Joyce has been an integral part of the Adult Ed program for an impressive 24 years!
In her downtime, Joyce finds joy in gardening, quilting, family outings, and, of course, spoiling her grandsons! Her commitment to both professional and personal pursuits reflects a well-rounded and fulfilling life.
Melissa Rice, Evening secretary, Waterville
Melissa holds an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Studies from Thomas College and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Maine Augusta. Fresh out of high school, Melissa began her academic journey at the University of Maine Farmington.
After a hiatus, she returned to school, utilizing the Advantage U program at KVCC. Through this program, she earned her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Studies and seamlessly transitioned to the University of Maine, choosing the Augusta campus for its proximity to home. At UMA, she enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts in English program to further cultivate her passion for literature and writing.
Before taking on the role of Evening Secretary at MMRACE, Melissa gained valuable experience working at Waterville Senior High School and Thomas College. Her educational and professional journey reflects her dedication to continuous learning and pursuit of her literary passions.
Sherrie brann, enrichment coordinator
Sherrie graduated from Gardiner Area High School, earned her Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature at the University of Maine, and completed her Master’s Degree in Education at Walden University. She recently earned a Certificate of Graduate Study in Culturally Responsive Practices in Education and Human Development at the University of Southern Maine. Sherrie has been employed in Workforce Development and Student Support for the University of Maine at Augusta for almost 10 years, and prior to that she worked as an English teacher at the Middle School, High School, and Adult Education levels.
Always passionate about high-quality, accessible education for all students, Sherrie is committed to providing a strong Enrichment Program here at MMRACE. Sherrie lives in Western Maine, where she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and taking in the natural beauty of the mountains.
Nancy Hebert, HiSET Tutor and life skills instructor
Nancy Hebert retired from teaching after 30 years in 2017. She returned to the classroom in 2018 as a social studies teacher. She continued teaching a full schedule until 2020 and has since remained connected with WSHS, transitioning to roles as a substitute teacher and currently serving as a HiSET tutor and Life Skills instructor. Nancy’s journey with education began when she graduated from Waterville Adult Ed in 1976, and she expresses immense joy in being involved with the HiSET program.
Reflecting on her experience, Nancy acknowledges the transformative role of adult education in her life, stating, “If it wouldn’t have been for adult ed, I never would have had the opportunity to be a teacher, my childhood dream job.” As a HiSET tutor, she finds the experience deeply rewarding, understanding that earning diplomas significantly improves the lives of the students she guides. Nancy considers it an honor to be part of their educational journey, knowing the positive impact it has on their futures.
ash hebert, Hiset Tutor and college transitions tutor
Ash Hebert, HiSET and Math Tutor, holds a BA in Psychology with a Minor in International Development and Social Change from Clark University, where they concentrated in Forced Displacement Studies. Transitioning into the education field after five years of experience in mental health and social services, Ash brings a unique perspective to their role.
In their personal time, Ash finds joy in reading, spending time outdoors, and actively engaging with local mutual aid organizations.
paula raymond, high school diploma instructor
Paula Raymond, M.Ed. Special Ed from UMO, with a BS from Thomas College and certifications in ELA and MA, brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a 15-year MMRACE instructor. Her expertise extends to foundational courses in Reading, Writing Conventions, Writing Styles, College Prep Reading Skills, Development College Prep Writing Skills, Development Math Fundamentals up to and including Pre-Algebra, Intro to Geometry, Graphs, and other introductory MA concepts, as well as Essential Computers and Study Skills.
Outside of her educational pursuits, Paula actively engages with her community and city, staying informed about local government and current community politics. She currently serves on the Housing and ARPA Committees, showcasing her commitment to making a positive impact beyond the classroom.
arlene toulouse, adult basic education instructor
Arlene Toulouse, with a BS in Education from Lesley University and a Masters in Technology from Thomas College, boasts a rich educational background. Arlene dedicated 30 years to teaching at Waterville Junior High School before embarking on retirement. One of the most impactful experiences during her teaching career was a trip to Vietnam with high school students, parents, and veterans.
After a few years of retirement, Arlene found herself drawn back to education, joining MMRACE as a HiSET tutor and instructor in Reading, English, and Science. She has been an integral part of MMRACE for thirteen years. Beyond her professional commitments, Arlene relishes moments spent with her husband, grown son, and daughter in Massachusetts, along with her three grandchildren. She finds joy in playing with her dog, Venus, and indulges in her love for the outdoors and all things related to Science. Arlene expresses her fondness for teaching at MMRACE, citing the students as a key reason for her enjoyment.
Josephine Schiebel, ESOL Instructor
Jo Schiebel, with a double major in Education and Psychology from Concordia University and a Master’s in Educational Leadership from the same institution, currently pursues further knowledge in the online TESOL Master’s program at the University of Southern Maine. With 21 years of teaching experience in the classroom, Josephine brings a wealth of expertise to her role.
Her passion lies in working with adult ESL students, and one of Josephine’s favorite aspects is the cultural exchange that unfolds in the ESL classroom. She finds immense joy in facilitating language learning and fostering an environment where cultural diversity enhances the educational experience for all.
Isabel douglas, ESOL Support instructor
Isabel Douglas has a Bachelors in Mathematics from the University of Exeter. She also has a Masters of Science in Education of Literacy Education from Thomas College and a second Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the University of Southern Maine. She has over 10 years of experience in lower and upper elementary schools and tutoring adults with Literacy Volunteers, mainly Title 1.
Since she was a teenager, she has always loved learning about other cultures. She taught conversation skills with many of her father’s international students.They ranged from not knowing English to the eighth grade level. They came from Europe, South and Central America, Asia, and the Middle East.
This year, she was invited to do her practicum with the TESOL instructor, Jo, at MMRACE. She is co teaching voluntarily with many adults. Because of the diverse group of learners, she is now learning braille.
earl watts, high school diploma instructor
Earl is a veteran of the US Army, having a total of 31 years in service, including a deployment to Afghanistan in 2009. He has been an adjunct instructor at Thomas College for ten years, a high school social studies teacher at Waterville Alternative High School (WAHS) for five years, and a teacher with the Mid-Maine Regional Adult Community Education in Waterville for four years. This year he has also assumed the administrative duties for WAHS.
Earl has a Master of Arts in American History and a Master of Arts in Political Science with a concentration in American Government. He is a 2021 James Madison Fellow and has been selected to attend the 2023 Midway Institute for Teachers. Earl is also a member of the School Board for the Winslow Public Schools system. As a military veteran, a parent, a college instructor, a high school teacher & administrator and a municipal government member, Earl brings a well-rounded point of view to the table and is uniquely positioned to provide meaningful history and civics education to his students.
richard beaulieu jr., literacy support
Richard J. Beaulieu,Jr is a valued member of the Life skills team. He serves as an aide in the class as a one on one tutor. He also helps in preparing for the class, setting up for special presentations.
Richard is a graduate of the Adult Ed program in Oakland and he has often stated that his participation in Waterville’s program is “giving back” to a program which allowed him to earn his diploma and in so doing made him eligible for better paying jobs.Giving back and helping others is Richard’s MO in life. He operates his own small business, Happy’s Helping Hands, dedicated to helping the elderly as a handyman at reasonable rates.
Additional Teaching Staff
Art Teacher | Jessica Hamilton-Jones
Social Studies Teacher | Ken Gagnon
Literacy & Community Volunteers
We have literacy volunteers in both our Read to Succeed course and our Life Skills program. We also have community volunteers to help with all of our programming.
College and Career Navigators
We have a College Success Coordinator located at KVCC and a Career Navigator avialable by appointment.
MJRP Career Navigator | Karen Morin
College Success Coordinator | Carolyn Haskell