2023 Maine State Convention

Topic: Education and Economics

Date: June 3, 2023

Meeting Location: Educare Central Maine, Waterville, ME

Featured Speakers:

Erika Palmer, Educare Central Maine, focusing on the economic benefits of early education

Flynn Ross, University of Southern Maine, focusing on K – 12 education

Kathleen Gillon, University of Maine, Orono, focusing on higher education


Saturday June 3

8:00- 9:00 A.M. Registration with light breakfast

9:00 A.M. Welcome

9:15 A.M. Educare Central Maine – The Importance of Early Childhood Education, Erica Palmer (Educare Central Maine and KVCAP)

10: 15 A.M. Beak and tours of Educare facility

11 A.M. Business Meeting

12 P.M. Lunch

1 – 2:15 P.M.  Education for the Public Good: Ensuring Equitable Access for Economic Growth, Flynn Ross (University of Southern Maine)

2:15 PM – break

2:30 – 3:45 P.M. Multi-generational College-going as a Social and Economic Imperative, Kathleen E. Gillon (University of Maine)

3:45 P.M. – Basket Raffle


More about the Speakers

Erica Palmer holds a master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from the University of Maine at Farmington and has been working in the field of early childhood for more than 12 years.  Her experience in the field consists of direct service with infants and toddlers as a teacher, an early childhood coach, and supervision of comprehensive education services for children ages birth-5 years.   Currently she works with KVCAP Child & Family Services as Education Manager for Educare Central Maine where she supports a program of 60 staff dedicated to providing an integrated approach to early

Dr. Flynn Ross is currently the director of the Maine Teacher Residency project to support teacher preparation across Maine. She is the founder and faculty coordinator of Equity and Excellence in Maine Schools, a Maine based clearinghouse of resources and supports for ensuring access to high quality education for all students. She frequently consults with school districts conducting equity audits to help districts examine ways to align their policies and practices with their values and beliefs. She is an active member of the Scholars Strategy Network providing research to improve policy and enhance democracy. Her research is focused on high quality teacher preparation and ensuring access for underrepresented teaching candidates.

Dr. Kathleen E. Gillon is assistant professor of higher education at the University of Maine and a faculty affiliate of the New England Hub for the Rural Schools Collaborative. Her research and teaching interests focus broadly on access and equity in higher education. She is especially interested in the role of geography in the facilitation of college-going for marginalized student populations. Her current research qualitatively explores the intersection of gender, geography and community capital and its influence on post-secondary educational opportunity for rural college students. Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Gillon worked at Stony Brook University in New York in a variety of areas related to student success, including academic advising, first-year experience, new student orientation and family programs, and honors programs.


Educare Central Maine

56 Drummond Ave, Waterville, ME 04901


From Interstate 95, take exit 130.  If coming from the north of Waterville, turn left at the end of the ramp.  If coming from the south of Waterville, turn right at the end of the ramp.  At the light after the Best Western Hotel (on left), turn left onto Armory Road.  At the next stop, turn right onto Drummond Avenue.  Turn right into the George Mitchell School driveway, and veer left to enter the school parking lot. Go past the school, and you will see the Educare building on the right.


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