Lincoln County News | Newcastle, ME
Monday, June 29, 2015 Serving Maine and Lincoln County for over a century. Volume 140 Issue 26

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5/22/2013 2:00:00 PM
Center For Teaching And Learning Founder Retires
After 40 years of being an educator Nancie Atwell, left, the founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning will retire and pass the reigns on to her daughter, Anne Atwell-McLeod next month. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
After 40 years of being an educator Nancie Atwell, left, the founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning will retire and pass the reigns on to her daughter, Anne Atwell-McLeod next month. (Charlotte Boynton photo)
By Charlotte Boynton


Nancie Atwell began her teaching career in the early 1970s at the Boothbay Harbor Grammar School, later at the Boothbay Regional Elementary School. The founder of the Center for Teaching and Learning in Edgecomb and the seventh and eight grade teacher for reading, writing and history will retire next month.

"It has been a dream career," Atwell said during a recent interview. "The center is not only a wonderful place for children, it is also a wonderful place for teachers. I know I will laugh and learn something every day when I come here, and I am going to miss that."

Before coming to Edgecomb and establishing the Center, Atwell traveled around the country conducting educational seminars, and consulting with school educators. "I always wanted to be a teacher of teachers," she said..

Atwell is a wife, mother, teacher, and author. A prolific author, she was written many articles and several books including "Side by Side," "Lessons that Change Writers," "Naming the World," "The Reading Zone," and "A Year of Poems and Lessons." She is the author of "In the Middle," a book used to help inspire teachers.

According to a website dedicated to teachers, http://www.heimeman.com, "Nancie Atwell is one of most highly respected educations in the U.S. Her classic "In the Middle" has inspired generations of teachers."

Atwell told her students and staff, that after 40 years of being an educator, she was going to give up the classroom this June, and share, with her husband Toby McLeod, their golden years. However, she will remain the president of the center's board of directors.

Atwell's daughter Anne Atwell-McLeod has been hired by the board to replace Atwell in the classroom. McLeod, a 2000 graduate of the center, graduated Amherst College with distinction in 2008.

For the past four years Atwell-McLeod has been teaching middle school writing and reading workshops, first in Washington D.C. public schools, and then at the Frenda Community School in College Park, Maryland.

"She is ready to come home, and the timing couldn't be better," Atwell said.

"I couldn't be happier, I will teach in a place that inspired my career," Atwell-McLeod said. "I loved this school as a student and I love this school as a teacher. It is a model I want to achieve with my students."

The Center for Teaching and Learning was founded in 1990 as a K-8 school, and is certified by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Atwell is very proud of the students who have attended the center and the accomplishments they have made in life. According to a Center brochure, 99 percent of the Center's graduates have gone on to colleges throughout the country.

Atwell is planning to do a little traveling after retiring, perhaps a trip to London, England, which she said is her favorite city. However, "We love Maine, and I am really ready to stay home for a while," she said.



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