U.S. Department of Education Official to Discuss Administration’s Education Agenda, Host Meeting Honoring and Elevating the Nation’s Teachers at Conference and School Visit in Portland

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Massie Ritsch, deputy assistant secretary for External Affairs and Outreach at the U.S. Department of Education, will visit Portland, Maine on Thursday, May 17, to discuss the Obama Administration’s education agenda with school business officials and to visit a school and collect feedback on an Administration initiative to honor and elevate the nation’s teachers.

At the Tri-State Association of School Business Officials’ annual conference, Ritsch will update officials from Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont on Washington education activities, highlighting the Administration’s accomplishments and emphasizing the importance of local leadership in education reform.

During his visit to Reiche Elementary School, a teacher-led school in Portland, Ritsch will hold a roundtable discussion with teachers about the Administration’s RESPECT initiative, which aims to directly engage teachers and principals across America in a national conversation about teaching. The conversation has been underway for several months with the Department’s Teaching Ambassador Fellows, who have been actively engaged in classrooms throughout the nation. They have held more than 200 roundtable meetings over the past six months with teachers across the country. RESPECT is an acronym that stands for Recognizing Educational Success, Professional Excellence and Collaborative Teaching.

Before returning to Washington, Ritsch will meet with superintendents from a number of Maine school districts, pulled together by the Maine Superintendents Association.