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Gulf of Maine Research Institute Honors Teacher for STEM Excellence

May 28, 2014

The Gulf of Maine Research Institute announced today that it will honor Pat Parent, a teacher at Massabesic Middle School, this Wednesday with its first annual McCarthy Award, presented for exemplifying leadership in science education.

This new award is given to the Maine instructor who best embodies GMRI’s education principles of providing students authentic experiences with science as well as promoting their interest in, understanding of and connection to scientific studies. Parent has been a generous leader in Vital Signs, GMRI’s field research program that engages Maine students and teachers in a collaborative effort with scientists and the public.

“Pat has been tenacious, creative, flexible and extraordinary in the way he has implemented and integrated Vital Signs into his teaching,” said Sarah Kirn, GMRI’s Education Programs Strategist. “He jumped in feet first, leading his students’ science inquiry by his own example.”

Parent has impressed the GMRI education staff since his first foray with Vital Signs in 2010. Through the program, he helped students map and monitor invasive and native species in freshwater, marine and upland environments. Not only does Parent use Vital Signs in his own teaching, he has led numerous trainings to help other teachers utilize the program.

The McCarthy Award is named after retired Unum CEO Kevin McCarthy, a longtime supporter of science education in Maine. McCarthy and Unum are also being honored on Wednesday for two decades of charitable support benefitting GMRI, totaling over $1 million.

“Kevin and Unum have been extraordinary partners of GMRI for many years,” says Blaine Grimes, Chief Development Officer at GMRI. “Their transformative gifts during this time have allowed us to pursue our shared aspirations for science literacy in Maine. We treasure them as a partner and investor in the future of STEM education.”

Parent will be honored Wednesday evening in a ceremony from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at GMRI. GMRI donors, corporate leaders and education insiders will be on hand to celebrate both his accomplishment and Unum’s legacy as one of GMRI’s most influential donors.