Jocelyn Saucier paused while listing off the countless extracurricular activities she organizes for her students at Fort Kent Community High School in Aroostook County, Maine.
She could have simply been catching her breath while rhyming off the many educational and sporting activities she organizes in her spare time, but the truth is she just doesn’t like talking about herself.
Despite that modesty, she’s been forced to write and talk about her work a lot these days after being named Aroostook teacher of the year by the Maine Education Department , an accomplishment that puts her in line for the prestigious teacher of the year award for the entire state.
“It’s kind of a weird thing where you feel honoured and grateful but also I don’t deserve this, there are others, way better at this than I am,” the Sydney native said during a phone interview from Maine. “Maybe it’s ‘imposter syndrome’ where you feel like you don’t deserve it. I do feel very honoured and grateful for it. It’s pretty cool.”
Saucier is the daughter of Martha and the late Ken Mizzi and grew up on Christopher Crescent in Sydney.
After graduating from Sydney Academy, she obtained a bachelor of commerce degree with a major in accounting and a second major in English from Mount Allison University in 2002.
She would later attend the University of Maine at Fort Kent, where she received her bachelor of university studies secondary education (2004), and then obtained her master's of education from the University of Southern Maine.
"I do feel very honoured and grateful for it. It’s pretty cool.” — Jocelyn Saucier
Saucier is now in her 14th year of teaching in Maine and said it was the influence of her father, who was a teacher and principal in Whitney Pier and Coxheath, that led her down a very rewarding career path.
“I worked in many summer camps when I was in high school and college and that kind of solidified that I wanted to be a teacher,” she recalled. “My dad inspired me and also said ‘don’t get out of the classroom, stay in the classroom, don’t be an administrator.’ I’m trying to stick to that as much as I can.”
In the classroom, she’s her school’s senior advanced placement English and composition instructor for the most part. Outside of the classroom, extracurricular activities under her watch include senior adviser of the National Honor Society, key club adviser and volleyball coach. She’s also part of the graduation committee and wellness team, among other activities.
She was nominated for the county teacher of the year award by the school’s principal Don Coletta, who took note of all those extracurricular activities. The state award will be announced in the summer.
Saucier lives in her new home of Fort Kent with her husband and two children. "Beautiful, small and safe" are among the words she used to describe the border town that allows her to see Canada from her yard. The only current worry is a suspicious-looking fox seen in the area that’s likely after her neighbour’s chickens.
Cape Breton is just a 14-hour drive away and she usually makes that journey with her family twice a year.