Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Carol Marcotte – Education Program
Dr. Carol Marcotte with two full suitcases of school supplies donated to the schoolchildren of St. Maarten
Dr. Carol Marcotte is a long-time faculty member in the Graduate Programs in Education within the College of Graduate and Professional Studies. Her primary specialty areas include literacy and educational leadership, and she helped a number of school supplies donated to St. Maarten.
In addition to having a background as a classroom teacher, she was also a principal for eight years. Her first role at University of New England was in 2001 as an adjunct faculty member.
Currently an Associate Lecturer in the Educational Department at UNE, Carol’s primary responsibility is to be a Concentration leader for the Certificates in Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) and MSEd: Educational Leadership programs at UNE Online.
In the aftermath of several devastating hurricanes, Dr. Marcotte has been very involved in humanitarian efforts with St. Maarten to support the students and schools on the island.
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Stepping in and helping the people of St. Maarten
Dr. Marcotte has been visiting the island of St. Maarten regularly for more than 20 years now, and really has a heart for the people of St. Maarten. Over the years, Dr. Marcotte has come to know many people on the island both personally and professionally. She has presented at conferences there, has sent teachers there when she was a principal, and has many friends there. In all, she feels a close connection to the island through the relationships that she has built there.
Over the years, Dr. Marcotte has come to know many people on the island both personally and professionally. She has presented at conferences there, has sent teachers there when she was a principal and has many friends there. In all, she feels a close connection to the island through the relationships that she has built there.
Stepping in and helping the people of St. Maarten
Even months after Hurricane Irma caused catastrophic damage to the island, Dr. Marcotte saw that the people and the schools of St. Maarten were dealing with the aftereffects of the storm. In particular, she saw the need for school supplies, so she decided to step in to help.
The majority of the school supplies donated went by ship
Dr. Marcotte’s idea to adopt a school was very well received by her colleagues, friends, and family. The Education Department faculty and students got involved, along with the community where she is on the school board and the community where her grandchildren attend school. “Once I put the word out there, it was an outpouring of donations,” says Marcotte “far more than I ever expected.”
Logistical challenges, overcome
A while back we wrote about Dr. Marcotte’s first trip back to the island with school supplies, where she was able to bring over 250 pounds of humanitarian aid to the island in several suitcases. But since that trip she had amassed a significant collection of new supplies, necessitating shipping arrangements. Shipping all of the collected school supplies from Maine to St. Maarten proved to be an expensive endeavor, even though one local Maine company donated shipping boxes, which helped keep costs down. Dr. Marcotte started a GoFundMe page and shared it on Facebook, which raised a portion of the shipping cost, but she ended up paying the bulk of the cost out of pocket.
Where did the donated school supplies go?
Part of the 600-pound shipment of school supplies donated by Dr. Carol Marcotte
Dr. Marcotte’s connections with the government and the school system on the island allowed her to donate these supplies to seven different schools – some of which had lost everything during Hurricane Irma and are still not in a permanent building. They include:
- St. Maarten Vocational Training School – art supplies
- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School – sports items and school materials
- Oranje School – school supplies
- Marie Genevieve de Weever School – school supplies
- Leonald Conner School – school supplies
- Ruby Labega School – school supplies
- Prins Willem Alexander School – school supplies
In all, Dr. Marcotte was able to bring over a total of 1,400 pounds of school supplies, art supplies, gym equipment, clothes, books, and other kinds of humanitarian aid.
Moving forward, how can the UNE Online community help?
Dr. Marcotte is currently working with the educational leadership on the island of St. Maarten to determine what they have for needs before she begins physically collecting more goods to bring over. In the meantime, she welcomes donations through her GoFundMe page to cover future shipments: https://www.gofundme.com/ship-items-to-st-maarten-schools
Big effort, big reward
Although it was a huge effort on many, many fronts, Dr. Marcotte says that she is glad to have done it. There are schoolchildren on the island of St. Maarten who have supplies and books that they wouldn’t have otherwise had access to.
Everyone who knows Dr. Carol Marcotte knows that she is passionate about teaching and supporting students – no matter where they are in their student journey. “St. Maarten is like a second home to me,” says Marcotte. “I know they had an incredible need, and I knew that I needed to help. Anything that’s going to help students learn and make it easier for them.”
Do you know of someone who does great work like Dr. Marcotte? Let us know! We are proud to have faculty and community members at UNE Online making a positive difference in this world, and we are thrilled to be able to share their work.
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Tags: CAGS | Faculty Spotlight | Graduate Programs in Education | MSEd