Catherine Cutler Institute

Kari Payne

District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinator: Children, Youth, and Families Program
Kari Payne

Office Location

203 Haynes Building, Augusta



Academic Degrees

  • Master's Degree, Special Education, Early Intervention concentration, University of Maine
  • Bachelor's Degree, Exercise Science, University of Alaska, Fairbanks


 As a District Early Childhood and Youth Coordinator (DC), Kari serves as a resource to the early childhood and youth workforce in a designated district in Maine. She has experience and knowledge specific to early childhood and youth best practices ages birth through age 8. She believes in coupling her specific expertise with focused attention on building strong collaborative relationships with practitioners, Kari supports educators through technical assistance in a variety of forms (e.g., web-based, on-site consultation, facilitation of peer-to-peer groups, coaching). Kari also collaborates with state and local partners to meet the needs of the early childhood and youth workforce in the district assigned and statewide when needed.

Prior to her current position, she spent many years as a special educator in a multidisciplinary, special-purpose inclusion preschool with experience in direct care, consultation, and coaching. As a statewide need arose in March 2020 for online curricula, she began a creative endeavor as a designer for a DOE Project-Based Virtual Learning Curriculum project. She has co-created four Pre-Kindergarten asynchronous learning modules to provide "anytime, anywhere" learning options and resources for educators, students, and their families.

Kari also teaches early childhood courses at the University of Maine Farmington.

Professional Activity

Kari holds the following certifications and endorsements:

  • 079 Maine Special Education Consult
  • 282 Special Educator endorsement, Birth-5
  • 020 Maine Teacher Certification Program
  • NH-ME Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) Graduate Training Program