Office of Public Affairs

2/16/22 — USM Alum Awarded Nation’s Highest Honor for Science and Math Teachers

 For Immediate Release: 2/16/22

Press contact: Lindsay Tice, USM Public Affairs Associate,, (cell) 207-838-8087

USM Alum Awarded Nation’s Highest Honor for Science and Math Teachers 

PORTLAND, Maine —  Portland teacher Cindy Soule has been awarded the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, one of just 104 teachers honored nationwide this year. Only two from Maine received the award. 

Soule graduated from USM’s Extended Teacher Education Program (ETEP) in 2000. She was previously named Maine Teacher of the Year for 2021 and Cumberland County Teacher of the Year in 2020. 

Soule works for the Gerald E. Talbot School in Portland. She was a classroom teacher for 20 years before recently becoming a literacy instructional coach focused on the integration of content literacy for grades 3-5. She is known for her high expectations, her unwavering belief in every student, and her commitment to making learning equitable for all kids.

“In my path to find answers, I really started to see the power tapping into the natural world, to taking my students outside, to sitting and listening and looking and writing and creating visual models and figuring out the mysteries of the natural world,” she said. “They have their questions and I’m like a little tour guide. I’m like, ‘OK, so you have this question, how are we going to find our answer?’” 

Nominees for the Presidential Awards must complete a rigorous application demonstrating deep content knowledge and an ability to adapt to a broad range of learners and teaching environments.

Soule will be honored at a virtual ceremony on Feb. 24. 

Deer Isle teacher Mickie Flores is the other Maine recipient of the award. 


Situated in Maine’s economic and cultural center, the University of Southern Maine (USM) is a public university with 8,000 undergraduate and graduate students taking courses online and at campuses in Portland, Gorham and Lewiston-Auburn. Known for its academic excellence, student focus and engagement with the community, USM provides students with hands-on experience that complements classroom learning and leads to employment opportunities in one of the nation’s most desirable places to live.