Connected Learning Ecosystem

Group of educators from aroostook county holding up local awards they gave each other

Welcome to Aroostook County CLE! We are a growing and enthusiastic community of educators who support each other and our students. Our group comes together both virtually and in-person to share ideas and resources. Teaching in rural, northern Maine is a unique and rewarding experience that we all share. We are committed to providing our students with the best possible education and helping them achieve their full potential.

Lead Educators

  • Laurie Spooner

    High school science & middle school robotics teacher, Van Buren District Secondary School

  • Elaine Hendrickson

    Retired teacher, Francis Malcolm Science Center volunteer outdoor educator, and avid adventurer

  • Potato Field

    Agricultural Legacy

    Agriculture serves as the heartbeat of Aroostook County and is deeply ingrained in our community. The potato harvest season represents a collective endeavor, with local schools starting early to accommodate a break during this critical period, enabling families to participate in this vital agricultural tradition. Although potatoes take the lead as our primary agricultural product, Aroostook County also boasts flourishing sunflower, broccoli, and beet farms, diversifying our agricultural landscape.

  • forest in aroostook county

    Rich Forest Ecosystem

    Aroostook County's forests stand out as a distinct and exceptional element of our ecosystem. Dominated by majestic spruce and fir trees, these forests also harbor a rich tapestry of lichen and contribute significantly to the county's air quality. These woodlands play a dual role, serving as a valuable resource for the thriving logging industry, while also offering a picturesque haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Most notably, the extensive trail network where folks frequently engage in activities like 4-wheeling, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

  • two moose standing in a field in front of a forest

    Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

    The Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge is a mostly volunteer run organization that works to protect migratory birds, endangered species and wetlands. Nature enthusiasts are invited to explore its 5,252-acre expanse that was once part of Loring Air Force Base. Open year-round, visitors can engage in wildlife observation, photography, and exploration along 13 miles of foot access trails; this refuge is a sanctuary for observing and connecting with nature's wonders.

aeriel view of the francis malcolm science center

Francis Malcolm Science Center

Opening in 1983, the Francis Malcolm Science Center (FMSC) is a volunteer-run hub of scientific exploration in Northern Maine. With a mission to foster learning experiences in science, nature, and astronomy, FMSC welcomes diverse groups, including students, families, and those with disabilities, into its planetarium and expansive 140+ acre outdoor nature classroom. From snowshoe hikes to planetarium shows, FMSC engages 6,000 visitors annually, leaving an indelible mark and sparking enthusiasm for science and space exploration in the community.

Being a part of this project has been quite the ride. Professional development, camaraderie, funds for my classroom, and student educational opportunities are just a few of the benefits. I consider the people in LENE friends and have had the opportunity to forge relationships with professionals in my area. As an educator who is a department of one, these relationships have not only kept me afloat when the daily grind might otherwise have pulled me under, they have also revolutionized what I do with my students. This community was exactly what I was looking for and something I least expected to find. I am so grateful for it all.”
Sherri Calhoun

Schools and Partners

Abel J Morneault Memorial Library

Aroostook National Wildlife Refuge

Caribou Community School

Easton School District

Francis Malcolm Science Center

Presque Isle Middle School

U Maine 4-H

University of Maine Presque Isle

Van Buren School