On Tuesday December 9th, the Town of Sandwich and the Sandwich Public Schools came together to honor their employees for their years of service and to name their Employees of the Year. Dr. Richard Canfield, Superintendent of Schools, prepared these remarks about Maureen Wiklund. He announced that there were many nominations received for Maureen, and he highlighted portions of those nominations.
So, I have an Idea! Let’s all welcome our Employee of the Year Maureen Wiklund!
Anyone who has crossed paths with Maureen would most assuredly agree that she is exceptionally deserving of this honor.
Maureen is a “teacher” in every sense of the word. Teaching is a profession but for Maureen it is a way of life. She models life-long learning in every task she undertakes. She is a reader, a writer, and a thinker. She graciously shares all her knowledge of the best practices in the field of education.
Currently Maureen is the district’s English Language Arts Curriculum Coordinator but that is only a part of how she spends her time. She serves on MCAS committees, chairs standard-based reporting committees, provides professional development, and meets with parents, teachers and administrators to help move the district ahead. She oversees the professional development of teachers in literacy and even teaches some afterschool enrichment courses for teachers. Additionally, she continues as a student at the Lesley University Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative and drives the carpool to Cambridge!
Most recently, in response to the superintendent’s plan to have a district level newsletter, Maureen designed “Sandwich Learns Together” as a digital, online news magazine that keeps families, staff and school committee members informed about all of the amazing things that are happening in the Sandwich Public Schools.
She is the most generous colleague on the Cape, never afraid to speak up or to contribute ideas at the Cape Cod Collaborative, or in a request for advice from neighboring school districts. Whether it is books, ideas, theories, or professionally cheering-on and encouraging fellow educators, Maureen is always there with a golden nugget of information or a pat on the back for a job well done.
She is devoted to quality education for all children, has boundless energy, and is constantly thinking of ways to improve literacy instruction across all disciplines.
Teachers, often ask each other “When does this woman sleep?!” She is always professional and prepared, leading professional development sessions with a smile on her face and a great sense of humor. Teachers rarely get to see what goes on behind the scenes, but they do know that Maureen works tirelessly for the Sandwich Public Schools. She is approachable, enthusiastic, and a model for all educators.
There is no task she won’t take on, and 10 and 12 hour work days are common place, and often include weekends too. The words ‘no, or it can’t be done’ are not in Maureen’s vocabulary. She views everything as possible. Maureen can think “out of the box” and is willing to work with everyone to problem solve. The glass is always 3/4 full in Maureen’s world. She is energetic, passionate and always “presumes positive intentions”.
Maureen has been instrumental in so many of the district’s initiatives. Her internal drive has pushed the conversation and the thinking of the district ever forward. She is visionary and detail oriented. Her creation of Sandwich Learns Together is a true instrument for parent and community engagement. The quality of the on-line magazine is beyond any on the Cape or across the Commonwealth.
Maureen is an advocate for teachers and families. She is a role model of dedication, perseverance and thoughtfulness. She manages district grants that support teaching and learning, and writes grants to support district initiatives. In addition, she is the advisor to the SHS Key Club, and was a prominent member of the Sandwich 375th Committee, and the Sandwich Reads Together committee.
As a curriculum leader, she focuses on the positive by looking at student and teacher strengths. She has a gift for visualizing a project and then works creatively to implement her ideas. She devotes whatever hours are necessary to see a project to completion with the highest quality possible. She inspires others and uses the wisdom she has gained from her wide variety of experience. Above all, Maureen takes great joy in her work.
We have all witnessed, Maureen say “I have an idea” and the very next day that idea becomes a plan of action with timelines, objectives, dates, and outcomes. Husband Mark tells us she does this at home too, and he knows it is a good time for him to take the dog for a walk! Her work ethic is second to none and her accomplishments too many to list. Maureen has worked tirelessly with teachers, parents and administrators to make Standards Based Report Cards a reality for kindergarten through second grade. With her colleagues, Maureen has set up and held meetings with teachers and parents in order to keep them informed and make the process as seamless as possible.
In summation, knowledgeable, positive, thoughtful, energetic, hard-working, inspiring, and joyful. Maureen Wiklund exemplifies these traits every single day of the week, and it is why she is Sandwich’s Employee of the Year.