Alumni Spotlight: Colleen Brown, ’13

The University of Maine at Machias Alumni Spotlight shines on Colleen Brown of Whiting, UMM Class of 2013, who is currently a special education teacher at Washington Academy in East Machias.

Tell us a little bit about what you are doing now:
I am currently teaching Special Education at Washington Academy. I have been employed at
Washington Academy for 9 years now filling various roles such as an Ed Tech III and
Residential Life Office Manager. Aside from work, I am a busy mom, always finding time to
enjoy my adult sons and two daughter, one of whom is in her senior year and the youngest who
is an all star cheerleader. Community service is an important thing to my family so we stay
actively involved in Special Olympics and other local activities.

What is the most valuable thing you learned while at UMM? Aside from learning information that has proven useful in my teaching career, the most valuable thing I learned
while at UMM is to never give up. I met Bill Weaver the first time I registered for classes at
UMM in 1996, a mother of two young children at the time and no family support. While it took
me far longer than 4 years to complete my degree each time I registered for classes or saw Bill
out and about in the community he reminded me that it’s never too late to finish what I started
and to keep plugging away.

Do you have any advice for current students at UMM? My advice would be to pace yourself and
don’t give up. Take advantage of the supports UMM has to offer and reach out to your
professors. By the time you complete your degree, they will be more than your professors, they
will be your friends.

How did your time at UMM prepare you for what you are doing now?
I had some of the best instructors while I was a student at UMM. Beginning with Ron Mosley
and the Larsons as a business major and finishing with Dan Qualls, Gail Romei and Heather Ball. As an College Studies major with a focus on Secondary Education/Special Education, I was prepared for almost anything I have encountered as a Special Education Teacher.

How has UMM made a positive impact on your life? UMM afforded me the opportunity to
become the first college graduate in my family while living local and raising my family. My
instructors were caring and understanding and always willing to work with me and my hectic