TREE

Brittany Ray, TREE Director

Brittany Ray was born and raised in Washington County. She attended Colby College in Waterville, Maine. After graduation, she returned to Washington County to pursue her passion for education. She spent the next 13 years teaching high school English.

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In 2007 Brittany was named Maine Teacher of the Year, becoming the first teacher to represent Washington County in over 25 years. This same year, Brittany transitioned from the classroom to administration when she was hired as the Narraguagus High School Guidance Director/School Counselor. In 2009, she received her Master of Science in School Counseling from Husson University in Bangor, Maine.

Her experiences in the classroom and in school counseling fueled her passion for building relationships and developing strategies to mitigate trauma-related barriers for her students. When Brittany heard about TREE in January of 2016, she knew this initiative could be the key to helping students who experience the most adversity. Six months later she was hired as the TREE Director. Her goal of supporting schools and communities which are poverty, trauma, and equity informed continues today.

Brittany resides in Milbridge, Maine with her husband, Ron Smith. Together they have four children.


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Ashley Cirone, TREE Resource Coach

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A Washington County native, Ashley attended Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, MA where she gained insight through working within numerous Boston Public Schools before earning her B.A. in Psychology with a concentration in Early Childhood Education. 

Upon moving back to Maine, Ashley spent time as a substitute teacher and educational technician before becoming a classroom teacher at Jonesport Elementary. During these experiences, she developed a special interest in finding new ways to help children struggling within the typical classroom environment. 

In 2013, Ashley earned her Master’s degree in Special Education and transitioned into Special Education Case Management where she taught within Resource Rooms at Jonesport Elementary and Narraguagus Jr. High School. She decided to leave the classroom to join the TREE team with hopes of further developing tools for creating supportive environments where all children and their families can thrive through strengthening partnerships with school and community. 

Ashley resides in Cherryfield, ME with her husband Brad Cirone, their children Anabella and Landon, and dogs Fenway and Faith.


Laura Thomas, TREE Resource Coach

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Laura’s father served more than 25 years in the United States Air Force, so while both of her parents grew up in Maine, she has lived all over the US and Europe. She graduated from Caesar Rodney High School in 1997, while stationed at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. Her son was born in 2003, and in 2004, Laura began college as a first generation, nontraditional college student through a TRIO program called Onward. Five years later, she graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Elementary Education and a minor in Spanish from the University of Maine in Orono. After a year of working at Bangor High School, Laura accepted the position as an ESL teacher for MSAD 37, which serves the communities of Milbridge, Harrington, Addison, Columbia, and Columbia Falls. In the fall of 2010, she joined the board of Mano en Mano and has served as their president for the past three years.

Laura has spent the last seven years connecting with students, their families, and the communities she served. Her motivation as a teacher stems from her desire to remove barriers for her students, allowing them to overcome any obstacles in their paths toward success. It is important to her that families feel welcome at school and connected to the success of their students. Laura is the School Resource Coach for Milbridge Elementary. She lives in Harrington, ME with her husband James and her son Malachi. 


Maggie Burgos, AmeriCorps VISTA

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Maggie Burgos began working with the TREE team the Fall of 2017 through Lyn Mikel Brown's New Civics and Youth-Fueled Activism course at Colby College, which led her to an internship in Milbridge for her January Term at the beginning of 2018. After graduating from Colby College in the Spring of 2018 Maggie joined TREE as an AmeriCorps VISTA service member and is now working full time to support the needs of the communities TREE serves. 

Originally from Arlington, Virginia, Maggie moved to Maine five years ago and has made the "Pine Tree State" her new home. Maggie has always been passionate about working with youth and in the past has been worked with Hardy Girls Healthy Women, led youth wilderness trips, and taught outdoor skills and environmental appreciation to children ages 8 through 15.