Jackson celebrates County residents inducted into the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame

AUGUSTA — Today, Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, celebrated the induction of two Aroostook County residents into the State of Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame. Honorees included Dr. Fern Desjardins of St. Agatha and Cathie Pelletier of Allagash. 

“I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Fern Desjardins of St. Agatha and Cathie Pelletier of Allagash on their induction to the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame! Dr. Desjardins’ 43-year career in education has spanned from Pre-K, to graduate level courses, to the State Board of Education, where she now serves as chair. Cathie Pelletier is a celebrated writer, whose words have spread from my hometown of Allagash to ears and eyes across the world,” said President Jackson. “These incredible Franco-Americans have left a lasting mark on the state of Maine – I am honored to induct them into the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame, and even prouder to call them dear friends.”

Pres. Jackson with Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Fern Desjardins of St. Agatha.

Dr. Fern Desjardins is a retired educator who spent more than four decades serving students in northern Maine as an elementary school teacher, principal and Superintendent of Schools. In addition, she has taught graduate-level courses for the University of Maine as an adjunct faculty member in their outreach programs in Aroostook County, served on the University of Maine, Fort Kent Board of Visitors, Northern Maine Medical Center’s Board of Trustees, and has been an active member of numerous educational associations and committees. Dr. Desjardins currently serves on the Maine State Board of Education. 

Pres. Jackson with Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame inductee Cathie Pelletier of Allagash.

Cathie Pelletier is an award-winning writer from Allagash. She is the author of twelve novels, including “The Funeral Makers,” a New York Times Notable Book, “The Weight of Winter,” winner of the New England Book Award, and “Running the Bulls,” winner of the Paterson Prize for Fiction. As K.C. McKinnon, she has written two novels, both of which became television films. With theoretical physicist S. James Gates, Jr., she co-authored “Proving Einstein Right,” winner of the Brown University Book Award. She has co-written songs recorded by David Byrne and the Texas Tornados and co-wrote legendary fiddler Doug Kershaw’s memoir, “THE RAGIN’ CAJUN.” Her forthcoming book is for young adults, “Evangeline’s Journey,” a retelling in prose of the famous couple separated during the Acadian Deportation of 1755. Her current book, “Northeaster,” has been on Maine’s bestseller list for 14 months.

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