A teacher at Penobscot Valley High School in Howland is always encouraging her students to reach for the stars. Now, she’s shooting for the moon, literally. Lorie Merrithew is a pretty popular high school English teacher. “She’s really fun and just sporadic and you never really know what she’s going to say. She’s just kinda a bubbly person, bounces around, loves life,” said Alex Thompson, a 10th grade student at the school. Merrithew has been teaching for 34 years and while she loves english, she has another hobby, too. “I’ve always been sort of mesmerized by space growing up in the 60’s and 70’s,” explained Merrithew. She’s taking part in the Axe Apollo Contest. If she gets enough votes she gets the chance to take a trip that’s out of this world. “Send the two top vote getters in the country to space camp for a one out of nine chance to get on this vehicle that will actually go into outerspace no later than 2020,” said Merrithew. The voting is done online and you can online vote once. Her students are her biggest supporters. ” I think she really deserves this and everyone should be voting for her, ” said Bryce Martin, an 11th grade student. ” She’s picked me up and dusted me off and said go for it, work your hardest. It will be nice to give back to her finally,” added Maci Thibodeau, an 11th grader. ” She deserves to go, it’s her dream,” said Aleisha Sides, another 11th grade student. No matter what happens, Merrithew is using the experience as a lesson. ” If you believe strongly enough and you pursue it to the best of your ability, there’s always something good that’s gonna come of it,” said Merrithew. ” It’s teaching me that if I want to do something I should go for it because you never know,” explained Sides. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that would send this high school english teacher over the moon. If you’d like to vote for Merrithew, click here.