Honoring our colleagues
Nothing like the opportunity to honor and celebrate the good work of arts educators! Congratulations to Allison, Jennifer, Brian, Janie, and Jenny!
Allison Price – Maine’s 2014 Art Educator of the Year
Allison’s passion, along with educating and creating art are quality art shows. Chair of the MAEA Member Exhibitions, Allison is prime to share her gifts. Exhibitions occur every year with some multiple opportunities taking advantage of varying locations. Allison is a true collaborator working with other dedicated volunteers and location staff ensuring that the experience is as committed to a professional experience as we are committed to our practice. Sharing what Maine Art Educators do inside and outside of the classroom studio, including the blending of exhibition, education and all the benefits that provide opportunities to share practice beyond theory.
Allison is a committed Brunswick High School art educator. The work exhibited in her classroom studio, school and collegial sharing opportunities reflects a talented educator with a strong ability to work with young student artists to produce artworks with evidence of inquiry and quality. Allison is passionate, friendly, professional and always available to help. She is genuine, highly trained in her field and devoted. Devoted to art education, art making, art exhibitions, and her colleagues! A grand slam. Congratulations Allison!
Jennifer Merry – Maine’s 2014 High School Art Educator of the Year
Jennifer Merry has taught visual art at Thornton Academy for 28 years. Innovative, creative, and a caring educator, she has a natural ability to lead by example in the classroom, guiding students toward their own art-related accomplishments.
Jennifer is an artist who inspires us all to be better people. One of Jennifer’s true gifts is her compassion for others. Her classroom is a joyous, safe, inviting place where students can summon their creativity and become an artist on a whole new level.
She currently teaches Painting, Drawing, Illustration, and Visual Art I. She also co-teaches an after-school class for female students called Sailing through Girlhood. She is the TA Art Club Advisor, Co-Founder and Member of the Permanent Art Collection Committee, and Co-Founder and Member of Cinderella’s Closet, which recycles dresses for students in need. She currently Chairs the Mentor Support Team, a group of trained faculty that assist new teachers.
She is a painter, draftswoman, and photographer whose work has been exhibited in local art exhibits. Jennifer lives in Kennebunkport with her husband John and she has two sons, Johnny and Charlie. She also teaches Sunday School at South Congregational Church in Kennebunkport.
Jane Snider – Maine’s 2014 Maine Middle Level Art Educator of the Year
Ms. Janie Snider is truly one of the best. Janie knows how to engage learners while simultaneously addressing educational standards; reads professionally and attends educational seminars; and continues to grow as a teacher and leader in her field. She has conducted several teacher workshops demonstrating how to unpack the Maine Learning Results Visual Arts Standards.
During her tenure at Hancock Grammar School, Ms. Snider has involved fifth grade students in the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, a program designed to bring artists from Maine and around the world to sculpture a single piece of public art from Maine granite. This field trip reaches across the curriculum as it encompasses art, writing, science, social studies, and math which aligned with the Maine Learning Results, Visual and Performing Arts Standards.
Ms. Snider involves parents and community members through her thoughtful and creative projects. Soup for the Soul, involves students from grades 6-8 sold during the benefit, proceeds going toward a charitable cause for a community member who suffered from ALS.
Because Ms. Snider is explicitly thoughtful about her classroom practices, her students learn to do art well. She simply knows how to bring out the best in her students, and … isn’t that really what good teaching is all about?
Brian McPherson – Maine’s 2014 Elementary Art Educator of the Year
Brian McPherson is remarkable. While he is truly a committed visual art educator of the highest caliber he is also an advocate for good teaching, good learning, and good outcomes for people of all types across all situations: students, colleagues, parents, and educators.
Brian is dedicated to his students’ art, his drive to showcase their creativity on the school walls, in district level buildings, in local community venues, art museums and galleries, and even the State House in Augusta. He is driven to improve himself and his practice. He was supported by his school district to earn National Board Teacher Certification in 2007, the first elementary art teacher in the state to earn the honor. His professional life has taken him to various parts of Europe, Southeast Asia and China, where what he brings back are not merely cultural artifacts, but inspiration for what’s next in his curriculum development.
As a member of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative he has been a conference presenter and curriculum developer for the Resource Bank. His work has been recognized and selected to be part of a video series highlighting Standards Based Art Education at the Elementary Level. A true career professional art educator, Brian’s Principal, Rick Dedek II states, “Brian is one of the best teachers I have ever known.”
Jennifer Kowtko – Maine’s 2014 Higher Education Art Educator of the Year
Jenny is a 2013 graduate of the Maine College of Art Masters of Art in Teaching program. She also holds a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, where she graduated summa cum laude.
Jenny has over a decade of freelance illustration and other work experience, which has given her a wealth of professional experiences that she is able to draw upon in her teaching. Since graduating from MECA, Jenny has spent the current school year as a long-term sub at Windham Primary School and most recently at Kennebunk High School, where she will finish out the duration of the year teaching Art Foundations, Painting, and I.B. (International Baccalaureate) Visual Art.
A New Jersey native, Jenny has been proud to call Portland, Maine her home for the last 11 years. She is grateful for the wisdom and generosity of her own mentors, coworkers, and former teachers, the love and support of her husband Brian, and the undying loyalty of her adopted cattle dog. With great enthusiasm and anticipation, Jenny is currently seeking an art teacher position for the coming school year.