Archive for June 10th, 2011


Two Articles

June 10, 2011

Ideas for using digital cameras in classroom lessons

This article suggests 10 ways that educators can use visual media in classroom lessons. Using a digital camera, students can take photos and video as part of original public-service announcements, create multimedia book reports on Glogster or organize a fictional crime-scene investigation. Tech & Learning (6/2011) Read more at:

NYC schools see decline in certified arts teachers

YC schools see decline in certified arts teachers
The number of certified arts teachers in New York City schools declined 5% in the 2009-10 school year, compared with figures for the previous year, according to a report released Thursday. The report, by the Center for Arts Education, supports the theory that art, dance, music and theater are subjects that often suffer most under budget cuts. Others predict a new round of layoffs will lead to an additional 15% decline in teachers who specialize in the arts. The New York Times (tiered subscription model)/City Room blog (6/9) Reach more at…


Congratulations Monica Kantor-Churchill

June 10, 2011

MMEA Music Educator of the Year

At the Maine Music Educators conference in May at USM Moncia Kantor-Churchill was named the music educator of the year. Falmouth Middle School Band Director, Jerry Barry nominated her and introduced her that evening. The description he wrote summarizing Monica’s commitment and dedication to music education over the years is wonderful so I am including it below. Thank you Monica for your contributions to education and to Jerry for nominating her.

It is with great pleasure and pride that I write to nominate Monica Kantor-Churchill, of Plummer-Motz Elementary School in Falmouth Maine, for 2011 MMEA Music Educator of the Year. 

I first had the privilege of meeting Monica in September of 1989, as she was teaching general music and chorus at Plummer-Motz Elementary School in Falmouth.  I was immediately struck by her enthusiasm for music and her passion for teaching.  She jumped right into conversation describing her days lessons and how excited the kids were to be actively involved in her various classroom activities – and oh how proud she was of their accomplishments!  As a new hire in the district, this first interaction had a lasting effect on me.

The first time I saw her elementary school chorus perform in concert, I was completely blown away.  Monica’s chorus had over 75% of the fourth and fifth graders enrolled, filling the gymnasium.  They performed a wide variety of absolutely wonderful pieces, often with solo voices, raps, colored flashlights, and exciting choreography.  How she manages to coerce all of those youngsters to sing so beautifully is nothing short of a miracle.  Her performances showcase student achievement on recorders and ethnic dancing, while also integrating Orff instruments, African drums and hand percussion seamlessly into the fabric of the choral concert. Due to her diligence, the one of the coolest things to do at Plummer-Motz School is to sing in the chorus.

Monica is an active member of MMEA District II, often accompanying the District II choruses.  In her constant effort to improve professionally, Mrs. Kantor-Churchill never misses an MMEA In-Service Conference.  She is always willing to share her skill and knowledge with others, and has presented workshops at the In-Service Conference with her choral groups on numerous occasions.  She is the consummate educator, never missing an opportunity to talk shop and share ideas with our states finest music teachers.

Monica is revered by her music-teaching peers, her elementary school colleagues and principal, Falmouth parents, and most importantly, her students – all of which currently are enjoying either being in her classroom, or having fond memories of their elementary school music time spent with Mrs. Kantor-Churchill.

In reading the enclosed additional letters of support, I am confident the committee will be sufficiently impressed and strongly consider Monica Kantor-Churchill this year’s choice for “MMEA Music Educator of the Year”

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