Archive for March, 2012


Greely High School and North Yarmouth Academy Exhibit

March 31, 2012

Greely High School and North Yarmouth Academy

Advanced Placement Studio Art

International Baccalaureate Studio Art

Untitled, 18" x 24" Mixed Media, Sarah Ingraham

Student Art Show at 317 Main Street, Yarmouth

An exhibit of work by students of Greely High School and North Yarmouth Academy

The exhibit will include drawings, paintings, mixed media, and photography.

Dainius Bukauskas AP NYA, Sarah Ingraham IB 1st year GHS, Olivia Ryder IB 1st year GHS, Lila Hall 1st year IB GHS, Emily Colesworthy AP GHS

OPENING RECEPTION Friday, April 6, 2012 6:00-7:30 pm

with live music by NYA Bluegrass Ensemble

Gallery Hours: 12:00-6:00 pm Monday-Friday through April 24, 2012

Open to the community!

317 Main St Community Music Center

Music Lessons, Jam Sessions, Cafe and Gallery. FMI call 846-9559 or visit


Stuff Happening!

March 30, 2012

Hot off the press!

  • Join Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg on their webinar on Wednesday, April 4 from 3:30 to 4:30 pmas they unpack these lessons learned. The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative: What We’ve Learned!To join the meeting: Go online to your name in the field labeled “Enter as Guest”. Dial in access: 1-866-910-4857 – Passcode 140893
  • I understand that later on today President Obama is having supper at the Portland Museum of Art! Yes, today, March 30th at 5:00 PM. And, the event is sold out. I think it is so very cool, since as many of you know, the state Youth Art Month student art exhibit is there on display. Perhaps he’ll have photos taken by the student artwork!

Assessment Regional Workshop: Shannon Campbell

March 30, 2012

Waterville High School, March 22, 2012

Thank you to Suzanne Goulet, Waterville High School art teacher, who provided this post from her experience at the assessment initiative regional workshop. Photos by Suzanne also.

Mud season.

Time to let the liquid stores of winter settle, shift, drain in anticipation of the bloom.
It is a time of patience and planning.

Gathering to learn more about the statewide Arts Assessment Initiative, visual arts educators from Peru to Deer Isle met recently in Waterville, taking advantage of this time of preparation.

The Arts Initiative is facilitated by regional leaders that have participated in emerging their own training and explorations in assessment. Then, coordinating and facilitating interactions between other educators, Shannon Campbell, our regional leader, did the excellent job of sharing and preparing this groundwork for growth among “area” colleagues.

Discussions of “what works”, “real” and “ideal” were all supported with experiences, struggles, groans, laughs, thank yous………….and planning of when we gather again.

Something is blooming here.

Participants – Shannon Campbell (Deer Isle), Katrina Billings (Winslow), Suzanne Goulet (Waterville), Gloria Hewett (Mount View), Lisa Ingraham (Madison) and Karen Thayer (Dirigo)


In Today’s News

March 29, 2012

Music teacher, Beth Polletto

Argy, Beth Polletto, Barb Weed, Laura Whitney

In December of 2010 Catherine Ring and I traveled to Gray-New Gloucester Middle School (GNG MS) to visit with staff and take a closer look at the work they were doing on standards based education. While there we had a chance to speak with two enthusiastic young music teachers, Laura Whitney and Beth Polletto. I remember thinking how fortunate the students at GNG MS were to have these teachers! Yesterday, I learned that the music education world of Maine lost one of them in a car accident on her way to school. Beth Polletto was an instrumental teacher 3 days at GNG MS and 2 days at Georgetown. This is especially sad since Beth was only 26 years old.

Today’s Portland Press Herald said this about her:

Polletto wrote a blog on the Georgetown school department’s website. “Music Makes the World Go Round” kept parents and students informed about the “musical happenings” in her class.

Her last post was dated Feb. 13.

“We’ve done it,” Polletto said. “We’ve raised enough money for hand chimes! Thank you to each and every one of you who made this possible. I look forward to debuting them at our spring concert in May.

I am sure you’ll join me in keeping Beth’s students, colleagues, and family in your thoughts. If you’d like to read the entire article please click here.


Musical Revue

March 29, 2012

Arts Assessment Teacher Leader Allysa Anderson’s students perform

Camden Rockport Middle School presents Its Our Time, a musical revue Friday, March 30th, 6:30 p.m., Strom Auditorium Camden Hills Regional High School. With one fourth of the school population participating students will share songs, dance, and more from a variety broadway shows.


Maine Art Educator of the Year: Linda Stanley

March 28, 2012

Linda speaks at the Youth Art Month Opening, Portland Museum of Art

Linda Stanley retired from teaching art but not before she was recognized for her contributions to teaching by the Maine Art Education Association. On March 10th Linda spoke at the opening for the Youth Art Month exhibit at the Portland Museum of Art. Below you will find her message. The student exhibit remains at the museum until March 31st.

Last week I had the honor of representing the art teachers of Maine at the National Art Education Association Conference in New York City. With five thousand registered attendees and an expected two thousand walk-in registrations, I had the chance to meet and discuss art with many creative artists and teachers.

One of the artists I had a chance to meet and hear was Peter Max. He quoted Isaac Newton who said, “I have not come far without having stood on the shoulders of giants.” Peter Max then said, “My art teachers have all been great giants to me, ever since I was a young boy who was fascinated with art, imagination and creativity.” As I walk through the halls of this museum I hear the footsteps of giants urging all of you to create and work as artists throughout the state of Maine.

Peter Max was raised in Shanghai, China and would spend hours with a calligraphy brush in his hand. His Chinese nanny encouraged him to “just draw”. He developed his muscles in his hands and wrists. He would go through stacks of paper each day. The skills he built early as a child would later help him as an artist.

I would encourage you to draw everyday. Just as a successful athlete or musician makes their art appear to flow from them and seem easy…they practice everyday. Peter Max’s work may appear easy but his practice as a child helped him build a repertoire of images in his mind and skilled hands to work from.

Chuck Close was another artist I had a chance to listen to at the convention.  He said, “inspiration is for amateurs – the rest of us just show up and work.  If you go to work – everything comes out of the work itself.  I’ve never had an artistic block – inspiration is overrated.”

Each of you is already an artist so please continue to work, create and most of all enjoy what you are doing. I agree with most of what Chuck Close had to say.  However, your works hanging in this museum are an inspiration to all of us.  An inspiration to get out our sketch books and practice, practice, practice as Peter Max said.

Linda Stanley who is the Maine Art Education Association teacher of the year shared these thoughtst at the opening for the state Youth Art Month opening at the Portland Museum of Art on March 10th.


Another Arts Teachers’ Story: Alice Sullivan

March 27, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an arts educator

This is the second in a series of blog posts telling arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read their stories and to learn from others. This post features Alice Sullivan who has been teaching music for 27 years. Alice is one of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s Teacher Leaders, Phase I, and represents the region of Washington County.

Alice is currently teaching, grades K-12, at Woodland Jr. Sr. High School, Woodland Elementary School and Princeton Elementary School. She has been there for 6 years teaching 200 students, band program grades 4-12, some classroom music K-4 and junior high general music, digital arts class and music theory at the high school, and one small elementary chorus.

What do you like best about being a music/art/drama/dance educator?

I really like the opportunity to use my organizational skills in an environment where I can also be creative. The music room is a great place to find a balance between hard and fast standards and finding numerous ways of meeting those standards. Twenty seven years of concerts with no two being the same, but every year I strive to provide every student with the same well rounded music education.

Tell me what you think are three keys to ANY successful arts ed program?

  •  a commitment to stretching the limits (your own and those around you)
  • a belief that what you do is important
  • enough confidence in your skills to take risks

What specific way(s) do your assessment practices tie into the success of your program?

Developing solid assessment practices sends the message to those around you that you believe your program is valuable and worthy of reflection. This instills a sense of importance in your students and as a result they strive to reach higher goals. I often say to my students – “who wants to belong to the good enough club”? An assessment is a tangible way for my students to prove the level they have attained, to themselves and others.

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the arts assessment initiative?

There have been so many benefits to being part of the arts assessment initiative. The first that comes to mind is the great opportunity to network with other educators. It has also helped to keep assessment practices foremost in my daily teaching. With so many things to do each week, priorities become a necessity. Having weekly connections through the arts initiative wiki has ensured that assessments make my priority list.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I’ve always believed that music is a gift that all students can and should receive. My classes have always been available to all students. I’m most proud of the moments when the reluctant musicians realized they did have musical talent.

What gets in the way of being a better teacher or doing a better job as a teacher?


Apple or PC?

Both – depends on the job I want to get done.

What have you accomplished through hard work and determination that might otherwise appear at first glance to be due to “luck” or circumstances?

Exceptional concerts are a reflection of hard work and determination. A good performance is often attributed to talent or “good” students. I believe even very young and inexperienced performers can present quality programs with hard work and determination.

Look into your crystal ball: what advice would you give to teachers?

Enjoy what you do. Focus on the positive forces in your environment and link arms with those who also have a positive outlook.

If you were given a $500,000.00 to do with whatever you please, what would it be?

I would travel. I want to see the world and share those experiences with the people around me.

This is a link to the wiki that Alice created that includes her marvelous resources: If you have comments or questions for Alice please put them in the “comment” section below.

Thank you Alice for telling your story!


In Today’s News

March 26, 2012

Brewer High jazz ensemble scores big at Berklee Jazz Festival

An article in the Bangor Daily News posted on March 25 reports on the Maine schools and students who participated and were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments in the Berklee Jazz Festival recently. You can read the article by clicking here.


MMEA Jazz All State Festival

March 26, 2012

Maine Music Educators Association bring students and adults together

In most areas of the country, March Madness means Basketball. That happens in Maine in February, but there is also a March Madness in Maine for students in the Arts. There are Regional and State Drama Festivals, Visual Art Shows and it is Music in Our School month, meaning concerts abound. Oh…and it’s Jazz Season…ALL month long!

The Maine Music Educator’s Association (MMEA) sponsors District and State Jazz Festivals for both Middle School and High School jazz groups throughout the state.  Tonight (Monday, March 26, 2012) at 9:00, Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN) will broadcast some of Maine’s finest student Jazz Musicians from the MMEA Jazz All State Festival, held in Scarborough in January. You will have an opportunity to watch individual students from many Maine High Schools participate together in Jazz Bands, a Jazz Combo and a Jazz Choir.

In March, students participate in Jazz Ensembles which are part of their school music programs and these groups then compete against similar groups from other schools. First, these groups must qualify for the MMEA State Festival at an MMEA District Festival by receiving a certain score…any number of schools may qualify.  Then, each type of group has it’s own State Festival. If you love Jazz, you will love all of these festivals and be prepared for Maine’s student Jazz Musicians to blow you away with their talent! The first of the MMEA State Festivals was the MMEA High School Instrumental Jazz Festival, held at Mount Desert Island High School on March 16 and 17. On Friday, March 16th all Jazz Combos competed and schools that have more than one Jazz Band competed in the ‘Multiple’ Jazz Band category.  On Saturday, March 17th, all of the other High School Jazz Bands competed in three different venues and 4 different divisions. The divisions are determined by school size…all of the schools are ranked in order of size and then 4 equal divisions are created. There were a total of 37 schools involved, with 30 on Saturday (7 schools participated with combos only).

Awards for the High School Instrumental Festival were as follows:

In Division IV:

  • First Place–George Stevens Academy, directed by Steve Orlofsk
  • 2nd Place–Maine Central Institute (MCI), Directed by Dean Neal
  • 3rd Place–Old Orchard Beach, directed by Mark Manduca

In Division III:

  • First Place–Old Town High School, directed by Jeff Priest
  • 2nd Place–MDI (Darth Vader), directed by Dan Granholm
  • 3rd Place–Fryeburg Academy directed by C. Brent LeCasce.

In Division II:

  • First Place–Nokomis High School, directed by M. Stanley Buchanan
  • 2nd Place–Westbrook High School, directed by Phil Rich
  • 3rd Place Brewer High School, directed by Brady Harris

In Division I:

  • First Place–South Portland, directed by Craig Skeffington
  • 2nd Place–Brunswick High School, directed by Michael Scarpone
  • 3rd Place–Noble High School, directed by Mark Mumme.

In addition to these ordinals, the following schools had students that received outstanding musician trophies:

  • George Stevens Academy
  • Houlton High School
  • John Bapst High School
  • Ellsworth High School
  • MDI
  • York High School
  • Fryberg Academy
  • Nokomis High School
  • Brewer High School
  • Westbrook high School
  • Greely High School
  • South Portland High School
  • Thornton Academy
  • Brunswick High School

Congratulations to all of the participants!

This past weekend, Saturday March 23rd, the MMEA Middle School Instrumental Jazz Festival took place at Stearns High School in Millinocket. Once again, audiences were treated to the reason there are so many excellent High School Jazz Bands in the State of Maine. Excellent student musicianship was apparent in these groups. Again, there were 4 divisions, with a total of 33 bands representing 30 different schools from throughout the state.

Following are the results from Divisions I and II:

In Division I:

  • First Place–Falmouth Middle School Jazz  Band, under the direction of Jerry Barry
  • 2nd Place–Noble Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Marilyn Bachelder and 3rd Place–Greely Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Scott Thurston.

In Division II:

  • First Place–Lenonard Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Shianne Priest
  • 2nd Place–Brewer Community School under the direction of Lanissa Nadeau
  • 3rd Place–Reeds Brook Middle School Jazz Band, under the direction of Becky Mallory

Complete results of outstanding musician awards and Divisions III and IV will be posted soon.

Next weekend, vocalists will take the stage in Ellsworth for the MMEA State Vocal Jazz Festival. On Friday, March 30th, Middle School Show Choirs will compete against one another and on Saturday, March 31st, High School Show Choirs and High School Jazz Choirs will compete.

If you are looking for an enjoyable way to spend your weekend, I strongly recommend that you find your way to Ellsworth High School. The students are sure to impress you, and I will have my own group there, so perhaps I will see you in Ellsworth!

Thank you so much to music educator Pam Kinsey for this post!


Elementary Assessment Webinar

March 26, 2012

March 14, 2012

Rob and Catherine

Rob and Catherine

Almost 25 educators participated in the second Maine Arts Assessment elementary webinar on March 14th that was re-scheduled since the first one held in January had a technology glitch and was not recorded.

Catherine Ring and Rob Westerberg did a fabulous job faciliating and their guests music teachers Barb Packeles and Alice Sullivan and art teacher Shannon Campbell shared experience and examples of assessment tools.

The participants were half music and half art teachers and 83% presently assess their students a lot with 16% assess a little. When it comes to comfort level assessing; almost 64%are very comfortable, 27% somewhat comfortable and 9% not at all.


Some of the challenges assessing students in the arts classroom include the following:

  • traveling classroom to classroom and in many cases school to school
  • standards based – translating grades to a standards based classroom
  • the number of students taught over a few days
  • hardly any time between classes

Advantages of assessing:

  • makes the learning goals clear
  • data driven world – holds us accountable and teacher can show how the teacher has done their job
  • documents how students are doing
  • 21st century teacher can exhibit the artifact of the learning
  • allows for student reflection
  • student designed assessments – effective strategy
  • provides for a more balanced curriculum when using the Maine Learning Results

This is just a small piece of the discussion that took place during the webinar.


To access the recorded webinar session please go to:

Catherine and Rob have put together a meeting plan that you can use during a teachers meeting. Bring your colleagues together and use the webinar archive and the meeting plan to help lead the discussion. You can access the meeting plan for this session and the other 4 webinars at



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