Archive for May, 2012


Webinar Today

May 31, 2012

Digital Art Portfolios Using MLTI Tools facilitated by Anne Marie Quirion Hutton
May 31, 2012 – Weekly Thursday Webinar
3:15pm and 7:15pm

A digital portfolio of student work is not only a record of student achievement but also is a way to share. At this webinar we will create digital portfolios with some of the tools available on your MLTI MacBook. A variety of tools will be utilized such as Pages, Keynote and NoteShare.

Please bring your MLTI device, along with a few digital files. Roll up your sleeves and join the webinar to create your own digital portfolio.

I hope you can join us on Thursday, May 31st at 3:15pm or 7:15pm. Please visit and click on the Webcasts tab to register. We have upgraded to a new registration system, allowing you to register directly in Adobe Connect, making the whole webinar process smoother and easier! If you have any questions, please contact Juanita Dickson. Click on the time you wish to participate in and you will be directed to an online registration form. Please type your email address carefully as all information will be sent to that address. After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a log in link – please use that link to log into the webinar prior to the start time.

**Some have been experiencing issues receiving login links when using FirstClass. Please note we have added the login links to our website at You will still need to register, but if you don’t receive a complete confirmation email or receive no email at all, please use your login (email address) and password you created to login using the link we provided.

Thank you
The MLTI Team


Honoring Teachers

May 31, 2012

Two stories

I just love getting emails from people that describe special events honoring Maine arts educators. I just had to share what is going on in our state next week at music performances. If you have a similar story I hope you will share it with me!

DWIGHT TIBBETTS, Augusta music educator, LAST CONCERT

Dwight’s last concert is June 4th 1:30 for the school and 7:00 PM for the parents at Cony with the Middle School Band. They are filming the concert on local Cable. Every other year Dwight takes the band to Washington DC. The Spring concert is a non-stop narration, slides and music by the band, chorus and piano of their trip. It also will include words from Senator Katz (once a Cony Band Student) as well as the State Color Guard posting the flags to open our event. The local newspapers will be there and the art department is displaying patriotic work. The students each kept a journal during the trip. A winning essay will be read as well as a winning photo contest. CONGRATULATIONS DWIGHT!

ROSE WHITE, Mattanawcook Junior High music educator, LAST CONCERT

Paul Sullivan To Be Featured Artist at Mattanawcook Junior High School Spring Band Concert

Paul Sullivan, Grammy award-winning Maine composer and pianist, will help celebrate the retirement of Rose White at her final spring band concert, next Tuesday at Mattanawcook Junior High School.  Mr. Sullivan will be sharing his talents with the Jazz Band and Concert Band. “Spring Peepers,” from his CD “Nights in the Gardens of Maine,” has been specially arranged by Mrs. White for cello, clarinet and piano.  The jazz band will perform “Volunteer Squash” from the same CD, also arranged by Mrs. White, and will feature Mr. Sullivan’s incredible jazz piano skills. You will also have the pleasure of hearing Paul Sullivan perform his original musical compositions on solo piano. His warm and inviting personality, coupled with his world-class musicianship, wins over new listeners immediately and usually makes them life-long fans. He received a Grammy Award for his work on the Paul Winter Consort CD, “Silver Solstice”. His thirteen CDs have sold over 300,000 copies. Paul and his family live on the coast of Maine.

Mrs. White is honored to be conducting her final Mattanawcook Junior High School band and jazz band concert with more than fifty of her former students joining the program as alumni to take part in one final night of outstanding music. Mrs. White has been teaching instrumental music in Lincoln for the past thirty years, after graduating from the Hartt School of Music and the University of Hartford, Connecticut, and teaching music for four years in Oxford, MA. She makes her home and will retire in Lincoln, where she raised two wonderful boys with her husband, Thomas White, earned a shelf full of trophies at regional and state competitions and more importantly, shared the gift of her music with thousands of children in our district. The concert will be on Tuesday, June 5, at 7:00 P.M. in the Mattanawcook Junior High Gymnasium in Lincoln, Maine.

I had the honor of visiting both of these teachers in their classrooms. Phenomenal music educators taking their last bow in the “classroom”!


Another Arts Teachers’ Story: Shari Tarleton

May 30, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an educator

This is the eleventh 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 educators stories and to learn from others.

Shari Tarleton has been teaching music for approximately 21 years in Pennsylvania; Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Brunswick, Maine. She began teaching in Brunswick 15 years ago at Coffin Elementary School and 6 years ago she moved to Brunswick Junior High School. Her teaching responsibilities include choral music in 6th, 7th and 8th grade, beginning band and 6th grade general music. There are currently about 185 students who participate in the choral music program at BJH. They also have extra-curricular music theater, show choir and advanced choir. Shari is a Teacher Leader with the first phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

I feel the best thing about being a choral music teacher is the interaction that I have with my students. While there are times when I am the instructor and they are the learners, the final creation is a cooperative endeavor between all of us. And those performances, whether they are in class or in public are incredibly powerful; a blend of technique and emotion and whatever is impacting us at that particular moment. I like to remind my students that one difference between music and athletics is that in music, I am right there with you while an athletic coach is confined to the sidelines.

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

The first item in a successful arts program I feel is having the culture to support arts education. This happens in the school, in the community and at home. The second item for a successful program is creating a learning environment that supports both the technical aspects of the arts as well as the space for creativity. There needs to be a balance between the two. Finally, clear lines of communication are necessary between teacher/students/parents/administration and community.  Culture, balanced curriculum and communication; I feel these are the driving factors in a strong arts education.

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

Each student owns a piece of the learning process and each student has control over their own learning. Assessment practices support this. When standards are clearly presented and students are aware of the standards, then they work toward achievement. There is no timeline for this. We work together and we support each other. The learning is not dependent on me as the teacher, but it is owned by the student. I provide skills, knowledge and opportunities that support the learning process, but the student learning is owned by the student.

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

I have certainly increased skills and awareness of standards-based assessments. The technology support has been amazing through the initiative. I also very much appreciate the network of teachers in the arts initiative and the collegiality and the professionalism that is shared.

What are you most proud of in your career?

This was very hard for me to answer! I am very proud of all of my students every time they choose to be involved in music. Some of my former students are music educators, theater performers, and “in the spotlight” and many of them continue to sing in church and community groups. I am very proud to see that they have chosen to continue in music.

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

My current frustration is schedule. There are so many ways to teach and provide opportunities, but when the students are not able to be present for instruction or the instruction cannot be offered in an optimal way, then learning suffers and adds a layer that is out of my control.

Apple or PC?

 Apple at school but PC at home!

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

Vocal instruction! I am a piano player with an instrumental background. I need to work very hard to learn how to guide students, especially middle school students, through the skills of singing!

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

Be flexible. Do as much as you can with what you have.  Keep up with the technology. And don’t lose the enjoyment.

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

I would put in a performance area so my students would not have to perform in the gym. Or take a long vacation to somewhere warm!

Thank you Shari for sharing your story!


Arts Night at Bonny Eagle

May 29, 2012


Many art exhibits and musical performances are happening all over Maine at this time of year. I am grateful to be invited to attend many of them and very happy that my schedule makes it possible. Recently, I traveled to MSAD#6, Bonny Eagle School District which is made up of Buxton, Hollis, LImington, Standish, and Frye Island. It is one of the largest school districts in the state.

I arrived at Bonny Eagle Middle School in the late afternoon where the K-12 Arts Night was being held. The school was filling up in the many rooms/locations where the performances were scheduled and artwork displayed. High School music teacher (and teacher leader from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative) Jake Sturtevant met me at the door to the cafeteria where I had a chance to listen to a choral group sing and the jazz band play.

Jazz band in the cafeteria

The best of the best artwork was in one of the gyms. Wall to wall exhibits of the highest caliber and students proudly showed their work to their family and friends. I ran into retired art teacher Sheila Clough who was there with her husband, their daughter and grandchildren. Both had artwork displayed. It was delightful to meet and visit with them.

Sheila and her grandaughter

I stopped in the music room to listen to individuals and small ensembles performing from the band and chorus. The room was packed with people of all ages, many standing since all the seats were taken.

One of the many student groups in the music room performing

My mouth dropped open when middle school Physical Education/Dance (and Maine Arts Assessment team leader) MaryEllen Schaper escorted me into a larger gym where the bleachers were packed. The 5th grade chorus and high school theater groups performed followed by the 5th grade all-district band made up of 350 students. WOW! I couldn’t imagine how difficult it is to bring that many students together from the different schools to perform. Music teacher Karina Babcock did an outstanding job conducting them. I was impressed with how she interwove what students were doing as they warmed up and the layers and complexity of learning the standards that takes place for the individual learner in order to contribute to the overall performance.

All-district 5th grade band

Congratulations to the entire Bonny Eagle visual and performing arts staff for a job well done! The students and entire community are fortunate to have a dedicated teaching staff of visual and performing arts teachers and an evening to celebrate and recognize the work of students!


Eagles Have Landed

May 28, 2012

Suzanne Goulet’s artroom is watching closely

WABI TV5 visited Suzanne’s artroom recently at Waterville High School. She has a high powered telescope set up in her room to keep an eye on an eagles nest with baby eagles. Suzanne discovered the eagles nest two years ago. This year because of school renovations she had to move to a classroom on the other side of the building which just happens to have a great view of the nest. She was pleasantly surprised to young ones this spring and it has turned into a great learning opportunity. You can see the entire clip from WABI by clicking here.


All-State Music Conference

May 27, 2012

UMaine campus

It was great to see so many music educators at the All-State conference last week participating in professional development opportunities. The workshops were enriching and provided a variety of topics and presenters to deepen music educators learning. I enjoyed hearing the keynote by Scott Shuler, president of  National Association for Music Education. Attending the session were several of our teacher leaders from the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. Some from the first phase and some of our second phase. Included in this post is a photo of some.

I am always moved by the intensity of the students who are practicing for the Saturday performance. The energy of the conductors, the sustained focus of the students, and the sheer number of students is so impressive. I was only sad I couldn’t attend the performances on Saturday. All reports were that they were fantastic!

Attending the banquet on Thursday evening was a wonderful opportunity to connect wtih teachers. Musicians from the North Yarmouth Academy delighted us with a handful of songs. The evening ended with the presentation of awards to outstanding music educators. Congratulations to the following:

  • Carol Shumway, Mt. Blue High School – Hall of Fame recipient
  • Tom Lizotte, Cape Elizabeth High School – Hall of Fame recipient
  • Andy Forster, Messalonskee High School – Maine Music Educator Association Educator of the Year
  • Steve Orlofsky, George Stevens Academy – Maine Musice Educator Association Educator of the Year

Andy was nominated by Steve Muise

Carol was nominated by Karen Beacham

Steve was nominated by GSA Headmaster, Paul Perkinson

Enjoying the banquet: Pam Kinsey, Sam Moore-Young, Nancy Curran


In Today’s News

May 26, 2012

Yesterday morning

Sadly, Maine’s world of arts education has lost another wonderful teacher. Yesterday morning, when leaving for her art teaching job at Glenburn Elementary School, Jackie McTigue was in a car accident. Her principal, Tom Sullivan, said that “she thought of every student in the school like they were her own. She was incredibly special.”

Jackie was involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative by taking a graduate assessment course this winter. The course was offered through the New Englad Institute for Teacher Education. The blog post from February 14th has a photo with Jackie working on assessment ideas.

My thoughts are with the students and staff of Glenburn Elementary School as they struggle with the loss of this treasured teacher.


UMaine Museum of Art: Eva Wagner

May 25, 2012

Learn about Eva

I am very interested in the pathways that lead folks to their careers. Eva Wagner is doing a fabulous job as the Education Coordinator at the University of Maine Musuem of Art (UMMA). In February, when the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders and leadership team met to review the first phase, Eva kindly opened the doors for us to meet at the museum.

Eva kindly answered questions for this blog post. If you’d like to reach Eva and learn more about the offerings at UMMA please do so at


I am the Education Coordinator at the University of Maine Museum of Art. I started my work here in July 2011. I completed the foundation program at the Maine College of Art in Portland and then went on to get my B.A. in Studio Art and MAT (Masters of Arts in Teaching) in Elementary Education from UMaine. I have a varied background that I think really helped prepare me for my work at the Museum. I have taught in public and private schools with students of all ages. I worked at an ad agency in New York City and was educator at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. I first became interested in Museum work when I went on an art and architecture tour of Paris and London when I was nineteen. I was drawn to art history and thought my guide had the best job in the world. Later at UMaine I was a work-study student at UMMA and that work helped me land my job at the Farnsworth. Here I am back at UMMA, so in a sense things have come full circle.

Goals, hopes, and dreams for UMMA

My goals, hopes and dreams for UMMA are that we develop a vibrant educational program that serves people of all ages. In addition to young children, teens and college age students I really want to reach adults. I want the Museum to become a destination for people, where we host book groups, regular drawing groups and teacher workshops. I would like to learn about and offer more programs involving technology as I feel technology will play an integral role in the art world as we move forward. I would like to offer more programs for new parents to get their children involved in an arts education from the beginning. I know how much my trip to Paris influenced my life and thus I would like to make travel to museum destinations in the U.S. and abroad more accessible to Maine students. I would like to build the Education department to include more educators but that is really a long term goal. I hope UMMA continues to grow and be a leader in arts education throughout the state. I wish UMaine could offer a top notch Museum Studies program as we currently do not have Museum Studies in the state. I know students who design their own programs through UMaine and USM but I would love to see an official program reinstated here at UMaine.

Strengths and opportunities that UMMA provides

We currently have two grants that educators may want to utilize: UMMA on the Road and Access to the Arts Transportation Grant, both funded through the University of Maine Patrons of the Arts. UMMA on the Road allows me to travel to schools with our traveling exhibits. I share the exhibit and we discuss the work using the Elements of Art and Principles of Design and then do a hands-on workshop. I have implemented lessons on landscapes, portraits and printmaking to schools throughout Maine and have had great feedback. I have worked with children from pre-school through high school in art, science, social studies, language arts and visual literacy classes. The Access to the Arts Transportation Grant allows UMMA to provide a bus subsidy to schools who visit the Museum. We reimburse schools up to $175.00 for their bus fee. I have developed a host of gallery and studio activities that students can take part in when they visit. UMMA has also provided artist gallery talks for students. Jemma Gascoine and Ruth Marshall who are currently on exhibit gave gallery talks to student from Holbrook School and Brewer Community School. Both of these programs have really enhanced the Maine student experience and I hope more educators will take advantage of them.

I am also very proud of our Young Curators program which we developed this year. We invited students between the ages of 11-18 to apply and from there we selected a strong group of students. This is a seven week program where students meet one afternoon per week to get a behind the scenes look at a contemporary art museum. They meet with all members of the staff, take part in a matt cutting workshop, and work together to curate their own show from selections from our permanent collection. They also research artists and art works and create wall text for their show. They will present their work at our Member’s Preview reception on June 21, 2012.  There is no charge for this program, UMMA staff  have all taken time out of their busy schedules to make it happen and I am very grateful to this amazing staff for their commitment to education.

What would you do with a gift of $500,000?

If I were given $500,000 to do whatever I pleased, I would develop a traveling Young Curators program. Many young people in Maine do not have the opportunity to go to Boston, New York or San Francisco let alone Paris, Florence or Athens. I would like to see these opportunities be more accessible to young people of Maine. My vision is that we would have a core of Young Curators who perhaps met monthly here to do research and writing and then had a two week tour to a different destination each summer. Students and parents would be responsible to raise part of their funds to cover the cost of travel but the foundation could help make it all possible. Students from all over Maine could apply. I really believe that access to an arts education and travel early in life is a vehicle to a better appreciation for our history as humans, and this affects how we move forward in the world.


Media Release

May 24, 2012

1,000 students with laptops make music, learn

ORONO – What do you get when you put 1,000 students with laptops in the Collins Center for the Arts at the University of Maine in Orono? Music, literally.

At this year’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative Student Conference at the University of Maine on Thursday, students learned about innovative ways they can use their state-issued laptops.

During the afternoon “uber session,” students turned their laptop keyboards into musical keyboards and performed a world premiere musical composition, along with 12 live musicians on stage, and two members of the New World Symphony playing live from Miami. Some of the students had used software available on their MLTI devices to pre-program their machines to create their own recording of a full octave of notes – using anything from the sounds of birds to objects around the house or digital sounds of their own making. All – including those with no musical experience at all – contributed to the performance.

“We’ve done some pretty cool stuff at the uber session in years past,” said Jeff Mao, director of learning technology for the Maine Department of Education, which organized the event with Apple, the University and other partners. “The student energy and engagement this time topped them all.”

The New England School of Communications greatly enhanced the event by providing wall-to-wall video and audio coverage, some of it projected live on a large screen, all of it to be available for posting online and in future promotion.

The annual conference, now in its ninth year, is a way to generate energy and excitement about using technology to enhance learning. It’s also a way to give middle school (and some high school) students a glimpse into college life: students navigate themselves to breakout sessions around campus and eat in one of the school’s dining halls.

Helping students use technology to develop their own learning plans and to enhance their learning experiences is a cornerstone of the Maine DOE’s strategic plan, unveiled by Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen in February.

“We need to put students more in charge of their own learning,” Bowen said. “Technology is one way to do that.”

Students started the day with three student keynote speakers who addressed the entire gathering. Tim Walsh, a freshman at Kennebunk High School, shared how he leveraged his access to his MLTI MacBook to become a design professional along with a team at Middle School of the Kennebunks. Emily & Katie Morse, juniors at Machias High School, talked about their experience studying Japanese through an online course via their MLTI MacBooks to meet their world language graduation requirement.

Students then spread out across campus for more than 20 breakout sessions on everything from video game design with Scratch (software) to tips on using GarageBand music-making software to developing smartphone apps and searching for planets.

And it was all live-tweeted by students from Auburn Middle school using the Twitter hashtag #mlti2012.

All Maine Department of Education news releases can be found online at:


In Today’s News

May 24, 2012

Buckfield Jr/Sr High School art exhibit

The first annual art and music night was held on Wednesday night and the Lewiston-Auburn Sun Journal was there covering the story. You can read about it  which you can read what staff writer Eileen M. Adams wrote about it by clicking here. Included in the article are several photographs of the event. Music teacher Ethan Wright led the band and Joe McLaughlin is the schools art teacher.

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