Archive for June, 2016


In Today’s News

June 30, 2016

Maine Master Artist Theresa Secord Receives Nation’s Highest Honor in the Folk and Traditional Arts
2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows Will Be Honored at Awards Ceremony and Free Concert in Washington, DC, on September 28 and 30, 2016

AUGUSTA, MAINE—Maine master Native-American basketmaker Theresa Secord of Waterville, along with nine other masters in the folk and traditional arts, from Laotian khaen playing to Mardi Gras Indian traditions, will receive the 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowships, our nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts. Secord and the other Fellowship winners have been named not only for their work as highly accomplished artists, but also for their dedication to sharing these art forms with new audiences and teaching a new generation of artists. She joins six other Maine artists who have previously received this honor: Passamaquoddy basketmaker Molly Neptune-Parker, Passamaquoddy basketmaker Clara Keezer, Passamaquoddy basketmaker Mary Gabriel, traditional wooden boatbuilder Ralph Stanley, Shaker singer Sister Mildred Barker, and fiddler Simon St. Pierre. A full profile of Secord and her work is available on the NEA website. The 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellows will each receive an award of $25,000 and will be honored at an awards ceremony and a concert in Washington, DC, this September.

“We’re thrilled that Theresa’s body of work, including helping to found the very important Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, is being honored nationally,” said Julie Richard, Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission.

In addition, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival is celebrating the National Heritage Fellows at a special concert the evening of July 3, 2016, which will serve as a preview for the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s full program on the NEA National Heritage Fellowships.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “The folk and traditional arts connect us with those long-established artistic traditions that honor our identities. The NEA National Heritage Fellowships highlight these artists who have worked to ensure that these artistic traditions will continue for generations to come.”

The 2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowship recipients are:
·       Bryan Akipa (Sisseton, SD) – Dakota Flute Maker and Player
·       Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux (New Orleans, LA) – Mardi Gras Indian Craftsman and Musician
·       Billy McComiskey (Baltimore, MD) – Irish Button Accordionist
·       Artemio Posadas* (San Jose, CA) – Master Huastecan Son (Mexican Musical Tradition) Musician and Advocate
·       Clarissa Rizal (Juneau, AK) – Tlingit Ceremonial Regalia Maker
·       Theresa Secord (Waterville, ME) – Penobscot Nation Ash/Sweetgrass Basketmaker
·       Bounxeung Synanonh (Fresno, CA) – Laotian Khaen (free-reed mouth organ) Player
·       Michael Vlahovich (Tacoma, WA/St. Michaels, MD) – Master Shipwright
·       Leona Waddell (Cecilia, KY) – White Oak Basketmaker

*Artemio Posadas is the recipient of the 2016 Bess Lomax Hawes NEA National Heritage Fellowship in recognition of an individual who has made a significant contribution to the preservation and awareness of cultural heritage.

Profiles of the artists are available on the NEA’s website, along with photos and audio and video samples of their work.

With the announcement of the 2016 class, the NEA has awarded 413 NEA National Heritage Fellowships since 1982, recognizing artists working in more than 200 distinct art forms, such as bluesman B.B. King, Cajun fiddler and composer Michael Doucet, sweetgrass basketweaver Mary Jackson, cowboy poet Wally McRae, Kathak dancer and choreographer Chitresh Das, and gospel and soul singer Mavis Staples. More information about the NEA National Heritage Fellowships is available on the NEA’s website or in this fact sheet.

The NEA is currently accepting nominations for the 2016 class of NEA National Heritage Fellowships. The deadline is July 25, 2016. Visit the NEA’s website for more information and to submit a nomination.

2016 NEA National Heritage Fellowships Events in Washington, DC
The NEA will celebrate the 2016 National Heritage Fellows in Washington, DC, at an awards ceremony at the Library of Congress on Wednesday, September 28, 2016 and a free concert on Friday, September 30, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at George Washington University’s Lisner Auditorium. Both events are free and open to the public. Concert tickets are first come, first served and will be available later this summer. The concert will also be webcast live at More information about these events will be available this fall.

2016 and 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival’s Ralph Rinzler Memorial Concert on Sunday, July 3, 2016 at 6:30 p.m. will feature past recipients of NEA National Heritage Fellowships. Performers include Iraqi-American oud master Rahim AlHaj; Irish American fiddler Liz Carroll; Dobro musician Jerry Douglas; Los Texmaniacs (in honor of Mexican-American conjunto musician Flaco Jiménez); Lakota flute player, singer, and dancer Kevin Locke; klezmer musician Andy Statman; and the legacy of the late Washington, D.C. go-go musician, Chuck Brown. More information on the concert is available here.

This concert offers a preview of the 2017 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which will feature a full program on the NEA National Heritage Fellows. Exemplary artists from a wide variety of cultural groups and regions will share their music, dance, crafts, and stories with each other and the public. Performances, demonstrations, and workshops will also include family and community members to show that traditional arts are rooted in community life, and that it takes inspiring efforts to pass traditions onto future generations.

About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the NEA is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the NEA supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts and the agency is celebrating this milestone with events and activities through September 2016. Go to to enjoy art stories from around the nation, peruse Facts & Figures, and check out the anniversary timeline.

The Maine Arts Commission shall encourage and stimulate public interest and participation in the cultural heritage and cultural programs of our state; shall expand the state’s cultural resources; and shall encourage and assist freedom of artistic expression for the well-being of the arts, to meet the needs and aspirations of persons in all parts of the state.


Arts Ed Funding

June 30, 2016

At the Federal level

Thanks to Americans for the Arts for the following information….

Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 10.10.52 PMThe Senate advanced its education bill, which funds arts education. It is the first time in seven years that this Senate subcommittee has advanced bipartisan legislation for this largest domestic spending bill! The bill sustains U.S. Department of Education funding for the key Assistance for Arts Education program at $27 million, which supports competitive awards for national nonprofit organizations engaged in arts education, professional development activities, and model arts education programs. Funds also are used for evaluation and dissemination. However, the bill only provides $300 million for the new Student Success and Academic Enrichment Grants, which can support arts education in K-12 schools, and there is strong bipartisan commitment to work to achieve the authorized funding level of $1.65 billion for this grant program. To read more please CLICK HERE. For more information, contact Director of Federal Affairs Kate McClanahan at


MALI Summer Conference – Success!

June 29, 2016



Yesterday at Wishcamper, USM in Portland, 68 arts educators convened for the Maine Arts Commission Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Conference. The day was filled with listening, speaking, demonstrating, networking, and learning, learning, learning. The feedback provided by participants shows an appreciation for the opportunity and all 14 workshops scored very high!

IMG_2291One educator said: “It is so nice to be able to talk with other arts educators about their views”. Yes, these were all arts educators conversing with other arts educators – the same tribe, our peeps, educators who share a basic understanding about what we contribute in the world. Another participate was grateful to know that “Others are going through the same frustrations as I am”. 

The Maine Arts Assessment website is filled with a variety of resources. One person said: “The MALI website is FULL of resources to help me with all I do in my music classroom and also with communication with colleagues and administrators”.

In the Creativity workshop participants learned about one of the resources in the MALI Resource Bank. It is a good one to use with your colleagues (arts and non-arts). One participant in the session’s feedback was: “Great conversations about creativity. This is something I normally don’t get to do.”

IMG_2293One of my favorite feedback comments of the day is not about assessment or standards or arts skills but about a broader critical piece of what we do: “I learned about helping children to become fearless about making a mistake – mistakes are okay.”


  • PK-12 Arts educators
  • Higher ed instructors
  • Maine and NH arts educators
  • Dance, Music, and Visual Arts educators
  • Teaching Artists
  • Science, Media Arts, and Technology teachers
  • Pre-service teachers, new to teaching teachers, and  veteran teachers


  • Students can create an ensemble at all levels that are student led.
  • Allowing students to take ownership in their concerts.
  • Starting students transposing is not impossible.
  • That engaging students in ownership of curriculum and content design can help teach competencies and keep them engaged in other curriculum goals.
  • More evidence for choice and student advocacy – yahoo!
  • Practical applications of the Studio Habits…tying them to the Guiding Principles.
  • Crating crosswalks between MLR, NCAS and HOM is a great advocacy tool.
  • To focus on speaking about the arts using academic language


  • Why does it seem like great initiatives already being used by art educators are consistently overlooked by admin even when the information is shared by teachers?
  • How does this work when students use these techniques on their own artwork?
  • How do I ensure that every student has access to technology and able to access the assignments this way?
  • Can we eliminate grade levels in proficiency based education?
  • Why can’t administrators answer questions about applying competency grading to ensembles?
  • How can using Google Classroom be used in advocacy for the arts efforts?
  • What more creative ways are there to meet with classes?- I have 750+ students in my 3rd-5th school with block scheduling for math and reading – very little flexible time.


  • IMG_2284Theresa Cerceo
  • Jake Sturtevant
  • Jan Gill
  • Danette Kerrigan
  • Sue Beaulier
  • Jen Etter
  • Rob Westerberg
  • Iva Damon
  • Elise Bothel
  • Patti Gordan
  • Holly Leighton
  • Nancy Kinkade
  • Mandi Mitchell
  • Samantha Armstrong
  • John Morris


  • Catherine Ring
  • Rob Westerberg
  • Kate Smith
  • Theresa Cerceo
  • John Morris
  • Barb Vinal
  • Pamela Kinsey
  • Beth Lambert
  • Jeff Beaudry

IMG_2287If you couldn’t join us yesterday some of the workshop leaders provided their resources and they are posted online on the Maine Arts Assessment site. You can access them by CLICKING HERE.

MALI has another opportunity for Teaching Artists coming up in August – watch for the blog post that will provide details and registration information. During the 2016-17 school year there will be multiple professional development opportunities as well.

If you have any questions about MALI or any other Maine Arts Commission program please contact me at


In Today’s News

June 29, 2016

MACs Teaching Artist roster in the news

Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 9.12.45 AMIn the Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel Central Maine newspaper an article posted yesterday on the Maine Arts Commission Teaching Artist roster. Please check it out by CLICKING HERE.



Save the Date!

June 28, 2016

Maine International Conference on the Arts



Tomorrow at USM

June 27, 2016

MALI Summer Conference

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiIt is not to late to attend the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Summer Conference tomorrow, Tuesday, June 28, Wishcamper, USM, Portland campus, 8:00 to 3:30. If you are interested in joining the 66b registered educators from across Maine and New Hampshire please look at the conference information by CLICKING HERE. Arrive at Wishcamper with cash or a $50.00 check issued to Maine Art Education Association. Contact hours are issued at the end of the day or CEUs are available for a $20.00 check issued to University of Southern Maine. MALI is a program of the Maine Arts Commission.

Workshop Offerings

Theresa Cerceo

Studio Habits of Mind, Planting Seeds toward Growth and Proficiency in the Arts

K-12 Visual Art

This workshop will offer give a brief overview of the work done by Lois Hetland as outlined in her book, Studio Thinking.  It will offer various strategies one can implement in the arts classroom in order to track and guide students through proficiency toward MLR standards for the Arts  and Guiding Principles.


Jake Sturtevant and Jan Gill

Student’s Choice: Engaging Students in Task Design Make the Concert Theirs

K-12 Music

Jan and Jake are mother and son, both music teachers; Jan in RSU 73 (elementary) and Jake (high school) in MSAD 6. Examples of strategies that allow students to choose, arrange, and perform songs. From a 3rd grade class choosing a name for their band and songs to perform on guitar, bass, keys, drums and vocals to a high school band of 60 students transcribing and arranging Uptown Funk, this session will include strategies for how to negotiate and empower student choice to promote positive interdependence, in a variety of ensembles and general music settings.


Danette Kerrigan

National Board Certification

K-12 All Educators

This session will focus on the benefits, process and incentives available to educators in the state of Maine interested in National Board certification. National Board Certification is the most respected professional certification available in education and provides numerous benefits to teachers, students and schools. It was designed to develop, retain and recognize accomplished teachers and to generate ongoing improvement in schools nationwide. Standards for each content area and developmental level are created by teachers, for teachers.


SECOND Session  


Susan Beaulier

Critical Thinking in the Art Room; It’s the Thought that Counts

K-12 Art

Expand your existing art lessons by incorporating critical thinking strategies that drive your students to think more deeply about their own art and that of others. We’ll discuss how to pose questions, frame class critiques, lead thoughtful discussions about the  aesthetic qualities of visual art,  incorporate writing into the studio art lesson, and provide avenues for student reflection on their art making process.

Jen Etter & Rob Westerberg

Developing Your Music Standards and Assessment Strategies

K-12 Music

This extended workshop will allow participants either on their own or in teams to look at desired curricular outcomes for their program, develop standards and indicators that are customized to their specific courses and school, and set up assessment strategies to bring authentic proficiency to life.


Iva Damon

Google Classroom

PK-12 All Educators

Who has time to orchestrate all of the current technologies of Google Drive, digital portfolios, videos, digital imagery, and getting 21 Century skills into the classroom? YOU do with Google Classroom. Make your life easier and find the Holy Grail to simple, easy to use technology that can be utilized in all classrooms.


THIRD Session


Elise Bothel

Death to the Cookie Cutter Project

K-5 Visual Art

Do you cringe when you walk by visual art displays featuring identical pieces of art done by a classroom of diverse students? Would you like to offer more choice, but are worried that the academic content will be lost in the chaos? Are you looking for a balance of creativity and content in your visual arts classroom? This workshop is designed to offer insight and solutions about how to foster creativity while still providing a rigorous and educational art curriculum. Along with group discussion, participants will have the opportunity to work on improving their own lessons through the use of backwards design, student interest, and choice.


Patti Gordan

Hatching a Songbird: Teaching and Assessing Singing Skills at the Primary Level K-4 Music

When the wee folk walk through our door how do we make sure we’re helping them develop singing skills, not just singing songs with them? This workshop will help you plan methodical, proficiency based lessons and assessments, including formative self assessments, that are easily delivered during our limited general music class time. Help your smallest singers reach their highest singing potential and develop a love of singing!


Holly Leighton & Nancy Kinkade

Next Steps Rubrics Makes Learning More Progressive

PK-12 Art and Music

How do you motivate students to move beyond a score of 3 or 4? How do we get students to look at learning as sequential as opposed to”end result” learning?  What tool can I use to make assessment more accessible to teacher and students with greater impact? Educators will leave with strategies to put students on a continuum of learning that is teacher and student friendly.


Rob Westerberg


PK-12 All Educators

This session will present strategies for continued implementation of PBL in your own classroom, and highlight the powerful corollary advocacy points that go along with each. If our advocacy efforts have been so useful for the past 20 years, why are we still so much in need of more? Come find out how our most recent PBL work has the potential to finally push arts education to the forefront of our school’s academic agenda while providing the richest, most relevant curriculum possible for our students.

FOURTH Session


Mandi Mitchell

Strategies to Deepen Student Engagement and Learning in the Arts Classroom, 7-12 VIsual Art

Are you struggling to demonstrate techniques, assess student learning, and still find time within your class to teach criticism and aesthetics? Get the most out of your class, every time that you meet.  Learn how to develop a successful, fully implemented classroom model that offers more “bang for your buck.” You will deepen student learning and motivation, increase student engagement and interest, and encourage self-regulation and reflection while integrating three simple daily steps that structure your classroom without limiting creativity. Adaptable for all levels and all arts disciplines!


Samantha Armstrong

What are the Benefits of Student Self-reflection? (What do I still need to do? What have I learned?)

K-6 Visual Art

In this workshop we will explore the benefits of student self reflection as a means of achieving greater understanding and academic success. We will look at evidence that shows the impact self assessment has on student success and a sampling of self assessment and reflection tools and methods. You will also have an opportunity to discuss and brainstorm how you see these concepts working in your classroom.


Jen Etter & Rob Westerberg

Further Developing Your Music Standards

K-12 Music

Continue to develop your work from the Second Session or join us for the first time to dive into your own work!


John Morris

Creativity: A Group Inquiry

PK-12 All Educators

This discussion group model will help participants make connections with creativity research, while promoting inquiry and dialogue about the nature of creativity, as well as the role of creativity in K-12 teaching, learning and assessment.


Data Symposium

June 26, 2016

Summer opportunity


School of Education and Human Development

School of Education and and Development

Data Symposium
Southern Maine Partnership in collaboration with Northwest Evaluation Association

Dates: August 4th and 5th, 2016, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Location: University Events Room – Glickman Library 314 Forest Avenue
Portland, Maine 04104

Goals and Objectives

Goal of the data symposium to improve curriculum and instruction decisions through the use of data.

Know your data, understand the value of multiple data sources:

  • Identify the connections of multiple data sources to goal setting and growth measures
  • Know thy measures – evaluate the measures used (examples below, we will pre-survey participants to understand what you use)
    •  SAT, PSAT, AP
    • Teacher’s College
    • STAR
    • AimsWeb
    • Fountas and Pinnell
    • Classroom-based
    • Curriculum-embedded
  • Develop systems thinking for multiple data sources and decisions
    • Understand the uses of universal screeners and progress monitors (SMART goals)
    • Dine to Discuss: Managing data resources for school district leaders – a critical evaluation of the purpose, application, and added value of our instruments
  • Represent data interpretation and displays of data
    • Identify and practice protocols and processes for data interpretation
  • Plan next steps
    • Plot your path for performance checking and summative performance reports
    • Leave with a plan for the next year or two of data monitoring


Thursday, August 4th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Coffee and light breakfast snacks

Opening Plenary/Introductions

  • Establishing a common language, understanding, & purpose
  • Engaging our collective capacity
  • Understanding expectations in RTI/Understanding the role of State Assessment – Maine DOETeam (or job alike) Goal SettingBreakout Session I
    Breakout Session I (continued)

    Team (or job alike) Reflection

    Data Protocols

    Team (or job alike) Self Assess & Revisit Goals
    Evening: Dine 2 Discuss: Managing data sources/resources for school district leaders – Understanding the critical

    conversations for evaluation of the purpose, application, and added value of our instruments

    Friday, August 5th, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

    Coffee and light breakfast snacks

    Opening Plenary
    Breakout 1
    Breakout 2
    Team (or job alike) huddles

    Processing, designing, action planning LUNCH

    GIFTS – Data Gallery/High Impact Strategies
    Plan for remote check progress checks, next steps, establish networks


Jeffrey S. Beaudry, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Educational Leadership, Co-director, Southern Maine Partnership

Dr. Beaudry proudly serves the Southern Maine Partnership is a regional collaborative as co- director. With over twenty publications many on visual literacy, concept mapping, technology, and science and mathematics achievement in professional journals and program evaluation publications, Dr. Beaudry aims to explore issues relating to the visual learning, assessment literacy, formative assessment, arts and assessment, STEM, and action research. In March, 2016, Jeff’s book, Research Literacy, co-authored with Dr. Lynne Miller, was published, and will be a textbook for research methods and data analysis in education. He co-edited a book with Lenny Shedletsky, Cases on Teaching Critical Thinking with Visual Representations.

Tim Neville, Senior Consultant, Professional Development, Northwest Evaluation Association

Since joining NWEA in 2013, Tim has served partner districts as a Professional Development Consultant on NWEA’s Professional Development Team. In this role, Tim works directly with district and school administrators, teachers, and parents to deliver coaching services and job-embedded professional learning. He draws on almost thirty years in the educational world to connect the dots between assessment and instruction, and to bring assessment literacy to NWEA partner districts. Tim takes great pride in collaborating with districts to develop custom Professional Development that will meet a school or district’s specific needs. Prior to joining NWEA, Mr. Neville worked as a principal, assistant principal, educational consultant, coach, and teacher. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in Elementary Education from Keene State College and a master’s of arts degree in K-12 Education Administration and Supervision from the University of New Hampshire. In addition, Tim received a certificate from Harvard University’s Change Leadership Group, a research initiative at the Harvard Graduate School of Education for meeting the changing needs of public education.
Tim Neville M.Ed.

Sr. Consultant Professional Development Cell Phone: 603-496-7091

Kellie Smith, Founder of Logos LLC, Literacy Consulting Group

Ms. Smith’s more than 10 years as a classroom teacher led to a 10 year position as a K-8 literacy coach within MSAD #51. In 2011, in response to statewide inquiry, she founded the consulting group Logos Literacy and began offering literacy coaching services specializing in reading and writing workshops to districts across the state. Logos offers one-day workshops, multiple day institutes, lab-site demonstration, and literacy coaching. Ms. Smith and her team support teachers in instructional methodology, content and the strategies requisite to ensure success for all learners. In addition to her work in Maine, Kellie was also fortunate enough to have been chosen to support the implementation of writing workshops at the Kaohsiung American School in Taiwan. Kellie has also presented at multiple conferences including NERA, ILA, and The East Asia Regional Council of Schools (“EARCOS”).
Education from the University of Southern Maine. Ms. Smith is also a former National Board Certified Teacher. Logos LLC, Literacy Consulting Group. Kellie earned her B.S. in Child Development Family Relations from the University of Maine and a M.S. in Literacy.

Registration information

Cost: $300 per participant – this includes materials, breakfast, lunch and snacks throughout the two days. * We encourage school teams to attend. The fourth person is free.

Registration link

For more information, please contact Susan Inman, Program Manager for the Professional Development Center (PDC) at USM,, phone: 207-780-5055.


Kids Learning and Movement

June 25, 2016

The Atlantic

Just this week my niece visited from out of state for five days with her family including a two and a half year old daughter. It has been some time since I was around a toddler for an extended period. I had forgotten how busy they are and how fascinated they can be with everything around them. Her attention to detail was front and center for her. The two of us went for a walk up the gravel road that I live on and she spotted very small details out ahead of us. She picked up sticks and made music, picked flowers and took off each petal, danced diagonally and backwards, and sang Daisy Bell (better known as Daisy, Daisy, Give me your answer do) as we walked along.

When she played inside alone with three small plastic animals including two elephants, and a tall giraffe, her imagination seemed charged and the conversation was fast. I wished I could imagine what she was imagining. I know that she was developing and learning independently.

I was sent an article that was about this type of learning and I couldn’t help but thinking about what I had experienced earlier this week. From The Atlantic, May 19, Why Young Kids Learn Through Movement by Lara N. Dotsson-Renta, May 19, provides ‘food for thought’ around children, movement and their learning. I wish that more pre-K and Kindergarten classes provided more movement time for young students.


In Today’s News

June 24, 2016

YAY for Andy!

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 1.01.21 PM

Andrew Forster

Andy Forster was nominated for Maine Teacher of the Year by his principal Jon Moody who said: “When I first met Andy as a colleague in 2001, it was immediately apparent to me that he is a one of a kind human being. Andy cares deeply for his students and puts in the time necessary to ensure that all of them (including those not enrolled in his classes) are touched by music and given the chance to shine at Messalonskee.”

The Maine Department of Education in partnership with Educate Maine, is pleased to announce eight teachers as semifinalists for Maine’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. They were chosen from the 2016 County Teachers of the Year, who were honored in May at a celebration held in Augusta.

The semifinalists are:

  • Aroostook: Michael McCartney, Maine School of Science and Mathematics, Limestone
    McCartney has been teaching for ten years and currently teaches English, fitness, history, and first-year seminar to grades 9-12.
  • Cumberland: Morgan Cuthbert, Harrison Middle School, Yarmouth
    Cuthbert has been an educator for 15 years and currently teaches seventh grade math and science.
  • Franklin: Selina Warren, Kingfield Elementary School, Kingfield
    Warren has been teaching for six years and teaches second grade.
  • Hancock: Rebecca Tapley, Brooklin Elementary School, Brooklin
    Tapley has been teaching for 15 years and currently teaches all subjects for grades 4-8.
  • Kennebec: Andrew Forster, Messalonskee High School, Oakland
    Forster has been teaching for 27 years and currently teaches band, music production, independent study, and jazz band.
  • Knox: Beth Heidemann, Cushing Community School, Cushing
    Heidemann has been teaching for 23 years and currently teaches Kindergarten
  • Penobscot: Cherrie MacInnes, Brewer Community School, Brewer
    MacInnes has been teaching for 26 years and currently teaches third grade.
  • Somerset: Tamara Ranger, Skowhegan Area Middle School, Skowhegan                                                               Ranger has been teaching for 16 years and currently teaches English language arts to grades 7-8.

The eight semifinalists will continue in the intensive selection process which consists of a professional portfolio review and an oral presentation, before narrowing the pool to three state finalists. The finalists will then sit for a final interview and have a school-site visit before the 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year is selected.

Review panels during the selection process consist of past Teachers of the Year, school administrators, Maine DOE staff, members of professional education organizations, and the business community. The 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year will be announced at a surprise all-school assembly in October.

The Maine Teacher of the Year is a program of the Maine DOE, and is administered and managed by Educate Maine; a business-led organization whose mission is to “champion college and career readiness and to increase the education attainment of all Maine people.” The program has received longtime support from the Maine State Board of Education and the Maine State Teacher of the Year Association. An overview of the Maine Teacher of the Year program can be found here.

Funding for the program is generously provided by Hannaford, Geiger, Bangor Savings Bank and Dead River.

Full biographical information and photos of the 16 County Teachers of Year can be found here.

For more information about the Teacher of the Year program contact Program Director Dolly Sullivan at or call 631-3385.


Starry Night

June 23, 2016

Turkish technique

Garip Ay, an artist from Turkey uses an old technique known as decorative paper art and described as ‘painting on water’. It looks very much like what I know to be called ‘marble paper’. Garip recreates Vang Gogh’s Starry Night in the video below. I suggest that you watch the video and if interested go to this LINK to find all kinds of  information on marble paper. I used to make marble paper with my middle school students and use the paper for book covers. It’s magical!


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