Archive for the ‘Opportunity’ Category


National Ceramic Exhibition

November 21, 2019

Calling all teachers who teach ceramics

The 23nd Annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition

Opens on March 25, 2020 in Richmond, Virginia 

We Welcome Your Entries starting November 28, 2019

Please use our website to enter your students at

Our system is based upon, and devoted to, our teachers, who submit student entries on line and are advised of all details via email.  If you teach the ceramic arts and have students you would like to enter, join us so your students can be part of this wonderful showcase experience.

Last year we awarded more than $500,000 in Scholarships, plus hundreds of Awards and Prizes to both students and teachers.

The entry period will close at midnight on January 6, 2020

Teachers are able to see their progress after carefully logging in to register and then following the prompts.  For entering your students work, log into  If you have any problems entering the work of your students, please let us know so we can help you. You can Also contact Russell Kahn at :

We are again sending this reminder to all teachers on all of our contact lists. We thank you for your past interest, registering your name, and hope to see you enjoying the benefits of association with us.  If you know other ceramics teachers, organizations, or schools that have not yet registered with us, please pass this opportunity on to them and urge them to respond positively. 

Work submitted will be gathered in preparation for judging by our internationally recognized independent juror who will make the final selection decisions for the exhibition.

This year our juror is Professor Keith Williams of Concordia University. Juror details and more info:

From the Board of Trustees of  The National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Foundation, Inc.



November 20, 2019

Learning from travel

My Dad, 1942

My father grew up in a small village called Akrata on the Peloponnese in Greece. When he was 10 years old he was sent on a boat to America with all of his worldly possessions to live with his uncle. His father had died and his step mother needed help to raise the three children so they sent “the worse one.” My father’s journey was only beginning – he went on to become a successful student, athlete, and leader in school and community.

He enlisted in the Army and fought for three years in WWII through Africa, Sicily, the beach at Normandy, through France and Germany where he was wounded and returned to the states. He was greeted by my mother (and his entire Greek community) who he had married a week before he left. Through all of the hardships my father never lost site of the opportunities afforded him because of traveling to the US. He gave to his community over and over and worked hard all his life.

My parents in 1944 not long after Dad returned from the war.

While growing up my family didn’t have money to use for travel purposes. My parents instilled in us the value of hard work and giving to our communities – their examples of that were provided daily. My sister and I worked from age 10 in our family summer businesses. We saved enough money to go to college and when the opportunity to travel to Greece and Egypt (3 weeks, $600 dollars included everything) came up, we couldn’t say no. Sitting in the hotel in 1973 in Athens a woman was introduced to us – turned out it was my father’s sister, Yiota. She was a new baby when my Dad left Greece in 1928. We traveled with her to Akrata and returned with the key to the homestead.

The Greek Orthodox church in Akrata

Returning home my parents decided not to wait until they retired to travel to Greece but went the next summer. My Dad had not seen or had any contact with his sister and his brother Nick since he had left about 40 years earlier. (Brother Nick passed away from TB when he was 21). It was an incredible homecoming for my parents.

Since my first visit I’ve returned a handful of times, one of the most memorable was going for Greek Easter in 1994 with my parents. That trip helped me realize the importance of family and of passing forward the love of family.

I returned last week from a trip to my family’s village with both of my sons. Passing forward the stories, the ideas and the understanding of our roots to them is important to me and now them.

At the Parthenon

The above provides the background for this post – it’s about stepping out of your daily routines to learn in a different way. We’re fortunate that we live in a time where we can access knowledge and information from around the world in multiple ways. We don’t have to hop on a plane and travel for 15 hours to get somewhere but we can view videos of far away places, connect through face to face communications with teachers and students on the opposite side of the globe, and collaborate on learning projects – to name a few ways. Yes, it takes time and work but it is all worth it.

My sons with Yiota

Think about these questions – what is different about education today? What might be the benefits to think differently about day to day education? Why connect with educators or help facilitate access to learning for your students with others from a different culture? Only you can consider the benefits for you and/or your students but I encourage you to do so.

I am grateful to stand on the shoulders of giants in the work I do in education and on the shoulders of family members from a tiny village 4,521 miles from my home in Maine. Every trip (in real time or electronic connections) help me to understand why I do what I do and the importance of pushing on my beliefs to continually learn.

The blue door on the pathway to the plakia not far from my father’s home. It is the one constant every time I return.


Bicentennial Parade

November 18, 2019

Marching band opportunity

The State of Maine Bicentennial Parade on May 16, 2020 will feature a very special marching band under the direction of acclaimed band director John Neal, who is currently the Director of Music at the Snow Pond Arts Academy in Sidney. You’re invited to be part of this intergenerational band, featuring musicians of all ages (13+) coming together for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to celebrate Maine’s 200 anniversary of statehood. Band members will be asked to memorize 1-3 pieces of music, attend two rehearsals and will have the honor of performing in the bicentennial parade while proudly wearing Maine200 gear. Visit today to sign up for the Bicentennial Parade Band and view all the details.




MAEA Awards

November 16, 2019

Consider nominating someone

The Maine Art Education Association MAEA has an annual awards program which recognizes teachers in several categories.

  • Elementary, Middle, High School MAEA Art Educator of the Year
  • Higher Ed Art Educator of the Year
  • Museum Educator of the Year
  • Retired MAEA Art Educator of the
  • Supervision/Administration Art Educator of the Year
  • Student Art Educator of the Year Folder (Deadline June 1st)

If you know of a teacher who inspires and deserves to be recognized for their commitment to visual art education consider nominating them for one of the awards.

The nomination deadline is the first Friday in January (with the exception of “student”. More information and the nomination papers are located at THIS LINK. Don’t wait, check out the nomination paperwork today!


Casco Bay Japan Exchange Program

November 15, 2019


Greely Middle School art teacher Lynda McCann Olson is traveling to Aomori, Japan on a cultural exchange. Aomori is the same prefecture that Gorham Middle School grades 6-8 students will travel to for the Casco Bay Japan Exchange Program. This exchange is part of the Maine Friends of Aomori relationship and an extension of the Maine Aomori Printmaking Society.

Casco Bay Japan Exchange Program

While in Aomori, Lynda will observe printmakers in residence in schools, work with  the printmakers to learn traditional Japanese techniques adapted for younger students. and tour museums. Upon return, I will develop a unit to share my knowledge with students. The Aomori schools will be sending me a small collection of prints created during the week. In the spring, I will collaborate with a colleague from Berwick Academy to establish a print exchange between students in Maine and Aomori.

I am honored to be a part of this exciting cultural exchange. I have told all of my grade 5 classes. The grade 5 visual art curriculum is inspired by the art and culture of East Asia. Students will enjoy a project inspired by the work of contemporary Japanese artist Yahoo Kusama.


National Art Ed Conference

October 30, 2019

Registration open

National Art Education Association conference, March 26-28, 21020, Minneapolis. REGISTRATION IS OPEN!


Off to Helsinki

October 29, 2019


In one week Lindsay Pinchbeck, founder, director and teacher at the Sweetland School in Hope and I will be landing in Helsinki, Finland for the HundrED Innovation Summit. We are thrilled to be invited and looking forward to meeting educators from around the world and visiting with those we met last year who are returning. I’ve blogged about HundrED before but for those of you who are unfamiliar hopefully this post will inspire you to take a look at the HundrED website and tap into their amazing resources.

I plan on blogging from Helsinki next week so keep your fingers crossed that my connectivity works from Finland!

WHAT IS HUNDRED? is a not-for-profit organization that discovers inspiring innovations in K12 education. HundrED’s goal is to help improve education and inspire a grassroots movement through encouraging pedagogically sound, ambitious innovations to spread across the world.

The purpose of education is to help every child flourish, no matter what happens in life. In a fast-changing world, education must adapt to keep up. The world is full of inspiring innovations, but they can struggle to spread beyond their immediate environments. That’s why HundrED discovers, researches and shares impactful and scalable K12 innovations with the world, for free.

This (under 2 minute) video says it well.


You can become a HundrED Innovator as well and learn more about the many many innovations included in the site. There are amazing educators doing amazing work around the world and many have been recognized by HundrEd and have profiles on the website. You can learn how to become a HundrED innovator and see the many profiles of Innovators by CLICKING HERE.

OUR WORK (and play!)

The invitation to attend HundrED during November 2018 was based on the work that Lindsay and I have been participating in since 2016 with the Go Malawi program. We offered arts integration workshops when we traveled to Malawi for almost three weeks that summer. We were recognized by HundrED as Ambassadors – you can read about our work on the Go Malawi site at THIS LINK. Check out Lindsay’s profile on the HundrED site or Argy’s profile.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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