Posts Tagged ‘Brunswick High School’


How We See Now

June 23, 2021

Brunswick High School Exhibit

How We See Now, New Dimensions of Photography is an exhibit of works by Brunswick High School photography students hosted by Brunswick Public Art and Merrymeeting Plaza. The work seeks to question how photography can be used to visualize new realities. Students worked with the Portland artist Justin Levesque, One Dynamic System, in a virtual visiting artist residency sponsored by a grant from the Maine Department of Education with support from the Maine Arts Commission. Deconstructed and reconstructed photographic images allowed students to question our perception of reality. Photographs become manipulated into new imagery utilizing digital tools such as Googles Poly and Photopea. Come drive by this window exhibit in Brunswick at 147 Bath Road next to Peppers Landing. The work will be on exhibit from June through August.



Congrats Student Artists!

May 2, 2015

Congressional Art Awards

The Congressional Art Competition began in 1982 to provide an opportunity for Members of Congress to encourage and recognize the artistic talents of their young constituents. Since then, over 700,000 high school students have competed for the honor of having their work shown in the U.S. Capitol.

The competition is open to all high school students. The overall winner of each participating district will have the opportunity to have their work displayed in the Cannon Tunnel of the U.S. Capitol for the entire year, beginning in June. In addition, winners will be flown to Washington, D.C. for the official opening of the show in June.

Congratulations to the following students who are being honored this year, 2015



   Self Portrait  acrylic     The Widow  white charcoal
   Djordje Jevtic
   Grade 12, Scarborough High School
   Art Teacher: Erin Landry-Fowler 
    Liam Reading

    Grade 12, Bangor High School
    Art Teacher: Kal Elmore
   Self Portrait  graphite     Airport  ink pen
   Anna Kinee
   Grade 12, Brunswick High School

   Art Teacher: Allison Price

    Youjin Choi
    Grade 11, Foxcroft Academy

    Art Teacher: Jane Blay

    After the Music is Over  charcoal     Mirror’s Reflection  charcoal
    Olivia Potter

    Grade 10, Morse High School

    Art Teacher: Heather Monsen

    Maxwell Clarrage
    Grade 11, Lewiston High School

    Art Teacher: Nathaniel Meyer

    Living in a Bottle  photography     Inside the Yellow Room  gouache
    Kailey Coleman

    Grade 12, Noble High School

    Art Teacher: Ginny Vakalis

    Jingfei Zhou

    Grade 12, Gould Academy

    Art Teacher: Lauren Head

    Lips  acrylic     Pores  photography
    Haleigh McKechnie

    Grade 12, Thornton Academy

    Art Teacher: Jennifer Merry

    Riley Hemmings

    Grade 11, Hebron Academy

    Art Teacher: Jeanine Eschenbach

    The Bermuda Triangle  digital      Menenius  digital 
    Lily Munro

    Grade 10, Brunswick High School

    Art Teacher: Colleen Kearney-Graffam

    Meghan McDunnah

    Grade 12, Mount Desert Island High School

    Art Teacher: Charlie Johnson

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Congressman Bruce Poliquin  are delighted to announce the winners of the 2015 Congressional Arts Awards in Maine’s Congressional districts.

Pingree congratulates Djordje Jevtic, an exchange student from Belgrade, Serbia, who is attending Scarborough High School, for his winning artwork, “Self Portrait,” a distinctive work in acrylic.

“I’m always amazed by the quality of work that Maine students submit to this competition,” said Pingree. “I’m excited that Djordje’s work will represent our state at the Capitol—it shows a lot of talent. Winning the competition should be a great memory of Maine for him to bring back home,” “My thanks and congratulations go to all the students who participated this year, the art teachers who inspire them, and the Maine Arts Commission for coordinating this wonderful event. ”

Poliquin acknowledged Liam Reading, a senior at Bangor High School, as this year’s winner for Maine’s Second District for his white charcoal piece, “The Widow.”

“I continue to be amazed by the extraordinary talent and work of our Maine high school students,” said Poliquin. “Congratulations to Liam, and everyone who entered the competition, for sharing their artistic gifts.”

For information about the Congressional Art Competition please contact Julie Horn at the Maine Arts Commission, at 207-287-2790 or


Job Openings

June 21, 2014

Recently posted

If you or someone you know is looking for a position in arts education here are some to take a closer look at:

  • Reach Performing Arts Center Director, Deer Isle. Interested candidates may contact the Superintendent’s Office, School Union 76, Deer Isle, for an application. Deadline, July 7.
  • Brunswick High School art teacher. Interested candidates may send a resume, cover letter and recommendations to the Superintendent’s Office, Brunswick School Department.
  • SAD#40 elementary art position. Applications are available at or by calling 785-2277. Completed application should be mailed to Superintendent of Schools, PO Box 701, Union, ME 04862.
  • Office Manager Position, Waterfall Arts in Belfast, 30 hours/week, Tuesday-Friday. The office manager is in charge of generating and maintaining all office systems and organization. Duties include managing rental contracts, data-base management, coordinating materials and logistical support for meetings, events, and classes in addition to general office duties. Must have a minimum of 2 years of office management experience.  Email your letter of interest and resume to with Office Manager Position in the subject line. Deadline for applications is Wednesday, June 18.






MAEA Awardees

April 22, 2014

Honoring our colleagues

Nothing like the opportunity to honor and celebrate the good work of arts educators! Congratulations to Allison, Jennifer, Brian, Janie, and Jenny!


Allison Price – Maine’s 2014 Art Educator of the Year

Allison’s passion, along with educating and creating art are quality art shows. Chair of the MAEA Member Exhibitions, Allison is prime to share her gifts. Exhibitions occur every year with some multiple opportunities taking advantage of varying locations. Allison is a true collaborator working with other dedicated volunteers and location staff ensuring that the experience is as committed to a professional experience as we are committed to our practice. Sharing what Maine Art Educators do inside and outside of the classroom studio, including the blending of exhibition, education and all the benefits that provide opportunities to share practice beyond theory.

Allison is a committed Brunswick High School art educator. The work exhibited in her classroom studio, school and collegial sharing opportunities reflects a talented educator with a strong ability to work with young student artists to produce artworks with evidence of inquiry and quality. Allison is passionate, friendly, professional and always available to help. She is genuine, highly trained in her field and devoted. Devoted to art education, art making, art exhibitions, and her colleagues! A grand slam. Congratulations Allison!



Jennifer Merry – Maine’s 2014 High School Art Educator of the Year

Jennifer Merry has taught visual art at Thornton Academy for 28 years. Innovative, creative, and a caring educator, she has a natural ability to lead by example in the classroom, guiding students toward their own art-related accomplishments.
Jennifer is an artist who inspires us all to be better people. One of Jennifer’s true gifts is her compassion for others. Her classroom is a joyous, safe, inviting place where students can summon their creativity and become an artist on a whole new level.

She currently teaches Painting, Drawing, Illustration, and Visual Art I. She also co-teaches an after-school class for female students called Sailing through Girlhood. She is the TA Art Club Advisor, Co-Founder and Member of the Permanent Art Collection Committee, and Co-Founder and Member of Cinderella’s Closet, which recycles dresses for students in need. She currently Chairs the Mentor Support Team, a group of trained faculty that assist new teachers.

She is a painter, draftswoman, and photographer whose work has been exhibited in local art exhibits. Jennifer lives in Kennebunkport with her husband John and she has two sons, Johnny and Charlie. She also teaches Sunday School at South Congregational Church in  Kennebunkport.



Jane Snider – Maine’s 2014 Maine Middle Level Art Educator of the Year

Ms. Janie Snider is truly one of the best. Janie knows how to engage learners while simultaneously addressing educational standards; reads professionally and attends educational seminars; and continues to grow as a teacher and leader in her field. She has conducted several teacher workshops demonstrating how to unpack the Maine Learning Results Visual Arts Standards.

During her tenure at Hancock Grammar School, Ms. Snider has involved fifth grade students in the Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium, a program designed to bring artists from Maine and around the world to sculpture a single piece of public art from Maine granite.  This field trip reaches across the curriculum as it encompasses art, writing, science, social studies, and math which aligned with the Maine Learning Results, Visual and Performing Arts Standards.

Ms. Snider involves parents and community members through her thoughtful and creative projects. Soup for the Soul, involves students from grades 6-8 sold during the benefit, proceeds going toward a charitable cause for a community member who suffered from ALS.

Because Ms. Snider is explicitly thoughtful about her classroom practices, her students learn to do art well. She simply knows how to bring out the best in her students, and … isn’t that really what good teaching is all about?



Brian McPherson – Maine’s 2014 Elementary Art Educator of the Year

Brian McPherson is remarkable. While he is truly a committed visual art educator of the highest caliber he is also an advocate for good teaching, good learning, and good outcomes for people of all types across all situations:  students, colleagues, parents, and educators.

Brian is dedicated to his students’ art, his drive to showcase their creativity on the school walls, in district level buildings, in local community venues, art museums and galleries, and even the State House in Augusta. He is driven to improve himself and his practice. He was supported by his school district to earn National Board Teacher Certification in 2007, the first elementary art teacher in the state to earn the honor. His professional life has taken him to various parts of Europe, Southeast Asia and China, where what he brings back are not merely cultural artifacts, but inspiration for what’s next in his curriculum development.

As a member of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative he has been a conference presenter and curriculum developer for the Resource Bank. His work has been recognized and selected to be part of a video series highlighting Standards Based Art Education at the Elementary Level.  A true career professional art educator, Brian’s Principal, Rick Dedek II states, “Brian is one of the best teachers I have ever known.”


Jennifer Kowtko- PORTRAIT

Jennifer Kowtko – Maine’s 2014 Higher Education Art Educator of the Year

Jenny is a 2013 graduate of the Maine College of Art Masters of Art in Teaching program. She also holds a BFA in Illustration from Syracuse University, where she graduated summa cum laude.

Jenny has over a decade of freelance illustration and other work experience, which has given her a wealth of professional experiences that she is able to draw upon in her teaching. Since graduating from MECA, Jenny has spent the current school year as a long-term sub at Windham Primary School and most recently at Kennebunk High School, where she will finish out the duration of the year teaching Art Foundations, Painting, and I.B. (International Baccalaureate) Visual Art.

A New Jersey native, Jenny has been proud to call Portland, Maine her home for the last 11 years. She is grateful for the wisdom and generosity of her own mentors, coworkers, and former teachers, the love and support of her husband Brian, and the undying loyalty of her adopted cattle dog. With great enthusiasm and anticipation, Jenny is currently seeking an art teacher position for the coming school year.





Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Ashley Smith

June 18, 2013

This is the 36th in a series of blog posts telling arts teacher’s stories. The first 19 were told last year by the phase I Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leaders. The series continues with the stories from the phase II teacher leaders. These posts contain a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to read educators stories and to learn from others.

Ashley Smith has taught for two years at Brunswick High School where she is the Choral Director; she directs Screen shot 2013-06-17 at 7.03.30 PMthree choirs and teaches piano and guitar.

What do you like best about being a music educator?

My favorite part about being an arts educator is that I get to share my love of music with others who have the same passion. Growing up, my most memorable experiences were those created in the music classroom. It is such a joy to go to work everyday and create those same experiences for my students.

What do you believe are three keys to ANY successful visual and performing arts education?

  1. Belief. Although there are many components to a successful arts program, this has proved to be the most important for me. You must first believe in yourself, you must believe in your students, and above all, you must believe in what you are doing.
  2. Commitment. With so much to do and so many people to take care of, it is important to stay true to yourself. As a music educator you have the unique opportunity to create a program that is reflective of yourself and your philosophy. Hold true to your vision, and it’s impossible not to succeed.
  3. Support. Nothing can be successful on it’s own. For any program to flourish, it needs the support of colleagues, friends, family, and community. Most importantly, it needs the support of your students. Support your students, and they will support you.

How have you found assessment to be helpful to you in your classroom?

Assessment in the music classroom is an amazing thing! No matter how you do it, assessing your kids keeps them accountable for learning the information and you accountable for teaching it. I’ve found that it doesn’t have to be in the form of a big written test or a large-scale project, it’s whatever works for me. Assessment has not only helped me to re-evaluate my teaching practices, but it has been a great way for my students to realize what they have actually learned. There is nothing better than having a student say, “I didn’t know I could do this!”

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

The greatest benefit of joining the MAAI has been meeting so many passionate arts educators. It has been so encouraging to collaborate with other teachers who face the same challenges on a day to day basis. I am an infinitely better teacher for having worked with such devoted arts educators. It’s good to know I’m not alone!

What are you most proud of in your career?

My students. Their hard work and dedication never cease to amaze me. They continually go above and beyond what is expected of them and they truly embody my vision of what the BHS Choral Program should be. They have embraced me and my philosophy and they are always ready and willing to accept whatever challenge I throw their way. I learn something new from them everyday, and they are a continual reminder of why I love what I do. I couldn’t be more proud of all that they have accomplished in the past two years, and I greatly look forward to all of their future successes.

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

Honestly, being a teacher is what gets in the way of being a better teacher. There are so many tasks and duties to fulfill that the most relaxing part of the day is actually TEACHING. With so many things pulling us in different directions, it’s nice to know that our time in front of the students is really our time. It’s not the actual teaching part that we have to worry about, it’s everything else that goes along with it.

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

I must say that my biggest accomplishment has been the atmosphere that the students and myself have worked to create in the choral department here at BHS. I have always been a firm believer that the music classroom should be a place of mutual respect in which all students feel comfortable to express themselves freely. I have been lucky to learn alongside my students, working to create a space that fosters growth and creativity. I have found that the students take real pride in this environment, and they will work tirelessly to protect what they have worked so hard to create

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

You can do it! So often when you are teaching music or art you may be the only person in that discipline at your school, and as a new teacher that can be very overwhelming. There is no doubt that you are going to make mistakes, but that’s what it’s all about. We always encourage our students to take risks, and we have to push ourselves to do the same. Don’t lose sight of the big picture, you are doing what you love and you are making a difference.

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

After our exciting riser collapse last week, I would have to say that my first order of business would be purchasing new risers for my kids! I would use the rest of the money  to travel with friends and family and to create opportunities for my students like the ones that I was lucky enough to have growing up.

Imagine you are 94 years old. You’re looking back. Do you have any regrets?

As a second year teacher, I can’t help but stress about the small stuff. I get so worried about doing everything right that I often forget to enjoy each moment as it is happening. At the end of each year, I find myself looking back and realizing just how lucky I am to have had such amazing experiences with so many amazing young people. Fortunately, I am far off from 94, and if this is my biggest regret than I daresay I have lived a pretty fulfilling life!



Brunswick High School

May 19, 2013

Screen shot 2013-05-17 at 9.40.44 PMThank you to Jennie Driscoll, Brunswick High School art teacher  for sending this information!


My Last Two Weeks

May 10, 2013

What an adventure!

Some weeks are filled with excitement and adventure and some weeks are filled with excitement and adventure – yes, I repeated that since all my weeks are pretty amazing! However, my most valuable days are when I am visiting teachers and students, learning about the work that is going on in the arts in Maine schools. I am always interested in what teachers are doing with curriculum, assessment, and arts education in general! What I hear and what I see keeps me grounded in what is “real” for Maine arts education. When I do my work at the Department it is first and foremost in the best interest of all Maine kids and their visual and performing arts education. I feel so fortunate to have this job that takes me to all corners of the state. Thank you for the invitations!

During the last two weeks I have had the chance to go to the following:

  • Ashley Smith (Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader) and Mike Scarpone, music teachers at Brunswick High School invited me to speak at their Tri-M Music Honor Society induction ceremony. I was very impressed with the music and the students. Bridget Horan, Chanel Thibeault, Ariel Bouchard, and Joe Waring played the National Anthem to start the program. Throughout the program there were student performances including: Tessa Hauptman was accompanied on the piano by Ben Flanagan. Hannah Judd played the cello. Joe Waring played the saxophone accompanied by Nathaniel Vilas on the piano. Alexis Gillis sang accompanied by Ben Flanagan on the piano. Walter Martin played the trombone accompanied by Nathaniel Vilas on the piano. Nathaniel Vilas ending the evening on the piano. It was wonderful to hear the present members (15 of them) introduce the inductees (21 of them). As these type of ceremonies go, it was very formal however, the students humor shined through which brought several chuckles to members of the audience. Afterwards, parents and students enjoyed refreshments in the cafeteria. Thank you Brunswick Tri-M students and Ashley and Mike for including me.


  • Last week I was invited to meet with the arts staff from the Gorham schools. In the Gorham schools they rotate updating curriculum and arts educators are starting this important work. Assistant middle school principal Susie Hanley has been communicating periodically during the last year with questions and information on the work of the Gorham arts teachers. It was great to have a chance to hear discuss their work and the challenges it poses. I did get a photo at the end but it was after some of the teachers had already left the meeting. Thank you to Susie for inviting me!

The teachers include:

  • Gail Thibodeau, Music  K-5, Narragansett and Village
  • Janelle Mosey, Music and Chorus  K-5, Great Falls
  • Allie Rimkunas, Art 1-5, Great Falls
  • Paula Balcom, Art 1-5, Narragansett and Village
  • Amy Stewart, Music K-5, Narragansett
  • Vicki Bove, Art  6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Amy Cousins, Art 6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Tracy Wheeler, Music and Chorus 6-8, Gorham Middle School
  • Kim Mathieu, Music and Band  6-8, Gorham Middle School, 5th grade Band
  • Chris Crosby, Art 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Sarah Tucker, Art 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Matt Murray, Music and Chorus 9-12, Gorham High School
  • Tim Ebersold, Music and Band 9-12, Gorham High School


  • Gray-New Gloucester High School art exhibit was held last week in the auxiliary gym on the same evening that the students were performing the comedy The Man Who Came to Dinner. It was great to see Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader Barb Weed (Barb’s Another Arts Teacher’s story) on my way in to the school. After I arrived Waterville High School art teacher Suzanne Goulet dropped in to see the show. The gym was completely filled with outstanding 2 and 3 dimensional art work and it was great to see art teachers Sarah Gould and Michaela DiGianvittorio. Talk about proficiency?! The evidence was clear! Thanks for inviting me to a great show!


Sarah, Argy, Michaela

IMG_3277 IMG_3283

  • This week I’ve had more opportunities to visit schools. Debi Lynne Baker and I were at Biddeford Intermediate School to videotape Maine Arts Assessment Initiative teacher leader, music teacher Andrea Wollstadt. (Andrea’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). The last of a series of 4 that Debi is creating showing standards based arts classrooms in action. We had a great day in Andrea’s 4th and 5th grade classes. Her superintendent, Jeremy Ray, popped in to give her an apple for Teacher Appreciation Week. We interviewed Andrea’s principal Debra Kenney, music colleague Jillian Cote, and two of her students. Thanks to the students and staff at Biddeford Intermediate School!
  • I visited Belfast High School and Troy Howard Middle School and the classrooms of Heidi O’Donnell and Lynnette Sproch. Heidi has a lesson where students wrote an artist statement after research and created an artwork that depicted the style of the artist. They were created in small shadow-like boxes. The pieces were fascinating to look at and really made me think. I was glad to see the “man coming out of the ceiling” in real life that Lynnette had created with her middle school students. I also stopped to see my dear friend science teacher John Thurston who is responsible for the garden program at the middle school. It is always great to see John who works with Lynnette on integrated units. You might remember the one that they did on creating posters for the Belfast coop. They were beautiful with bright red giant tomatoes and a great example of service learning. I stopped to see theatre teacher Jason Bannister who caught me up on the event they just held at the school for middle level theatre students – Maine Student Acting competition. Thanks for the visit to both schools!
  • I traveled up the coast to Hancock Grammar School and stopped to see Maine Arts Assessment art teacher leader Janie Snider (Janie’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). We critiqued the video that Debi has created of Janie in action earlier this spring.  We spent some time talking about the idea of writing “power standards” and perhaps rubrics to make available for all arts teachers. What do you think of the idea? Thanks for “great food for thought” Janie!
  • Onto Machias and the Rose Gaffney School to visit Maine Arts Assessment music teacher leader Bonnie Atkinson. (Bonnie’s Another Arts Teacher’s story). When I arrived her middle and high school band were rehearsing their pieces for the spring concert. Bonnie has many thought provoking sayings in her classrooms. I loved hearing the students practice and I also had a chance to listen to the chorus practice before I left for the Washington county superintendents meeting at University of Maine at Machias. Thanks for letting me pop in Bonnie! The artwork everywhere in the halls is stunning.




Another Arts Teachers’ Story: Jennie Driscoll

June 26, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an educator

This is the 15th 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.

Jennie Driscoll has been teaching visual arts for 24 years and is presently the chair of the Arts Department at
Brunswick High School
She has taught Photography I , Photography II, Art 3, Art 4, and Advanced Placement Studio Art for students in grades 10-12. Jennie is one of the teacher leaders with Phase 1 of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

What do you like best about being an art educator?

Helping students develop confidence as they express their ideas in a variety of media and utilize technical skill. I find media and tools an exciting pathway for the expression. I like seeing personal artistic growth and a seriousness of purpose develop in my students over time.

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

  1. What –Strong assignments that encourage students to problem solve.
  2. How – Teach technique with media so students have the right set of tools for expression.
  3. Share – Authentic assessments that allow for reflection on craft and expression.

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

I allow my students to be part of the assessment process and invite them to reflect and revise their art work to make it the best they can be. I invite the class to support one another with feedback. My goal is to help students express their ideas clearly in visual media.

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

Sharing and connecting with arts professionals that deal with the same issues.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Always being there to support my art students as they take risks and make mistakes. Student successes  have a big impact on letting me know I am on the right track.

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

Not having enough time and too much to do, oh also the little beep I get when an email comes in.

Apple or PC?


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

I have done my best to build and maintain a strong visual art program as well as meet the needs of individual students.

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

Although there are many days that seem like you don’t know if you are making a difference  or not, hang in there because the universe will share meaningful moments and your purpose will be validated. There will be specific art works that your brain will absorb and will always remember and thus you will in turn remember the student who did it.

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

I would purchase a kiln and supplies for ceramics in each elementary art department in Maine that does not have one. Of course I would include teacher training in curriculum, assessment, and operation along with clay, some tools and cones!

Thank you for sharing your story Jennie!


Brunswick High School Art Show

May 20, 2012

May 23, 5:00-7:30

Brunswick High School, 116 Maquoit Road, Brunswick. A collection of the best Drawings, Paintings Prints, Collages, Sculptures, Ceramics and Photography.

Student work will be for sale to benefit the Brunswick High School Art Scholarship fund.


Brunswick High School Students go to Boston

November 30, 2011

Museum of Fine Arts

Brunswick High School art teacher, Jennie Driscoll recently took advantage of the opportunity that the Lunder Foundation has provided for all Maine students. In June the foundation announced a huge gift to provide the chance for all Maine students: Free admittance to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. You can read the details about the opportunity at

Jennie took a group of AP / Art IV students on the Downeaster Discovery field trip program – only $15.oo per student to Boston. She said: “It was a great trip!”

Art teacher Jennie Driscoll and her students at the MFA in Boston

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