Posts Tagged ‘Ellsworth High School’


Empty Bowl Supper

January 8, 2018

Ellsworth High School

Please join Ellsworth High School FOR A Empty Bowls Supper!

• WHY? “Empty Bowls is an international grassroots effort to fight hunger and was created by The Imagine Render Group. The basic premise is simple: Potters and other craftspeople, educators and others work with the community to create handcrafted bowls. Guests are invited to a simple meal of soup and bread. In exchange for a cash donation, guests are asked to keep a bowl as a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

The money raised is donated to an organization working to end hunger and food insecurity.”

ALL PROCEEDS will go to EHS Food Pantry! • WHEN? Thursday, January 11 – 5:00 – 7:00

•WHERE? Ellsworth High School Cafeteria date location




MALI Mega Ellsworth

November 22, 2016

Wonderful learning

img_4488The first Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Regional conference took place yesterday at Ellsworth High School. The participants were appreciative of the opportunity, not just to attend and learn in the formal sessions, but to have the chance to network with other arts educators.

Each participant attended two sessions in the morning from the following selection:

  • img_4412

    Illustrating to Write session

    Where are your Art Standards within the Studio Habits of Mind! with Jane Snider, Hancock Grammar School

  • Ellsworth High School VPA Academy  with Rebecca Wright, Leah Olson, Shannon Westphal, Ellsworth High School
  • More Cowbell with Tim Hart, MLTI
  • Illustrating to Write with Ann Marie Quirion Hutton, MLTI
  • Bringing it All Together with Sue Barre, Waterville High School
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    Evidence of Learning Through Google

    Evidence of Learning Through Google with Charlie Johnson, Mount Desert Island High School

  • Visual Notetaking/Doodling in Class with Ann Marie Quirion Hutton, MLTI
  • Making 8-bit Art with Tim Hart, MLTI


A great big thanks to all of the MALI Teacher Leaders and MLTI session presenters. Without your willingness, commitment, and leadership we wouldn’t be able to have the Mega conferences.

Thank you to the Ellsworth High School VPA boosters club who provided lunch – it was all mmmmmmm!

Director of the Maine Arts Commission Julie Richard joined us in the afternoon. Teaching artist and dancer Nancy Salmon led us movement that got us ready for the afternoon. Beth Lambert from the Maine Department of Education  joined me in providing foundational information on the statewide arts education census that was conducted during the 2015-16 school year.

The day ended with some great door prizes. Thanks to those who contributed. The next MALI Mega Regional conference takes place on Wednesday, January 4 at USM, Portland. Please CLICK HERE for information and registration.


MAC Executive Director Julie Richard

Teaching Artist and dancer Nancy Salmon

Teaching Artist and dancer Nancy Salmon

Participants moving with Nancy Salmon

Participants moving with Nancy Salmon

Ellsworth High School art teachers sharing a funny moment

Ellsworth High School art teachers sharing a funny moment

Participants at lunchtime

Participants at lunchtime

Sue Barre presenting Bringing it all Together, her assessment system

Sue Barre presenting Bringing it all Together, her assessment system

Participants sharing lunchtime

Participants at lunchtime

Discussing the census information

Discussing the census information

More Cowbell session

More Cowbell session



Professional Development

November 8, 2016

Opportunities across the state

MALI_V3_Color_100ppiThe Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI) Mega Regional Conferences will be held throughout the state during the next five months. Each site will have different sessions offered so you may wish to attend more than one Mega. Sessions will be provided by MALI Teacher Leaders and Teaching Artist Leaders. In addition, almost all sites will have technology offerings as well. A portion of the afternoon will feature a Teaching Artist and information on the statewide arts education census that was conducted during the 2015-16 school year. The report will be officially released in December.

The cost to attend each Mega is $25 (unless otherwise indicated). Contact hours for full participation – 5.5 contact hours. In the listing of conference dates below are links to registration for two of the Megas. The others will be available in the near future. For more details (and also to register) please go to

The Megas provide multiple opportunities for the Maine Arts education community to engage in professional development specific to come together to deepen our knowledge, make connections, and learn from each other!



screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-26-amWhere are your Art Standards within the Studio Habits of Mind! presented by Janie Snider, Hancock Grammar School Visual Arts

This workshop will explore the National Visual Art Standards and how they co-exist with the Studio Habits of Mind. The NVAS are written for pre-K through high school. There are many ways to align these standards with the SHOM that already exist in your classrooms! I will share ways that work for me in my K-8 art classroom. Grades K-8

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-32-amEllsworth High School VPA Academy presented by Rebecca Wright Ellsworth High School, Performing ArtsLeah Olson Ellsworth High School, Visual Arts Shannon Westphal Ellsworth High School, Visual Arts

This session will be an overview of the Ellsworth HIgh School Visual/Performing Arts Academy.  The program is in its fourth year and graduated 8 students in 2016. Currently there are approximately 25 students in the program grades 10-12. We will review how the program came into being, the nuts and bolts of how it works, view samples of student work from last year’s capstone and internship projects and you will get to meet some students currently in the program. You will get to interview the students as well as be supplied with samples of our documents and a Q&A session.  Grades 9-12

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-42-amUsing Multiple Intelligences to Teach Students with Disabilities presented by Brigid Rankowski Teaching Artist

Learn how teaching using multiple intelligence can be a way to unlock learning goals for students with disabilities. Grades K-12

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-49-amMore Cowbell presented by  Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

Playing and composing songs on your own is a blast for some, however there’s something special about making music in collaboration with other like-minded folks that just can’t be beat. In this hands-on, music making session, participants will use GarageBand to learn the basics of song writing and music production. Participants will have plenty of time to explore and experience the fun of collaborative music creation. Musicians of any and all skill levels are welcome. Make sure to bring your Mac and/or iOS device with GarageBand installed. All grade levels. Grades K-12

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-57-amIllustrating to Write presented by Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Learning Specialist, former Art Educator

One creation lends a hand to the other. Illustration is a part of many great stories, extending the ability of ideas to be shared, and increasing enjoyment and comprehension on the part of the reader. Apple technology provides many possibilities for creating illustrations, making drawing and visual images a part of the overall literacy experience. Learn how to use your MacBook Air to draw and paint creative illustrations in this “hands on session”. Bring your MacBook Air with Acorn installed (included with your MLTI participation). Grades K-12


screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-17-05-amBringing It All Together! presented by Sue Barre Waterville Junior and Senior High School Music

In the summer of 2015 the Waterville Senior High School music faculty developed a portfolio. The portfolio has been the piece that guides our work on four school wide initiatives from teacher evaluation to Proficiency Based Education. Participants will receive the portfolio and accompanying rubrics.  Grades K-12


screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-17-10-amEvidence of Learning Through Google presented by Charlie Johnson Mount Desert Island High School Visual Arts Digital Arts Media/Photography

Google offers numerous educator tools within it’s web browser and multiple apps, encouraging exploration and adaptation to almost any teaching style. While Google Classroom has caught on with many educators, this workshop will demonstrate the direct use of not only the Chrome web browser, but also Google Drive, Communities, and Google Draw. As important elements in a structure of collaboration and information sharing and gathering, the endgame of this workshop is that learners can and will produce a summative electronic portfolio in the form of what can be a ubiquitous .PDF file! Grades 7-12, Adaptable for K-6

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-16-57-amVisual Notetaking/Doodling in Class presented by Ann Marie Quirion Hutton MLTI Apple Learning Specialist, former Art Educator

A combination of sketching and traditional note taking results in rich educational documents to support learning. Studies show that sketching leads to better retention of information and helps clarify ideas. Sketching is one of our original forms of communication. Visualizing ideas is a great way to learn. Why not bring this creative form of learning into your classroom? Explore how visual notes support learning. Discover techniques to create, share and integrate visual notes into your instructional practice. Visual notetaking, often called sketch noting, uses two parts of your brain, which is referred to as Dual Coding Theory. This has been found to improve learning. Research has shown that people who doodle while listening retain 29% more information (Andrade, 2009). Join this hands-on session and start sketching your notes today. Please bring your updated MLTI iPad, if available, with Notability installed. Arts supplies will also be available.  Grades K-12

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-17-24-amMaking 8-bit Art presented by Tim Hart MLTI Apple Learning Specialist

Beginning with early Atari and Nintendo video games, the 8-bit aesthetic has been a part of our culture for over 30 years. No longer just nostalgia art, contemporary 8-bit artists and chiptunes musicians have elevated the form to new levels of creativity and cultural reflection. In this session, we will focus on tools that assist in creating 8-bit images, animations, and music.  Please bring your MLTI MacBook.  Grades K-12

screen-shot-2016-11-08-at-10-17-18-amLooking in the Mirror:  The Importance of Student Self-Reflection presented by Mandi Mitchell Hermon High School Visual Art

Self-assessment is a crucial part of learning. In the arts, it is easy for us to see a concrete product of their learning and understanding of a topic. We don’t always see student learning that happens beneath the surface unless it is verbally or orally communicated. With regular self-assessment integrated in your classroom, students become more aware and take ownership of their learning. All grade levels.  All content.

If you have any questions please contact me at



November 20, 2013

Ellsworth High School

It will be more like a hattening, I mean a happening! Tuesday, November 22, 8:15 – 3:15, Ellsworth High School visual and performing arts teachers will converge on Ellsworth High School for the Mega-regional workshop. Hopefully we will see you there. The cost is $20 and 5.5 contact hours are being awarded at the completion of the day.

To register please go to And click on November 22, 2013 Ellsworth High School.


  • 8:15am: Registration begins
  • 8:45am: Opening Session Morning Workshops
  • 9:10 -10:20am: Session I
  • 10:20 -10:35am:Break
  • 10:35 – 11:45am: Session II
  • Lunch 11:45am – 12:45pm: Participants on their own (Ellsworth site only: Student Council providing lunch for a donation)
  • 12:45 – 1:00pm Afternoon workshops: Session III Large group

Breakout Workshops 1:00 – 2:00pm

The Arts and Proficiency: What, Why and How?

Let’s work together to explore what is proficiency in the arts? How do teachers in the arts articulate what proficiency is? What does proficiency look like at different grade levels? Either as a veteran of standards-based work or just curious to know more, this interactive session will get to heart of the fundamental questions we have in front of us in Maine. Participants are strongly encouraged to bring samples of student work, including recorded and/or visual artworks.

Breakout Workshops 2:00 – 3:00pm

Think Tanks on Technology

This interactive session will focus on technology and its importance in our 21st Century arts programs in Maine. Topics will include the Media Arts National Core Arts Standards draft, practical usage for facilitating arts assessment and communicating results, creative ways of utilizing technology, Digital Arts and Music programs, and hands-on learning of technology. We have much to share and much to learn from each other, so be ready for engaging discussions, demonstrations and questions about technology and 21st Century arts programs.

Participants may attend two of the sessions included below. To register please go to And click on November 22, 2013 Ellsworth High School.

Session 1

Progressive Assessments and Creativity

Explore progressive rubrics that build upon each other from “developing” to “exemplary”. We will also investigate practiced rubrics and checklists from specific to general. These templates will be used in a grade level activity to assess student work. Participants will examine student works of art in grade level groups and share insights with assessing creativity. Grades 6-12

Leah Olson Ellsworth High School Visual Arts

Empowering Students Through Assessment Techniques and Strategies

“What did I get and how did I do?” Participants will explore and analyze how involving students in the assessment process (from planning, choosing criteria and selecting various assessments) can empower them in their art experience. This workshop will introduce participants to The Studio Habits of Mind as a guide to creating formative and summative assessments. Students can become the advocates of their art programs through understanding the standards and assessments! Grades 5-12

Jane Snider Hancock Grammar and Lamoine Consolidated Schools Visual Arts

Gifted and Talented in Music Education

Explore strategies for identifying students as gifted and talented in music. Participants will discuss issues around what to assess, how to assess, when to assess, and common pitfalls in assessing large numbers of students. Grades K-12

Andrea Wollstadt Biddeford Intermediate School Music

From Real Time to Report Time

“From Real Time to Report Time” – Developing a Meaningful Assessment System.This workshop will focus on techniques for the elementary music classroom that make developing rubrics, gathering student assessments and organizing report cards a manageable task.  Sample rubrics and report cards will be presented.  Participants are encouraged to bring their own rubrics and/or report cards to share with the group.  Grades 1-8

Alice Sullivan Princeton/Woodland Elementary Schools Music

Session 2

Digital Portfolios: Organizing curriculum and student work to show growth and proficiency

Learn about Evernote, a digital notebook that allows online file sharing to organize student work, documents proficiency, and allows teachers to share documents with students. This workshop is relevant to all arts teachers, visual and performing. Grades 3-12

Shannon Westphal Ellsworth High School Visual Art

“All The World’s A Stage”

As we move to standards based grading, how do we ensure that we are able to assess student work outside of the classroom? Particularly in the visual/performing arts students may be meeting standards out in the world at large. This workshop seeks to explore internships and contracts with students for standards met outside the classroom via performance, apprenticeships, private study, etc. Grades 9-12

Rebecca Wright Ellsworth High School Theatre

Maine Learning Results: Guiding your Ensemble Curriculum

This workshop will encourage the participant to look beyond the concert to developing life-long arts producers and consumers in the ensemble setting. Suggestions to meet each of the Maine Learning Results and tools for assessment will be shared. Grades 6-12

Sue Barre Waterville Junior and Senior High Schools Music

The Digital Classroom

Digital materials and techniques will be presented and examined for providing an open and collaborative dialogue among learners, teachers, and administrators. An essential question for this workshop is “What might student and teacher portfolios look like as evidence of teaching/learning and what should they contain to meet requirements of proficiencies and accountability?” A demonstration of Google+ and it’s available apps and uses will give participants an example of structures possible through web-based collaboration. Grades 9-12 all subjects

Charlie Johnson Mount Desert Island High School Visual Arts Digital Media/ Photography and Kathleen Murphy (student)


Announcing Mega-Regional Workshops

November 12, 2013

Ellsworth High School, UMF, USM, and UMaine

Feedback on the biennial statewide conference Arts Education: Leading the Way that was held at UMaine on October 24th continues to come in. But that is not all that the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is providing for professional development this school year.

I am soooooooo excited to announce the professional development opportunities that continue to take place by the MAAI teacher leaders. There are 35 sessions scheduled at the 4 locations listed below that the MAAI calls Mega-Regional workshops.

You can click on each site above to get to the details or go to In the AM at each Mega-Regional session teachers will select 2 workshops from a variety (each site offering different workshops). There are two PM sessions that teachers will have a chance to drill down on important arts education topics that are impacting all of us in today’s education environment:

  • The Arts and Proficiency
  • Think Tanks on Technology

The cost to attend a Mega-Regional workshop is $20.00 with 5.5 contact hours provided. Registration is required to attend the all day, 8:15 – 3:15, Mega-Regional workshops.

Please note: Each mega-regional workshop has a different link for registering! The MAAI teacher leaders are anxious to share their workshops with you and look forward to what you bring to the workshops. These are multiple opportunities for the Maine Arts education community to come together to deepen our knowledge!

If you have any questions please email me at I look forward to seeing you at a Mega-Regional workshop.


Phase 3 MAAI summer institute, MECA, June 2013

Also scheduled are 34 Regional workshops taking place in various locations all over the state. You can find the information on these workshops by clicking here.


In Today’s News

April 8, 2013

Treble Makers

The Bangor Daily News has an article about Hermon High School and the ‘Gold’ they took home this weekend from the State Show Choir competition. You can read about it and see photos at


MAAI and MLTI Partner

December 25, 2012

Mega-regional workshops offered

The Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) is partnering with the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) to offer all-day Mega-Regional workshops. Over 36 sessions will be offered at the four locations; Farmington, Portland, Ellsworth, and Presque Isle. These are FREE all day arts education workshops for elementary, middle, high school, and higher ed educators.

The workshops are provided FREE and contact hours are available. Workshop facilitators are the MAAI teacher leaders (phase 1 and 2) and MLTI technology integrators. At least one workshop included at each location will have an integrated co-facilitated session that connects at least one arts discipline and technology. In addition MLTI staff will be offering sessions. All participants must pre-register. Join us for this unique opportunity! Each participant can select two 1-hour morning workshops and one 2-hour afternoon MLTI session. You will need to bring a computer that has the MLTI image.

These workshops are in response to the feedback from arts educators requesting more professional development opportunities. Also happening all over the state are Regional workshops being presented by the arts education teacher leaders from the second phase of MAAI.

The Mega-Regional Workshops

  • Monday, January 14, 8:00 to 3:30, University of Maine at Farmington
  • Friday, March 1, 8:00 to 3:30, University of Southern Maine, Portland
  • Friday, March 22, 8:00 to 3:30, Presque Isle High School, Presque Isle
  • Friday, March 29, 8:00 to 3:30, Ellsworth High School, Ellsworth

Workshop descriptions are located here. Please click here to learn more and to REGISTER for one or more of the workshop sessions.


Another Arts Teachers’ Story: Rebecca Wright

July 11, 2012

Featuring one teacher’s journey as an educator

This is the 16th 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.

Rebecca Wright just completed her 27th year in public education with the last 26 in Ellsworth, RSU 24. She is unique not because she teaches grades 9-12 at Ellsworth High School (EHS) but that she teaches Theatre, Vocal Music, and Dance and each year her student load varies due to her content expertise. On a trimester system at EHS next year she will teach 7 sections of public speaking, a new requirement for Freshmen. Her primary classes are in Introductory Theatre, Dance, and Vocal Music and Advanced sections in all those areas as well. Rebecca also teaches two different sections of Stagecraft; Costumes and Sets, and Concert Choir. The team Rebecca works with is awaiting final approval for instituting a Visual/Performing Arts Academy. Rebecca is a teacher leader with the first phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

What do you like best about being an arts educator?

It is ever changing and it is what students can be passionate about. They come to my class and say “I’ve waited all day for this!” I love how it changes or improves their lives forever and they will come back years later to describe how the visual/performing arts classes have helped them, supported their goals, or become a lifelong pursuit.

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

  1. Community and Administrative Support
  2. Dedication and a thick skin:)
  3. Students first!

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

Formative, formative, formative. Students are constantly assessed and encouraged daily without being aware of it. Formative assessment is vital to their individual improvement. My emphasis is on individual progress not on comparison to anyone else in class. Everyone can and will improve and graded assessments are based on their self-assessment, peer assessment and my assessment.

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

The arts assessment initiative has been one of the best professional experiences of my career. The week spent last summer with people of like philosophy and mind was exhilarating and inspiring. The wealth of knowledge and ideas was a treasure trove to draw from and Ann Marie from MLTI changed my outlook on technology forever!

What are you most proud of in your career?

I have been blessed to have had many highlights in my career. Seven state championship show choir titles, two national titles at Disney, many successful festivals and sold out performances. I am most proud however, of the many students who have chosen to pursue careers and lives in the arts. It has been so rewarding to see them go on spreading the love of music, theatre and dance around the country. Many are teaching and directing at schools around the state, some are dancing in New York City, some are on television and in the movies spanning the nation from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles. Some participate in community theatre and church choirs. They keep me in the loop of their lives and I could not be more proud.

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

The things that most interfere with being a better teacher are the increasing demands placed upon the teaching profession in general, red tape and paperwork, and also the constant repetition of having to educate administration about the unique and different needs of the Visual/Performing Arts Dept. I have had many supportive administrators but it has taken determination on the part of myself and my colleagues to gain that support and understanding of our programs.

Apple or PC?

Apple because we have “one to one” for our students.

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

I constantly hear from colleagues across the state “It must be nice!”, “You have all kinds of money to work with.”, “Ellsworth has all kinds of advantages”. What I remind them is that it took 26 years to build what we have and we started with nothing more than an aging cafetorium stage and a handful of kids. There have been years full of “blood, sweat and tears” poured into our program not just on my part but on the part of all those students, parents, and volunteers during all those years. Circumstances were often against us but a passion for the importance of performing arts for students carried us through.

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

The visual/performing arts are more important than ever to students and our culture.
Don’t give up and don’t expect everyone to be as excited as you are. Always remember who it makes the difference for-students. Be willing to compromise and be flexible and be willing to look at your situation from all sides. It is hard to argue with a program that is always focussed on what is truly best for students.

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

After paying for my twins education, one is going to SVA in Manhattan for Animation and one is going to USM as Musical Theatre major (go figure:), I would probably finally start the “Wright School for the Performing Arts”. We have joked about it for years, buying The Grand Auditorium in Ellsworth and renovating it to be used as a year round performing arts school and performance center.

Thanks Rebecca for telling your story!


Show Choir Performances

April 9, 2012

Saturday, March 31, 2012

The excitement was intense and impressive at the annual Maine State Vocal Jazz Festival held at Ellsworth High School.

Connie Carter attended and said the following:

“What an amazing showcase of talent, energy, commitment, collaboration, and just plain incredible entertainment!  It was so exciting to see Ellsworth High School overflowing with people who suipport the arts.  There was enough creative energy there
on Saturday to meet Maine’s energy needs for a year! Clearly the arts have a voice in Maine!”

And Ed Brazee’s observations:

“I loved every minute of the state competition for Show Choirs and Jazz Choirs last Saturday at Ellsworth High School. It was particularly gratifying to see high school students from across Maine collaborating and enjoying each others’
presentations. Were they competive? Of course, but they were also appreciative and supportive of each other’s efforts. Very impressive!”

The Ellsworth High School Show Choir won the Division I State Championship at the event for the sixth time in the choir’s history and the third year in a row. They also received a “Gold Award” rating of 1 and received the “Outstanding Choreography” Award for the third year running as well. Special recognition for 1 rating performances in the solo category went to Tyler Small, Tyler Beardsley, Kassidy Jordan, Tim Follette, Blake Pattengale, Marissa Boynton, Lauren Barkhouse, Savannah Jackson, and show-stopping Melissa Wells. The choir presented “I Know Where I’ve Been: Twenty Years of EHS Show Choir” . The evening final performance may be found on You Tube. On Tuesday, April 10th, the Show Choir leaves for Orlando, Florida where they will be competing in Disney Festival and performing on the Waterside Stage in Downtown Disney. Congratulations and Good Luck!

Ellsworth High School Show Choir

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