Posts Tagged ‘Jen Nash’


A Word About the Conference Presentations

September 10, 2015

Biennial statewide conference – October 9 – Early-bird registration deadline is today, September 10!



The photo below is from a zoom meeting where some of the workshop presenters for the October 9 statewide biennial arts education conference The Measure of Success were engaged in learning more about how to put together the best format for the morning sessions. We are calling the sessions 5 X 5.

What does that mean?

Nine workshops are being offered during the PM sessions. Each conference participant selects from two of them (they are repeated) to attend when they register. During the AM session each workshop presenter will have 5 minutes and 5-8 images to provide a glimpse of their afternoon session that is scheduled for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

What if you see/hear something in the AM that you must attend?

You can change your mind and attend a different session in the PM than you registered for before the conference.

Screen Shot 2015-07-17 at 2.07.33 PM

If they look serious it is because they were working to bring you the BEST learning opportunities possible!


  • Studio Habits of Mind: Using the “Hidden Curriculum” to Encourage Student Autonomy with Visual Arts Teachers Theresa Cerceo from Dr. Levesque Elementary, Wisdom Middle/High School and Janie Snider from Hancock Grammar School
  • Making Maine and ME with Visual Arts Teacher Jennie Driscoll from Brunswick High School
  • Evaluating Individual Proficiency within the Large Ensemble with Music Teacher Jen Etter from York Middle School
  • Dancing with the Creative Process: How to incorporate standards-based dance and movement activities in classroom learning and assessment with Dancer, Educator, and Teaching Artist John Morris
  • In the Midst of Madness with Music Teacher Jen Nash from Sabasticook Valley Middle School, Dance Teacher MaryEllen Schaper from Bonny Eagle Middle School, and Associate Professor, Educational Leadership from USM Jeff Beaudry, Ph.D.
  • Empathy, Kindness and Wonder, Arts Integration at Work with the Director and Founder of Sweet Tree Arts Lindsay Pinchbeck
  • Brains on Fire: How Research on the Brain Can Inform Arts Education with the Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education Catherine Ring
  • From Cool to Tool: Technology Integration with Student Learning in Mind with Music Teacher  Kate Smith from Central School in South Berwick, Mountain Valley High School in Rumford Teacher Jeff Bailey, and Mt. Blue High School in Farmington Teacher Dan Ryder
  • Proficiency Based Learning: An Advocacy Story Music Teacher Rob Westerberg from York High School 

    Want to learn more about the sessions? 
    If you wish to reach a description of each workshop, see photos of the presenters, WATCH A ONE MINUTE VIDEO on each session, please go to

    What else are these workshop presenters providing?

    An amazing collection of resources that will go live on the day of the conference, October 9. You will be blown away by what they’ve put together for conference attendees. You won’t want to miss it just for the resources alone!

    Deadline for the Early-bird registration of $90 is today, September 9!

    The conference is sponsored by the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative (MALI), a program of the Maine Arts Commission. To learn more please go to

    Please note: On August 3, 2015, MAAI, the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, announced its new name, MALI, the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. You can read about it at Please email Argy Nestor if you have any questions at


WERU – Arts Alive

September 7, 2015

Listen to the archive


Susan Potters, Jen Nash, Michael Donahue

I mentioned last week that the WERU Arts Alive program invited a group to discuss arts education and advocacy week, September 14-18. The program has been archived so you can access it and listen to your colleague, music educator from Sebasticook Middle School and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Jen Nash. Also participating in the program were Susan Potters, Executive Director of the Maine Alliance for Arts Education, Jeff Poulin, Arts Education Program Director from the Americans for the Arts, and me, Argy Nestor. Michael Donahue is the host of WERU, Maine Arts Alive and did a wonderful job.

To access the program on WERU Community Radio, MaineArtsAlive, please go to the site, click on Public Affairs Archives in the lower right, scroll down to MAINEARTSALIVE and click on title; or

go directly to and click on “Program Information” and click on “recent programs” drop down.  This is the direct link:


Roundtable Music Ed Webinar

May 28, 2014

Review of webinar

Screen Shot 2014-05-27 at 9.42.14 PMThe fourth in a series of webinars for the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative was held on Tuesday, May 20, entitled “Maine Music Educators Roundtable”. The webinar was facilitated by Rob Westerberg, choral director at York High School in direct response to concerns from music educators in the field around a broad selection of topics. The hour included participation by Maine’s Visual and Performing Arts Specialist at the Maine Department of Education, Mr. Kevin Facer.

Roundtable guests were: Drew Albert – vocal and instrumental, Maranacook Community High School, Andria Bacon – instrumental/strings & general, RSU #64; Corinth, Bill Buzza – instrumental & general, Edward Little High School, Jen Etter – vocal music, York Middle School, Jen Nash – instrumental/strings & general, Sebasticook Valley Middle School and Ashley Smith – vocal & general at Brunswick High School. After a brief introduction, the roundtable went to work fleshing out thoughts around topics which included:

  • Effect of common core on music programs
  • Proficiency & standards based assessment
  • Music teachers as leaders in your own schools
  • National Standards release and ramifications
  • Teacher evaluation implementation

Additional discussion prompts were also presented:

* “I feel our district is caught between common core, national standards, Maine Learning Results and our own ad lib set of standards created from the consortium of schools we belong to. It’s mind numbing that we have so many versions of what is ‘important’ in a curriculum versus what should be required of Maine students in order to receive a high school diploma.”

*How can we create an effective mentoring system for teachers who are in need of improving their pedagogical skills?

*As we deal with budget issues, our teachings loads are increasing as we are being asked to do more with individual assessments. We cannot administer these assessments without adequate time in our schedules.

Many viewpoints were presented on all of these topics, providing a practical platform for further discussion by music teachers within and between school districts. The archived recording of the session is located at Accordingly, a follow-up meeting plan has been developed to facilitate this discussion, applicable for school district professional days or regional meetings between music educators. The meeting plan is located at

On Wednesday, June 11, 3:30 to 4:30 the MAAI will be holding a webinar hosted by Catherine Ring, featuring the ongoing work of the Resource Bank team for Visual and Performing Arts. Teacher leaders on the Resource Bank team will be our guests. Please plan on joining us for an exciting conversation and a sneak peak of some of the rich resources created by the team on that second Wednesday of June. 


Archived Webinars: CDLN

May 31, 2013

Wrapped up with a bow!


Jen Nash, K-8 music educator, Etna-Dixmont, RSU 19

Lisa Gilman, 7-12 art educator, Winthrop Middle and High School, AOS 97

Suzanne Goulet, art educator, Waterville Senior High School

The three visual and performing arts educators hosted 4 webinars during the 2012-14 school year for the Cross Discipline Literacy Network. They did a fabulous job planning and facilitating the webinars that illustrated the connections between the arts and literacy from multiple angles and integration methods.

They invited guests to participate as well so there was a wealth of information shared on each webinar from people with tons of knowledge. Guests included: Catherine Ring, Jude Valentine, Katrina Billings, Pam Ouellette, Karen Montanaro, and Jake Sturtevant.

Fortunately the webinars are archived so you can access them alone or perhaps with your colleagues. It would be a great way to spend professional development time with colleagues in your building, district, or region. Each webinar provides a place to start a conversation and continue with work you might have underway with literacy, the Common Core ELA, integration, and much more.

The webinar are listed below along with the links where you can access them.


Lisa Gilman


Jen Nash


Suzanne Goulet


All-State In-Service Conference

May 27, 2013

A GREAT event!


Sanford High School’s Matt Doiron, York High School’s Rob Westerberg, and Bonny Eagle High School’s Jake Sturtevant recognize colleagues with a standing ovation. All three have had an active leadership role in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative.

It was wonderful to have the opportunity to attend the In-Service conference week before last that the Maine Music Educators Association (MMEA) provided for music teachers across the state. Congratulations and a great big THANK YOU to the planning committee for your work and time commitment to making the professional development opportunity a success!

Please watch for individual blog posts on those individuals who have been honored by the MMEA for their commitment to the profession. Thank you to those who take the time to recognize colleagues! I know it means a great deal and it is a reminder to all of us that our work is appreciated.

It was great to see so many Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s teacher leaders providing workshops during the conference.

I had the opportunity to join my music colleagues and Maine Arts Assessment Initiative’s teacher leaders Jen Nash and Bill Buzza in presenting a session on the National Core Arts Standards (NCAS). Jen and Bill and colleague Allysa Anderson provided feedback on the first draft of the document. All three are teacher leaders with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative. They were three of 10 Maine visual and performing arts educators that provided feedback. Because of their involvement they have first hand knowledge of the NCAS draft. Several teachers attended the session and asked questions and provided suggestions on how to disseminate the NCAS information as it becomes available. If you have any suggestions, please email them to me. It is important that all of you provide feedback. The next draft of the standards is scheduled for release in June and it will be available to everyone. Please get ready to provide feedback!

I was glad to attend the banquet and see the performance of Hampden Academy students and their teacher Pat Michaud joining them on the drums. It was a delight to see so many of you attending the conference and a chance to chat.


Pat Michaud and Hampden Academy students perform at the banquet.


Music teachers showing their appreciation for the student performers


Music teachers discuss the National Core Arts Standards

Bill Buzza, Argy, Jen Nash presenting the session on the National Core Arts Standards

Bill Buzza, Argy, Jen Nash presenting the session on the National Core Arts Standards


Cross Discipline Literacy Network

March 20, 2013


We know Spring is coming and so is another wonderful opportunity to connect with other Arts educators in the third Cross Discipline Literacy Network webinar.  Even if you have not joined the conversation before please feel free to “drop in” and learn about what literacy in the Arts classroom is and can be.

Thursday, March 21st, 3 PM to 4PM
                                                       The “L” iteracy Word

The following is for connecting to the webinar:
To join the meeting:

1.    Go online to

2.    Select ‘Enter as a Guest’ and type your name in the corresponding field.

3.    To listen and speak during the meeting, you will need to be connected by telephone:

·         The meeting can call you at a phone number you provide at log-in, or

·         You can dial directly into the meeting: 1-877-455-0244, Passcode 8332185782.  (Use this second option when joining the meeting from sites where your phone can only be reached through a switchboard.)


Visit to Etna-Dixmont School

February 28, 2013

Jen Nash, Music teacher Extraordinaire

5th gr For quite a while elementary music teacher Jen Nash and I had been trying to schedule a time for me to visit her school and it finally happened the week before February break. I had the full visit from meeting teachers, administrators, lunch in the teachers room, playground duty, and the best part was being in Jen’s classroom.

I arrived in time for a kindergarten class. I am always impressed with elementary music teachers and the energy it takes to teach and Jen was no exception! Moving from one activity to the next challenging the students as they were introduced to a variety of concepts and building on ones mastered from previous lessons. Ongoing assessment was evident throughout the lesson. Jen keeps her ipad close by making notes throughout.

The students went on a “bear hunt” and flipped between being a blur of movement to silent movers to climbing and slithering and sliding through different environments.  Throughout the lesson students were engaged in their learning, enthusiastic, happy, and able to move at their pace. Their motor coordination, movements, personal space, interactions with their classmates were tapped throughout the song. And all the while they were singing and dancing! Jen interwove literacy throughout the lesson providing students the opportunity to know success as they relied on each other and worked individually.

kindI had the chance to be there for an individual saxophone lesson, 5th grade band, and the middle jazz band practice as they readied for the competition scheduled later in the week. Which, by the way, they received a 1-rating and will go on to the state competition – congratulations! During my visit Jen played the sax, trombone, and the drums.

I had a chance to speak to principal Jane Stork who is proud of the work that Jen and the students are doing in music education. Superintendent Greg Potter stopped by for a visit as well. I lucked out for lunch since it was the teachers once a month pot luck. The theme was Mardi Gras and the choices were all very yummy!

A great big THANK YOU to Jen for inviting me and the opportunity to see her and the students “in action” – a wonderful day at Etna-Dixmont School!

Jen has been an integral part of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI) as a first phase teacher leader. When I arrived in her classroom I noticed written on the board the saying: “Music… can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.” ~Leonard Bernstein. Jen told me that she had gotten the idea to write a quote on the board by phase 2 teacher leader Jane Kirton from Sanford High School. It was a reminder to me that the MAAI is about fulfilling its mission of “Creating an environment in Maine where assessment in arts education is an integral part of the work all arts educators do to deepen student learning in the Arts” AND so much more! The importance of bringing arts teachers together to exchange ideas, ask questions, provide alternatives, and share best practices is ongoing. I invite you to join the work and play at one of the upcoming  MAAI Mega-regional and/or regional workshops.

trumbone jen

jazz band

blur kind.

sax alyssa


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