Posts Tagged ‘Kimberly Medsker’

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Maine Principals Association Conference

December 4, 2012

Leadership in the Arts

Kimberly and Tom presenting

Kimberly and Tom presenting

Recently I joined colleagues to present a session called Leadership in the Arts at the Maine Principals Association conference in Portland. I was happy to have the opportunity to present a session at the conference and honored to be presenting with outstanding and committed educators.

Kimberly Medsker and Tom Edwards shared information about their collaborative work at Freeport High School. Before joining the teaching staff at USM Tom was principal at Freeport where Kimberly is the art teacher. Evidence of high standards were clear in the student work that Kimberly shared. And Tom’s support for the arts was not only evident but clearly articulated. Each student has a webpage that is their electronic portfolio so progress can be tracked and the evidence is clear. Tom believes that the arts are essential for a dynamic, productive school.

kika

Erika

Erika Stump shared information on the report that she co-authored with David Silvernail More Efficient Public Schools: Learning Communities Building the Foundation of Intellectual Work. The report is part of the work at the Maine Education Policy Research Institute, University of Southern Maine. Erika shared some of the research finding. The schools that participated in the study included elementary, middle and high schools throughout Maine. These schools had a culture of pervasive learning, the learning was constant, and learning opportunities are continuous. For example, counting the steps while running up a hill is turned into a teachable moment. Erika said that the “arts are a good way to open the brain using creativity or an artistic approach to reach analytical thinking.”

catherineThe session continued with information and discussion on the role of arts educators as teacher leaders, specifically with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). Leadership is a key component of the initiative and we have provided professional development in leadership at the summer institute along with assessment, technology, and creativity. Jeff Beaudry, USM professor, Catherine Ring, Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education, and both members of the MAAI leadership team joined me for this segment. We are continually amazed at the leadership role that the MAAI teacher leaders are committed to and the value that they offer to their schools and communities by taking on the responsibility.

I look forward to another opportunity in the future to connect with the Maine Principals Association.

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