Posts Tagged ‘Lake Region School District’


Arts Ed in Lake Region

April 6, 2016

What’s been happening in the Lake Region Schools

Combined BandMSAD 61 or Lake Region School District as they are commonly referred to is made up of students from Naples, Bridgton, Casco, and Sebago. They had a fabulous Youth Art Month and Music-in-Our-Schools Month!  Gallery 302 in Bridgton displayed high school art for the month, including 3-dimensional, photography, paintings, prints, and a diverse array of work.

The district held three big concerts.  The slogan for Music In Our Schools Month was, “Music Inspires.”  Fine Arts Director Jenni Null said: “I truly was inspired on many different levels”.  March 10 was the Combined Middle/High School Instrumental Concert. Zack Gray, a senior trumpet player and rated number one in the State this year, was featured in one of the piece.  Jenni started with Zack in grade 4, and she had  tears listening to him at this recent event. The last few pieces also involved the Bridgton Community Band playing along side our kids. “It was so heartwarming to see this Band ranging from ages 11 – 80 playing as one unit”, Jenni said.

On March 14, they held the Combined Middle/High School Choral Concert. There was every style of music represented: early renaissance, jazz, gospel, pop, and contemporary. A great educational experience for their students.

Dan Neault, Emily St. John, Carmel Collins, and Cody Bean

Dan Neault, Emily St. John, Carmel Collins, and Cody Bean

Three high school students traveled to Augusta with dance/visual arts teacher and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader Carmel Collins to speak with their representatives as part of the Arts Education Advocacy day at the State House on March 24.

The final concert was the Combined Elementary Chorus/Band on March 29. Over 100 students from our three elementary schools combined to perform an array of music.  Highlights were the Second year instrumentalists performing the Raider’s March (Indiana Jones Theme) and the chorus rendition of the Theme from Spiderman.  It was an uplifting evening of music.

IMG_1873Two Lake Region Middle School students have had their artwork selected (among 20 state wide) for the 2016/17 MLTI screensaver challenge.

One Lake Region High School senior will have her artwork on display in a Gallery on Commercial Street in Portland as a part of the Casco Bay Artisans First Annual Regional High School (LRHS) Student Art Show. The event will take place on First Friday, May 6, 2016 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. This show will run through Wednesday, May 11.

A Junior Dance major auditioned and was offered a place in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade!  She has been accepted into the American Academy of Ballet summer intensive program. Another Junior and serious dance student, has been offered places in the Joffrey summer dance intensive (NYC and Miami) as well as the North Carolina School of the Arts summer intensive. She also received a $300 scholarship to Dean Summer dance intensive.

Ian Smith between Bridgton Low BrassLRHS Musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum runs April 7-10.

Karen Montanaro will do 3 week long residencies in our elementary schools, working with fifth graders.  The first will be after April vacation.  Everyone is  looking forward to having her residencies.

Thanks to Jenni Null, Lake Region Fine Arts Director and Maine Arts Leadership Initiative Teacher Leader, for sharing the recent MSAD#61 Arts education happenings.


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Linda McVety

April 8, 2014

 MSAD#61 Lake Region School District Music Educator

This is the fifth blog post for 2014 and the third phase of the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative of this series sharing arts teachers’ stories. This series contains a set of questions to provide the opportunity for you to learn from and about others.

IMG_3477Linda McVety is the K-5 general music and grade 3 literacy intervention teacher at MSAD #61, Laken Regiona School District. She has been teaching for 34 years and 25 in her present position at the Songo Locks Elementary in Naples. Population: 495 students.

What do you like best about being a music/art/drama/dance educator?

The best part about being an elementary music teacher is that I have the potential to reach children and give them the gift of music. When asked what I teach I always say “I teach children first.” I can have fun every day and give joy through music to children that may not have a lot of positive in their lives. I want my students to realize that they will have music throughout their lives.

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

  1. Support from administration and community
  2. A teacher that believes in the importance of the arts in every child’s education
  3. A teacher who understands the way children learn and can develop his/her lessons and assessments to reach most of her students.

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

  1. It helps to keep me organized and focused on the goals that I want to accomplish at each grade level
  2. Rubrics help me empower my students to take ownership of their learning

What have been the benefits in becoming involved in the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative?

Sharing and communicating with arts colleagues has been invaluable. I have been able to see what programs are around the State of Maine and have a give/take relationship with my colleagues.

What are you most proud of in your career?

Watching students have that “aha” moment-that says “I love this music” or “I understand this music”. Showing my students my love for playing the cello.

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

  1. All of the extra duties
  2. Attitudes of people who only think of the arts as a “prep” time and not as a valuable part of the educational community
  3. No enough time to plan and put valuable lessons together

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

Having 3 wonderful and successful sons is my #1 accomplishment!

Students that come to school because they love music class.

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

  1. Learn discipline techniques but find a way to have fun
  2. Learn and practice collaborating with classroom teachers-find the time to communicate with them
  3. Find another arts colleague to bounce off ideas with and design lessons with-don’t keep yourself in isolation
  4. Go to workshops created by other arts educators-never stop learning

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

 I would take a few students around the world to see music, art and dance in different cultures.

 I would buy instruments for students who could not afford them.

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

Sometimes I forgot to use music as my own saving grace and distressing mechanism. I don’t regret anything in raising my wonderful sons and giving them great educational opportunities, however I do regret not traveling to see more of the world.






K-12 Celebration of the Arts Festival – Lake Region

June 9, 2012

Days of exhibits and performances

The arts educators of Lake Region School District, MSAD #61 (Bridgton, Casco, Naples, Sebago) go all out each year to provide the opportunity for students to exhibit art work, perform musical and dance selections. A real showcase of student accomplishments of the standards. I had the chance to visit for a small part and I am glad I did!

District Fine Arts Coordinator Jenni Null shared some of her photos of the event that was held on May 30 and 31st. The two day Festival, held at Lake Region High School includes

  • precorder players
  • a Dance Showcase (LRHS)
  • LRHS Pops Concert
  • LRMS Gr. 6 Band
  • tours of the exhibit for all Gr. 3 students during the day led by LRHS art docents
  • demonstrating artists: potter, spinner, quilt maker, rug hooker, painter, and
  • a spectacular array of art from students in K-12!

There were opportunities for students to engage in hands on activities: hat making, t-shirt screening (the 2012 Arts Festival Logo), face painting, & card/book mark making with stamps. One highlight of the event was the life like recreations of Grant Wood’s American Gothic & Edvard Munch’s The Scream. In both works, the faces were cut out, so people could stand behind the works and literally become a part of the paintings. The event was a huge success, judging by the number of students who were still talking about it the next day and still donning their face paintings and silk screened shirts.

Dance teacher Carmel Collins invited me to the two day event and I attended on the night of the student dance performance. Below is Carmel’s description including a photo of the event.

The opening number, “Party Rock Anthem,” echoed the spirit of the festivals words, “Celebration of the Arts.” Students ranging from grades 6 through 12 entertained their audience with dance styles ranging from hip-hop to theatrical to modern dance. Each performance bringing with it a new story, a new energy, a new thought and may be a question or two.

Interspersed between the performances, slam poets engaged the audience with their artistic, rhythmic verses of pain, love, anguish and joy, in true slam style fashion. Their words ringing circles of questions and retrospection. Slam poetry has grown rapidly over the recent years since its introduction from language arts teacher, Lucinda Stein.

Her vision and energy has enthused and inspired students to write deeply, honestly and passionately about life, love and loss. This new addition to the show highlights how important and integral the literary arts are to the field of the arts as a creative and expressive art form.

A show of course would not be complete without the lights and sound from our talented and creative Mr. Eugene Long and his assistant for the evening, student Ethan Strain. From a solitary spotlight to subtle hues of greens and blues, to the dazzling oranges and yellows, the lights and music brought the show to life and to the audience.

The evening concluded with student Kelsey Wilcox wishing everyone to leave with the message of the finale, “ A Good Feeling” by Flo Rida. In costumes that sparkled and dazzled under the lights echoing the word “Showtime!” students and teacher, Carmel Collins gave the last performance of the evening to a very appreciative and receptive audience.

The Dance Showcase initially began as a solitary event during the school day for grades 9-12. However, over the past nine years since its conception the Dance Showcase has grown to become an evening event, has expanded to include grades 6-12, and has become an integral part of the districts K-12 Arts Festival. The new dance/multipurpose studio will be completed in the fall of 2012 offering students the continued opportunity to explore and experience the challenging, creative, and expressive art form of dance.

The dance program has brought joyful, challenging, new and familiar experiences to our students, as one of our newest and youngest additions to the program commented,
“Iʼve had fun with the dance showcase. Itʼs given me a chance to expand my skills in dancing, as well as allowing me to step outside my comfort zone and do things I never thought I could. The most amazing thing, though, is the friends Iʼve made through the showcase. Iʼm normally a shy person, so getting to know the other dancers was awesome.”    Talya Bartlett, freshman

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