Posts Tagged ‘Peg Maxwell’

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Scholastic Arts

March 19, 2021

Honors Maine Art Educator

Ours schools and communities continue to cultivate the arts and teachers have a crucial role in encouraging and teaching our youth to become creative thinkers. The 2021 Maine Region Scholastic Art Awards honors one of our state’s outstanding art educators who is also a mentor, an arts leader, and brought Scholastics to the State of Maine 32 years ago. (Margaret) Peg Maxwell’s first teaching job was in 1983 in a 3-room schoolhouse in Otis, a small town on the outskirts of Ellsworth, Maine. She eventually settled into a position at Bonny Eagle where she taught for nearly 38 years. An innovator, she crossed boundaries creating engaging curricula. She invited the Martha Graham Dancers to USM and Merrill Auditorium after working with them at Monmouth College. She was integral at bringing Alvin Ailey dancers to Maine and Arthur Hall of Sesame Street, a friend from Philadelphia, who eventually moved his dance studio to Camden, Maine, permanently. She created a multidisciplinary curricula, integrating the arts into education. 

Continuing her personal artistic growth throughout her career, she studied a dizzying list of courses from book arts at Bennington College to Marine Biological Illustration to Documentary Film here in Rockport, and so much more. She generously shared her knowledge with her community and students, reshaping art education and curricula.

Today we honor Ms. Maxwell, who brought the Scholastic Awards program to Maine in 1989!

Peg began teaching at Bonny Eagle High School that same year. She noted that they had to pay an additional fee and go through an additional board of jurors due to not being sponsored by a major corporation or post-secondary institution. She spent many years seeking support for the program through colleges and even the Boston Globe, as they supported Massachusetts and New Hampshire schools. Maine College of Art eventually took hold of the opportunity followed by Heartwood School in Kennebunk for a couple of years with MECA.

Many of Peg’s students have continued in the arts as well working in creative fields like directing animation for Nickelodeon and PBS, or interning with Dale Chihuly, and designing websites for Disney, Oprah and ESPN. Other alumni are Fulbright scholars, and even a young artist was featured in Esquire as one of the top 10 Rogue Artists in the US. The list is exhaustive.

It is fitting that this art educator and State Arts leader should be honored with our first State of Maine Scholastic Art Educator Excellence Award. We thank Peg Maxwell for all her hard work and dedication in creating the foundation for our Scholastic program in Maine. We will be forever grateful for your presence in Maine’s Art Education Landscape. You have touched so many lives and it is with great pleasure that we congratulate you on these many achievements. We all look forward to seeing what important innovations you bring to the Maine Arts Scene in your next chapter. 

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Bonny Eagle High School

May 19, 2017

Doing STEAM work

Margaret A. (Peg)  Maxwell has been teaching art for many years at Bonny Eagle High School which is part of MSAD #6 and located in Standish, Maine.

Whenever I see Peg she is engaged in deep learning and has stories to tell about what her students are doing as well. At the end of March I bumped into Peg at LL Beans for the awards ceremony to recognize students whose art work had been selected as part of the 22nd Federal Junior Duck Conservation and Design Program. Of course Peg would involve her students in the opportunity since the program is a dynamic art- and science-based curriculum that teaches wetland and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school.

Peg sees a connection between art and science and any opportunity to develop lessons on the learning connections, she takes advantage of. Peg says it best: “I do not intend to teach science or offer any credit for science courses in my department. My intention is to interest students in the sciences, encourage them to tap into their creative and scientific selves….and to encourage them to invent and make connections for their future learning and become leaders in education, arts, engineering and design.”

Peg and I chatted about a radio talk show discussing STEAM education in the Boy Scouts program. I did a little research and found THIS LINK on the topic. I am aware of the work in our 4H programs. You can read about a 4H curriculum connection of sewing to science at THIS LINK.

At the spring Maine Art Education Association conference Peg provided a session on the Art and Science connection. The description: Teachers will learn the process of science integration into the curriculum using the resources in their buildings. The process of collaboration will be discussed and the proper avenues to pursue in order to facilitate a successful experience for the students. Hands on workshop using journal making as their container of ideas for the units. Weather, botany, anatomy and physiology, astronomy, chemistry and other units of sciences will be reviewed as possible integration topics. A brief discussion about the importance of integration with sciences as a motivator will be part of the workshop.

If you have any questions please contact Peg. She can be reached and is always willing to share at mmaxwell@bonnyeagle.org.

“Remember the importance of the eye and that black hole called the ‘pupil’ and how it allows us to see and learn…perhaps it is our own black hole of energy that manifests into the synapses (meaning to join) of our brain.” 

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