Posts Tagged ‘Suzanne Goulet’


MAEA Conference and Awards

April 12, 2022

What a day for art education!

The Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) concluded an outstanding spring conference by presenting three, no four, awards to deserving educators. But first a word about the conference. I’ve been around long enough to see institutions transform, some for the third and fourth time. I had the pleasure of working on the planning committee for the MAEA spring conference that was held on Saturday, April 2 in Rockland at the Farnsworth Art Museum and CMCA. I’m not just talking about a conference that was held in both facilities but what took place was magical. It was delightful to see the two institutions partner with MAEA to put together a very worthwhile day for art educators.

Presentation by Daniel Salomon

The conference entitled Radical Reuse was planned and implemented by a group of people who had never worked together before, some new to their positions, and everyone went above and beyond. Over a two month period every Thursday the education staffs of both institutions and the MAEA conference planners came together on zoom to plan the annual spring conference. THANK YOU to everyone for a job well done! From CMCA: Mia Bogyo, and representing the Farnsworth: Gwendolyn Loomis Smith, Katherine Karlik, and Alexis Saba. MAEA president, Lynda Leonas, coordinated the effort with board members Iva Damon and Christine Del Rossi supporting. From the Rockland school district Richard Wehnke helped.

Printmaking with Sherrie York – Lynda Leonas and Iva Damon

The keynote was provided by Krisanne Baker, Medomak Valley High School art and ecology teacher and artist. She is committed to advocating for the ocean and inspires her students to learn about water quality, availability and rights, and ocean stewardship. Guest speaker Daniel Salomon who teaches in The Hatchery at Camden Hills Regional High School provided background information on the work he is doing with students utilizing and reusing materials and the role we each can play.

Gallery tour, Farnsworth

After the opening speakers, conference participants attended sessions on printmaking with Sherrie York, art making around ‘place’ with Alexis Iammarino, toured the Farnsworth Museum, and toured CMCA. Several merchants from Downtown Rockland supported the conference goers with discounts. During the middle of the day Daniel’s students from the Hatchery, set up outside CMCA, shared several of the projects they have been involved in this year.

Alexis Iammarino demonstrating, CMCA


The day concluded with honoring the work of four educators with an amazing backdrop of quilts at CMCA. The educators are outstanding in and out of the classroom, engaged in work at the local, regional, and state level. They work (and play) tirelessly, sometimes alone and often collaborating with others. Every day they exhibit all that is right about education. In their respective institutions they have a place at the table where they continuously advocate for students and art education. We know that an excellent education in the arts is essential, and these educators strive for every student to experience just that. 

The awards committee was led by Belfast Area High School art teacher Heidi O’Donnell. Members of the committee included Hope Lord, Maranacook Middle School art teacher and Suzanne Goulet, Waterville High School art teacher, and myself. The awards, clay vessels, were created by Carolyn Brown, Camden Hills Regional High School art teacher. In addition each educator received a plaque for their classroom and a pineapple.

The 2022 Administration/Supervision Art Educator of the Year was presented to Dr. Rachel Somerville who is at Maine College of Art & Design and Westbrook Schools. She was introduced by Melissa Perkins, Congin Elementary School art teacher, Westbrook.

Melissa presenting Rachel

The 2022 Secondary Art Educator of the year was presented to Iva Damon, art teacher at Leavitt Area High School in Turner. She was introduced by Lynda Leonas, president of MAEA and an art teacher at Walton and Washburn Elementary Schools in Auburn.

Lynda presenting Iva

The 2023 Maine Art Educator of the Year was presented to Matthew Johnson, art teacher at Westbrook High School. He was introduced by Deb Bickford who also teaches art at Westbrook High School.

Lynda Leonas presented a surprise pineapple award to Heidi for outstanding leadership and contributions to the MAEA board. She is stepping down from the board as she takes on a leadership position with the National Art Education Association.

Heidi O’Donnell, right with her Belfast colleagues Linda Nicholas, middle and Kathie Gass, left

As we move away from the challenges of the pandemic I urge you to consider:

  • Become a member of MAEA, if you are not already one
  • Volunteer to become a board member and take on a leadership role
  • Nominate a colleague who is worthy of recognition

For more information please go to the MAEA website.

Photos taken by Heidi O’Donnell and myself.


Glorious Celebration!

December 18, 2018

Maine Excellence in Arts EducationLast Tuesday at the State House Complex the celebration for the Maine Excellence in Arts Education was held. The Maine Arts Commission (MAC) was proud to invite young artists and musicians from throughout the state and recognize them for their accomplishments. Over 250 attended the ceremony including 160 students from SeDoMoCha (Dover-Foxcroft) and Marshwood (Eliot) Middle Schools, 45 teachers and students from 9 Maine schools/districts. The chorus students had never met each other yet they came together and sang America, the Beautiful (arr.

Marshwood Middle School music educator Kris Bisson and SeDoMoCha School music educator Kaitlin Young share conducting America, the Beautiful

Ruth Elaine Schram) which started the afternoon program in the Hall of Flags. It was amazing and moved many in attendance to tears. The visual artists were recognized for their individual artwork by Julie Richard, the MAC Executive Director and Charles Stanhope, the MAC Chair.

Students from Marshwood, under the direction of music teacher Kristine Bisson, performed a piece called The River Sings its Song. The original lyrics and music were written by the students during a collaboration with Kris and Brian Evans-Jones. Brian is a teaching artist and a poet who did a residency during the 2017-18 school year. Students made the connection between an unused bridge in their community and their place in the world as young adolescents. During the performance students shared the story of the work which you can read below:

  • Rowan: Our school is comprised of students from Eliot and South Berwick, Maine as well as from Rollinsford, New Hampshire. There are nine rivers in these three communities, with some that flow into each other, much like our student body blending two independent states. We could easily connect to our rivers and bridges since most of us spend time near them in our towns. WE CAN RELATE.
  • Sylvia sharing part of the story

    Kelsey: We took a field trip to the bridge and river to discover the history this area has experienced. We were inspired by the natural beauty as we saw a great heron fly from its spot at the river’s edge. We wrote about the decaying bridge and the babbling river as the driving force that keeps going forward no matter what the season or changes might bring. This is how we feel about our own paths in life: nothing is impossible. WE HAVE PURPOSE.

  • Samantha: We learned about the native Americans, early settlers, and modern-day dwellers at this site. + We wrote a grant to work with a poet-artist-in-residence, Mr. Brian Evans-Jones, to help us dig deeply and gather thoughts into one complete lyric. + We learned how to create music that fit our thoughts and translate into comfortable melodies our voices could sing. + We trusted our fellow students to share our honest thoughts and ideas which led to a larger collaboration with our entire class; and later, the entire chorus of seventy-six students. WE LEARNED ABOUT EACH OTHER.
  • Julia: Our composition has two sections: one slow and solemn section for the bridge: abandoned, destined to be removed; another section for the river: always moving, reaching forward, regardless of destination, an unpredictable path.  The bridge is presented at the beginning, for this is what you see from afar as you travel the road. But surrounding the bridge, always, is the river. The river holds hope: providing power still, for our town. It is cleansing. It is peaceful. It is free. WE CREATE OUR LEARNING.
  • Marshwood Middle School Music educator, Kris Bisson, conducting the chorus.


  • Sylvia: PEOPLE BUILD BRIDGES, BRIDGES BUILD COMMUNITIES, COMMUNITIES BUILD OPPORTUNITIES. MARSHWOOD MIDDLE SCHOOL CHORUS DECIDED THAT WE WOULD EMBRACE OUR COMMUNITY AS OUR CLASSROOM. The metaphor of ADOLESCENCE being a BRIDGE was an easy one to relate to because there is a path before us;  yet we cannot predict the journey. And travelling the path is something we all have to do… sometimes together… sometimes alone… or sometimes with help…The elements of nature, history, and a sense of belonging are important to the human spirit. AND THIS IS WHAT WE WROTE…. WE HAVE POWER.
  • Kendra: We learned that a new footbridge for bikes and pedestrians is being planned by a local neighborhood organization. We wanted to help with this effort and held a school-wide Talent Show. We donated our proceeds to the Bridge Brigade towards the one-million-dollar cost of this project. We even had a model of the footbridge on display in our school to help spread the word about the efforts being made to keep a bridge in this location. WE EDUCATE OTHERS AND MAKE AN IMPACT. 
  • Students sharing the story, Hall of Flags, State House

    Dani: Beyond the notes, our students learned about each other and themselves. This project helped us to become reflective writers. We respected everyone’s personal ideas and many times offered encouragement to each other. We experienced creating melodies and harmonies that were designed entirely by us. We recorded melodies and emailed them to Mrs. Bisson or went to the piano to play what was in our heads so we could share with the class. And we shaped them all into one cohesive work: “THE RIVER SINGS ITS SONG”. WE COLLABORATE, AND TOGETHER,WE GROW.

  • Sabrina: In November of 2018 the State Department of Transportation removed the existing bridge. NOW THERE IS A VOID. We experienced history. We saw a bridge in need of repair. We learned that it wasn’t going to be healed. We witnessed photos of its removal. We witnessed loss. We would like to include two reflections from our chorus members to share the impact this project has had on our own development: “As we have experienced composing, practicing, and reflecting, I have developed a strong emotional connection with this piece. It symbolizes the change of our town landmark, but also the change I now see in me.
  • Kendra: “The struggles of adolescence are travelled by all of us and therefore, all can relate to this piece. The river’s emotions are brought to life in this lilting piece full of sorrow and mystery. Hope intertwines and creates crescendos of joy. Let the river sing its song!”

The performance was video taped in its entirety and posted on the Marshwood Education Foundation (one of the projects’ funders) Facebook page and by Senator Shenna Bellows. I suggest that you take a few minutes and watch and listen!

SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus

Students, under the direction of SeDoMoCha music teacher Kaitlin Young, performed Glorious. And, incredibly glorious it was! The song was based on the composition performed by Macklemore, featuring Skylar Grey. The additional lyrics and choral arrangement was created by the SeDoMoCha Middle School Chorus which was based on their developmental transition. The audience was moved by their words and obvious passion for singing.

Olivia Larson, grade 4, Hancock Grammar School. Art teacher: Jane Snider

Thirty-six students representing nine schools along with their art teachers were recognized for their artwork which is part of an exhibit in the State House Complex including the Governor’s reception area, the Health and Human Services committee meeting room, the Education and Cultural Affairs committee meeting room, and MAC. This is a “first” time exhibit – the student work hangs in the same location as their teachers. The schools and teachers included in the exhibit are listed below. All are teacher leaders with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative. Grade 4 student from Hancock Grammar School, Olivia Larson was so excited and proud she said: “This is the best day of my life”.

  • Gorham Middle School, Teacher: Amy Cousins
  • Hancock Grammar School, Teacher: Jane Snider
  • Jonesport Elementary and Jonesport Beals High School, Teacher: Lisa Marin
  • Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Teacher: Melanie Crowe
  • Maranacook Middle School, Readfield, Teacher: Hope Lord
  • Oxford Hills High School, South Paris, Teacher: Cindi Kugell
  • Brewer High School, Teacher: Lori Spruce
  • Richmond Middle School and High School, Teacher: Jeffrey Orth
  • Waterville High School, Teacher: Suzanne Goulet

Amy Cousins, Gorham Middle School art teacher and two of her students receiving their certificates from Argy Nestor, left and Julie Richard, right

The pride was evident in the faces of students, teachers, family members, and legislators. The art is on display at the following locations until April 31, 2019:

  • Maine Arts Commission
  • Cross Office Building second floor North and South corridors
  • Education & Cultural Affairs Committee room 202
  • Health & Human Services Committee room 209
  • State House, Office of the Speaker of the House
  • State House, Governor’s Reception Area

If you’d like a map that includes the location of each piece email me and I’d be glad to email or snail one to you.

Below is a video created by the Maine Arts Commission Marketing & Communications Director Ryan Leighton. You can see photos of the artwork at THIS LINK and photos of the day at THIS LINKI hope you’ll visit the exhibit.


Mega Message from Suzanne

February 13, 2017

Teaching as a Craft

Skills, collaboration, support, and innovation –

Quality professional development for educators is characterized by the above areas demonstrating the understanding of introducing, reinforcing and supporting deeper understanding of knowledge and skills. Our profession is a craft.


Mega-Regional Professional Development opportunities with the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative, in support with your Maine Arts Leadership Associations, are exponential in value for learning about best practices or expanding your skills to bring back to your school, colleagues, and classroom/studio/stage/rehearsal room.

This is educator to educator professional development – what you need, and when you need it.


Suzanne Goulet

Yes, the next one is during a weekday – for some an in-service day. Yes, this sometimes means that you will be away from your students artists/performers for one day. And YES, you will be glad you did.  This is the catcher/pitcher conference on the mound – a time to come together, share, and grow. I always leave with gems that impact my students, my practice, my craft, immediately

Please join us, and consider asking someone to join you – for our profession, for your craft.

Looking forward to meeting you at the next Mega-Regional.

Thank you to Suzanne Goulet, MALI teacher leader and visual art teacher at Waterville Senior High School and Maine Art Education Association Teacher of the Year, for writing this blog post!



October 20, 2016

Suzanne Goulet

Congratulations to the Maine Art Education Association (MAEA) Teacher of the Year, Suzanne Goulet. At the annual fall conference at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in September Suzanne was recognized in front of her peers and shared the following message with her colleagues and members of the MAEA from across the state.

For more information on MAEA, their awards and other programs please CLICK HERE.

dscn4589‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’ – borrowed from a quote Tom Brady found.  (Background discussion on ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences), Resiliency, Determination and how Tom Brady never gives up)

A Study of Only – Limitation or Inspiration?                                                        

Last winter I was in a very engaged conversation with a colleague about our school culture and proposals for consideration. We had a very stressful year (Starting with the Principal being suspended the first week of school, and ultimately fired…won’t share more at this time….but that was just the beginning of a tumultuous year)

We needed to examine our culture.

Some interesting (and controversial) ideas were being flushed in a personal collegial conversation… then abruptly my colleague, attempting to disqualify my contributions and stake, retorted with, “You’re just an Art Teacher”

Oh….yes…..that’s what was said…….and the engaged conversation ended there….for the moment.

ONLY?……what does that mean……if ONLY we could ONLY be ART Educators

4747f3_42a4e73771c0482099f1295cab14d835So what does ONLY MEAN?

Self-Assessment: Are You Only An Art Educator? (a physical self-reflective study)

This will be interactive – asking that you please stand, when asked, if any of the following statements describe you (does not have to only relate to teaching).

If you introduced a new word or term to someone’s active vocabulary this week please stand. 

If you have ever helped someone develop or refine work habits or best practices please stand.

If you have introduced a form of recreation to someone please stand

If you utilized your Blood Born Pathogens and Bodily Fluids training please stand…

     …Remain standing if it was this week

dscf7323bIf you have helped someone to be brave, to find courage to make a mistake or fail… and to learn from it please stand.

Stand if you have benefited from a colleague sharing a best practice with you.

You are or have been an active Art leader (Workshop presenter, MALI Teacher Leader, Board, Officer) please stand.

Stand if you made art in the last month before the school year started.

Continue standing if you made art since the school year began

… glean and learn from these people

Stand if you helped someone learn to use scissors safely

If you have created community (met with a colleague from a different school and shared a best practice…online, RSVP ME, in person) please stand.

Stand if you have helped someone with a difficult choice or to identify creative possibilities or solutions.

If you have wondered where or when a student’s next meal or place to sleep will be please stand.

Please let me expand on this one…

If you, at anytime, have, or think you have, saved someone’s life – in addition to rendering first aid… maybe you listened, referred someone to a counselor or medical professional please stand… thank you.

img_1315If you have guided someone to express themselves in a non-verbal form please stand. If you have helped someone to visit or experience a college campus please stand.

If you have had an influence on someone’s career or life decision please stand.

If you have helped someone better understand the world around them p lease stand…         (Are your legs burning? OK to sit now…)

If ONLY… If ONLY being an Art Teacher means that you are an active, reflective and compassionate educator, Then Bring it on.

‘I Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’

The Maine Art Education Association has been a great vehicle for helping me to become an active, reflective and compassionate educator/Art Teacher.

img_1038Holly, Jodi, Pam, Sheila, Chris, Jeff, Charlie, Lisa, Maryann, Marilyn, Catherine, Argy, Heidi, Deb, Carolyn, Aimee, Shalimar, Sandy, Nancy, Stephanie, Tim, George, Margaret, and Kay are only a few members and former members that I have to thank for sharing something with me that has advanced my personal profession. There are many, many more, and I apologize for not including the entire list.

As low as last year was (the “Only” conversation did not help), the honor of being nominated by a respected Art Education colleague and then recognized by our Associations highest honor was transforming. The honor only got better. My student, Scott Norman, during the presentation helped us to realize or remember how important… no….how vital, art, art education and art educators can be for our students….and us.

dscf6414Nominate a peer today. Ask me for help. Deadline is December 31 ….start Monday. Help others to appreciate what it is to be ONLY an “Art Teacher”.

Elections are coming this Spring. We have two year terms. President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary and Membership are all positions that we are seeking candidates for. I first became treasurer when I left the room… no joke… and my life has forever been changed since… and so have my students. I am extremely thankful for this.

I am active, reflective and compassionate… I Am Only an Art Educator… We Are Only Art Educators.

‘We Didn’t Come This Far To Only Come This Far’

We Have Important Work to continue…

Thank you


Great Day for Arts Education

December 8, 2015

Celebration at the State House

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.28.43 AMLast week 75 students in grades PK-12 were honored for their accomplishments in visual art and music education. We celebrated in the Hall of Flags in Maine’s State House. We are honored to have the First Lady Ann LePage as a partner in the Excellence in Visual and Performing Arts Education and to join us in recognizing the students in the ceremony.

Joining the First Lady in the Hall of Flags was Maine Arts Commission Executive Director Julie Richard, State Board of Education Chair Martha Harris, Acting Education Commissioner Bill Beardsley, and Legislators, Mick Devin (Nobleboro) and Martin Grohman (Biddeford).

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.27.02 AMStudents from AOS 93, AOS 92, MSAD 41, and the Biddeford School districts were presented certificates and viewed their artwork on display throughout the State House complex, in the Maine Arts Commission and the Maine Department of Education.

Additionally, students from the Waterville High School Jazz Band under the direction of Sue Barre and a select choir under the direction of Ciara Hargrove performed at the ceremony. I know that Sue, Ciara and visual art teachers Lisa Workman, Kate Grant, Suzanne Goulet, and Sasha Bladen are proud of their students’ accomplishments!

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 7.26.47 AMThis is a first for the State of Maine. The Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission are collaborating to bring together this exhibit and in celebrating the students and teachers in a ceremony. I am sooooo excited that this is happening for Maine’s students and teachers!

It is a pleasure to work with Maine’s DOE Visual and Performing Arts Specialist, Beth Lambert on the Excellence in Maine Visual and Performing Arts Education exhibit and celebration ceremony.

If you have questions or are interested in participating, please contact Beth at or me at

Photo credits to the Maine Department of Education and the Maine Arts Commission.



Yesterday’s Celebration on the Arts

April 3, 2014

A glorious day!


Suzanne, George, Gloria

Yesterday was a great day at the State House for Visual and Performing Arts Education. The day started at 8:30 with the Bangor Children’s Choir performing at the opening of the legislative session and recognized by the members of the House.

Music and art students from several high schools were on hand in the Hall of Flags throughout the morning communicating about their involvement in the school arts education programs.

Peter Alexander, Executive Director and Elizabeth Watson, Chair emeritus from the Maine Alliance for Arts and Education welcomed guests.

Legislators from all over the state were present to participate in the event. It was great to hear from representatives from the Senate and House, Emily Cain, Robert Katz, and Mary Nelson.

Other speakers of the day included Executive Director of the Maine Arts Commission, Julie Richard, Maine Art Education Association Art Advocate of the Year, Catherine Ring, and Jeff Poulin from the Americans for the Arts.

I think the most important message of the day came from Zack Fisher who serves on the Maine Alliance for Arts Education board as the student representative. I will post Zack’s message in the near future!

As I posted earlier on the meartsed blog Heidi O’Donnell, President of Maine Art Education and art teacher at Belfast High School worked with her students to create Arts Education pins that were distributed to each member of the House and Senate.

The highlight of the day was recognizing the accomplishments of Suzanne Goulet and Gloria Hewett. Suzanne received the Bill Bonyun Award and Gloria the Distinguished School Leadership Award. Their awards were created by artist George Mason. You can learn more about George in this video created at Gould Academy.


George taking a photo of his artwork with Suzanne and Gloria!

Thanks to MDI High School art educator Charlie Johnson for contributing the photos above for this blog post.

From the program…

The Bill Bonyun Award is given to an artist, educator, or community member who has made significant contributions to the arts in our schools, shown outstanding commitment and dedicated service in arts education, and been an inspiration to students, teachers, and the community. This year, MAAE honors Suzanne Goulet, visual arts educator from Waterville High School. “I don’t know when Suzanne sleeps, or the number of miles she has put on her truck over the years, traveling to meetings, conferences, and workshops to support art education and professional development. Suzanne is the kind of colleague who can be counted on to show up, to come up with ideas and solutions, to offer moral support and a good laugh. She always finds the time and energy to give her students as much as possible.” (quote from Stephanie Leonard)

The Distinguished School Leadership Award is given to a school leader or administrator who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and support of the arts, established exemplary or innovative arts education programs, and promoted the importance of arts in the education of every child. This year, MAAE honors Gloria Hewett, an art teacher from Mt. View Middle School in Thorndike. “Gloria not only has developed and implemented a proficiency-based model of teaching and learning in her own classroom, but has supported her fellow colleagues within our district in doing the same. As a teacher leader with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative, Gloria has prepared and presented numerous workshops throughout the state of Maine; supporting both state and district vision for transforming education.” (quote from Debra McIntyre)

MAAE also presents a special Certificate of Appreciation to Emily Bean of Bangor. Emily has served the Bangor community for many years as an active volunteer, board member and board officer in many of Bangor’s non-profit organizations. Emily’s generous and tireless fundraising efforts on behalf of arts education programs at the Bangor schools have earned her this special Certificate of Appreciation.






CONGRATS to Suzanne and Gloria!

April 2, 2014

Maine Arts Assessment Initiative Teacher Leaders receive awards today!

As you know Maine and arts education is fortunate to have 52 arts educators who have stepped up and taken on the role of “teacher leader” with the Maine Arts Assessment Initiative (MAAI). Some of the 52 teachers have participated in all three of the MAAI phases, some two and some one. Each of them have contributed immensely.

During the three phases four educators have received the Carol Trimble award for their commitment to visual and performing arts education in Maine. In the summer and fall of 2010 Rob Westerberg and Catherine Ring helped to create the MAAI after traveling to the New England Assessment Institute in New Hampshire. Both are members of the MAAI leadership team and received the award in October 2011.

In March of 2013, Jeff Beaudry who teaches in the Educational Leadership program at USM received the Carol Trimble award for his contributions to MAAI. Jeff is an incredible collaborative leader and has a special way of bringing out the best in each of our teacher leaders. His knowledge of assessment has been greatly appreciated.

In October 2013, Bronwyn Sale received the Carol Trimble award. Bronwyn taught high school art before moving to Bates College where she instructs in the teacher preparation program. Her willingness to share her knowledge of arts education and especially creativity has been valued.

At the Youth Art Month opening at the Portland Museum of Art recently, Catherine Ring received the Art Advocate of the Year award from the Maine Art Education Association. Catherine continuously contributes in her role with MAAI and as the Executive Director of the New England Institute for Teacher Education. She offers graduate courses on a variety of topics including arts education.

Catherine, Waterville Senior High School art teacher Suzanne Goulet, and I just returned from the National Art Education Convention where we presented on the MAAI and the use of technology. It was a wonderful convention (and very beautiful in San Diego). While there, the Maine Art Education Association newsletter was recognized for the quality publication which comes out monthly and authored by Suzanne. It is worth being a member just to receive the newsletter.


And today, at the State House in Augusta, the Maine Alliance for Arts Education will be holding Arts Education Day . The program includes a morning filled with student performances, exhibit tables and opportunities to speak to legislators. At noon a formal program will include recognition of two arts educators, Suzanne Goulet and Mount View Middle School art teacher Gloria Hewett. Both are MAAI teacher leaders. Suzanne is the recipient of the Bill Bonyun award which is given to a teacher, parent or community member in honor of Bill who was a musician that provided quality arts education to many students during his lifetime. Gloria is the recipient of the Distinguished School Leadership Award which is presented to a school leader or teacher who is an exemplary leader promoting quality arts education.


CONGRATULATIONS to both Suzanne and Gloria and thanks to those who nominated their colleagues.  


Another Arts Teacher’s Story: Suzanne Goulet

April 1, 2014

Waterville Senior High School visual arts teacher

This is the fourth 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.

A Visual Art Educator at Waterville Senior High School, her business card reads, “Suzanne Goulet. Art – Traditional, Digital and Emerging Media.” In 1990, after hiking the Appalachian Trail and managing a small ski area, she thought that it was time to begin teaching. In those 24 years she has taught and created classes of all levels; Introductory to AP.

A registered Maine Guide, Suzanne enjoys sharing her love of the outdoors with her students by advising the Outing Club and is a volunteer sign maker with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the International Appalachian Trail Club Chapter. She is currently lucky enough to have an eagle’s nest in view of her classroom studio and is eagerly awaiting this year’s clutch.

What do you like about being a visual art educator?

I remember someone telling me that an engineer’s job is different all the time; that it changes every day; and are presented with new problems to solve constantly. Educating has the same benefit. There are no recipes that will be successful with all students, so one must craft an approach and deliver. Lots of medias to explore and creations to be made – before you made it…. it did not exist.

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

  1. Trust – Essential between students and teacher. Creating and performing are personal and strategies for accepting criticism can be taught and nurtured.
  2. Understanding – The Arts have different goals (and benefits) that are a bit more complicated to measure achievement and require patience from students, teachers, administrators and the community.
  3. Quality – A continued quest to perform at a high level and to always be learning and seeking.

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

Assessing is all about taking stock; figuring out where you are and then making a plan for where you want to go and how to get there. Striving for a culture of self-starters with initiative and the confidence to ask for help and collaborate, I have found quality assessments are great ways to scaffold students to meet these goals (which sometimes are shifted).

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

Have been provided the opportunity to meet and work closely with colleagues that are striving for quality – personal and statewide. My perspective of our rural state with lots of nooks and crannies is now transformed to a layout of creativity and excellence.

What are you most proud of in your career?

How divergent the careers and paths of my students are: Industrial designers, film makers, public relations experts, attorneys, environmental engineers, botanists, ornithologists and parents…of children that I am now teaching!  Usually the above statement is enough, but I have been blessed with having some pretty amazing teachers throughout my own learning experience. Honoring these educators, remembering what they did for us – for me – by striving to do the same for my students is a goal I strive for…to make a difference.

A number of years ago, Waterville SHS started a Renaissance Award program to recognize student achievement and growth. At the end of the first year, an inaugural educator award was given…I was truly surprised to be the first recipient. The greatest honor of that award is that the nomination came from a very quiet student that took the time to let others know that she truly appreciated the work that we do. It was at that moment that I realized the overwhelming power of quality relationships…and the legacy to my teachers.

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

            The need for sleep.

Seriously, there is always something more that can be done. Instruction, curricular and support services are best when unique for each student…and requires time…and the need for sleep gets in the way.

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

Envisioning, imagining and striving for quality. Building strong foundations takes time and a lot of calculus is employed to improve the timing of converging forces.  Here is one of my favorite movie quotes to help illustrate, (From Star Trek (2009))

Scotty: [back to Spock Prime] The notion of transwarp beaming is like trying to hit a bullet with a smaller bullet wearing a blindfold whilst riding a horse.

Everything is possible…..want something to happen…..just tell me that it is not possible (does this make me sound stubborn…..or optimistic?)

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

You don’t have to be a “Teacher Leader” to be a Teacher Leader. A rose by any other name…….

Take the time to develop quality relationships with your students. Consider a three minute “talk in the hall”, a random can of “Moxie” or nominating and taking the time to recognize quality in students – academic and personal.

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

Education – I have five nieces filled with wonder and energy and have always dreamed of a school (education) experience on a bus (even got my Class B license for this). Drive west to study the history of US expansion and its’ impacts, calculate travel approximations, recreate with region specific adventure, enjoy cultural music, play, write, write, draw, draw, photograph and dance. Would love to do this with students and nieces!

Nurturing a Spark – Some know that I “go west” each summer for rejuvenating wanderings. I have challenged former students to find me….the award is a dinner of their choosing – none have yet succeeded….though three came close (less than one mile away) in a remote section of Montana……would use the funds to offer a week in a remote lodge with ranch cooking!

Creating the Space – An addition to my current studio classroom. About 30 feet out….three stories high (so my upstairs colleagues could look down in to our atrium). Did I mention that the roof would be a clear dome so we can watch the eagles? An integrated ramp would be a part of the space so that all students would have access to the fruit tree that is also growing here. If this could not happen….then I would settle for a direct door to the outside in my current studio classroom…a nice set of French doors!

Time Travel – How much is a helicopter?…..this would give me more time (here’s the sleep thing again). Quick trips to Lewiston and Smithfield. Love it!

            Space Travel – Yeah…I’d go.

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

No big ones……just little ones. Still have lots of plans and dreams. Continuing to suck the marrow out of life – why wait?


Harlow Educators Meet

January 26, 2014

January 29

You are invited to join the next Harlow Educators Initiative meeting

4:00pm on Jan. 29th at the Harlow Gallery in Hallowell

Screen shot 2014-01-24 at 12.16.20 PM
Highlights for the meeting include:

* Arts Educator Initiative (AEI) related exhibition opportunities (Nancy Barron)
* Statewide HS pottery show – UMA Gannett Gallery, Augusta (Russel Kahn)
* Kennebec Area Young at Art – Harlow (Nancy)
* Higher Forms of Art – UMA Gannett (Nancy)
* State of the Arts check in – State associations, Maine Arts Assessment
Initiative (Suzanne Goulet)
* Unit/Lesson/Idea sharing (please bring copies) – Volunteer at your comfort
* Feature – Maine Arts Assessment Teacher Leader, Jeff Orth “Controlling the Chaos:     The World of Student-Centered Education

(Feature description)   Ever wonder how to manage students working on
        different standards at the same time in the same class space? Learn about ways  to organize the chaos using tools to empower students to move at their own
        pace with standards and to meet deadlines to avoid falling behind.

This group was started through the Harlow Gallery to support area arts educators. It is a very unique partnership with a community art gallery – A great opportunity to connect with your colleagues. Consider inviting an educator from another discipline. Collaborative connections encouraged.

There are only 4 meetings a year and the agenda will follow what the participating educators propose, including sharing lesson plans.

Do you have an online gallery? Website? Blog? A consent form?…..Bring student work, publications, announcements…….

Please come, share and grow!

If you would like more information, please contact either Nancy Barron at the gallery:  or Suzanne Goulet at:

Contact hours available and light refreshments will be served.


Cross Discipline Literacy Network

October 10, 2013

Online and face to face opportunities

Pam Ouellette (Lisbon High School), Suzanne Goulet (Waterville Sr. High School) and Lisa Gilman (Winthrop Middle School) continue to be a part of presenting collaborative professional development regarding literacy.

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 10.27.21 PMVocabulary Instruction – grades 6-12 (Lisa G.)

Webinar 1: December 9, 3:00 – 4:00pm

Big and Practical Ideas About Academic Vocabulary in the Classroom

Description: How do we motivate students to see new meaning in words? When they learn the word “composition” in art, can they then transfer it to a social studies term when speaking about the composition of a community? What does it mean to write a musical composition, and how does that differ from composing an essay… or how are they the same? This webinar will provide an overview of ideas about how a teacher can go about selecting and assessing student vocabulary through five big ideas: Intentionality, Transparency, Usability, Personalization and Prioritization. The first webinar will highlight ideas on how to make vocabulary instruction intentional and transparent and offer strategies that can be used immediately in your own classrooms. Be ready to share your ideas, too.

Webinar 2: January 13, 4:30 – 5:30pm

More Practical Ideas about Academic Vocabulary in the Classroom

Description: This webinar will review the five big ideas of vocabulary instruction and delve into strategies for making vocabulary instruction usable, personal and a priority. Suggestions for implementation will be presented by three teachers of different subject areas and grade levels. Cross-curricular as well as subject-specific vocabulary strategies, will be explored. The teachers will share their experiences with concrete examples from their own classrooms. Again, be ready to share your ideas and experiences, too.

Screen shot 2013-10-09 at 9.28.56 PM

%d bloggers like this: