Posts Tagged ‘Waterville Senior High School’


Waterville Senior High School

November 14, 2017

Once Upon a Mattress


Master Musician Visits Waterville

March 17, 2016

Waterville students benefit

IMG_2924Waterville schools had the privilege of hosting Srinivas Krishnan, an Indian Musician, for a week-long residency. The educational experience impacted the 80 members of the high school band, the 40 member chorus and 50 member orchestra. In addition, Srini worked with the 38, grades 4-8 elementary and middle school gifted and talented students from AOS 92 (Waterville, Winslow, and Vassalboro).

Singing WedWhile in Waterville Krishnan, taught the students about music from other cultures, cooked and treated them to Indian food and told stories. As often happens when providing unique learning opportunities for students, he enlightened the students about life and humanity. Scrini’s goal is to work in small towns to share his culture with students who would not otherwise be able to have access.

Not only was this a learning opportunity for students but when teaching artists spend time in schools, teachers benefit as well. It was an initial contact that Scrini had with Sam Lyons while he was at USM that lead to this residency. It was evident that Scrini impacted Sam and music educators Sue Barre and Ciara Hargrove as well.

With HS teachers

Ciara, Scrini, Sue, Sam

I joined Maine DOE visual and performing arts specialist Beth Lambert for the culminating performance at Waterville Senior High School and it was evident that the impact Scrini had on the music program and students during the week was enormous. In addition to the performance that I attended the community packed the auditorium on one evening that a day school was canceled.

Playing Tablas with HS Students

Playing Tablas with high school students

Srinivas Krishnan who goes by Scrini, is a Master Percussionist from India and has been trained under four master musicians in India. He gave his first solo recital at the age of 16 and was featured as a percussionist at the University of North Texas at the age of 21. Srinivas performs on the tabla, the ghatam, the Middle Eastern dumbek, the Irish Bodhran, and the mridangam. He has degrees in areas of the science, engineering and management from Miami University. You can read his entire biography at THIS LINK.


Ciara and Scrini singing

The English department chair, Katie Dunn sent the following note to the members of the music department Sue Barre, Ciara Hargrove, and Sam Lyons:
Thank you for such a heartwarming cultural experience on Friday. I was overwhelmed to see so many of our students singing and playing music with Scrini Krishnan. Over a quarter of the school was on that stage! And they had embraced this Indian rhythm and sound that is so different than what I imagine they usually hear and play. It was awesome to see and hear the results.

Check out a segment of the performance Scrini directed with the audience by CLICKING HERE.

Amy Calder from the Kennebec Journal attended the Friday concert and she describes the experience very well in the article at THIS LINK.

IMG_1768I think the experience was best summed up by accomplished sophomore musician Soren Nyhus, 15, a cellist in the school orchestra. “We all work to make the music better with the notes, the rhythms and all that stuff. Working with Scrini taught me that music is more than working on the notes. Music has the ability to speak to all of us through the heart, music is our common language.”

CLICK HERE for a glimpse at a rehearsal with Scrini that lead up to the performances.

CLICK HERE for video footage of the afternoon at Waterville High School.

Sue Barre, department chair, hopes that Scrini will return and involved more learners as part of a Global Rhythms Concert. If you’d like more information please contact Sue at


Another Student’s Story: CJ Gaunce

February 8, 2015

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.31.03 PMMaking snow

CJ Gaunce is a junior at Waterville Senior High School. One of his teachers, Suzanne Goulet, who teaches Traditional, Digital and Emerging Arts, suggested that I take a look at a video that CJ recently made. She knows how much I love the snow and that I’d be interested in what this student has been spending a lot of time on – making snow! Unlike me, CJ has a way to make snow when we don’t have any naturally. I took a look at the video and received an email from CJ.

CJ has a blog of his own called Maine Snowmakers: a blog about Home Snowmakers in Maine. His blog is includes several outstanding photos and a clear picture of making snow! And, he has a youtube channel with other videos and invited me to stop by and see the snowmaking gun in action!

What has inspired you to want to make snow?

Each weekend I go skiing with a group of friends at Sugarloaf. All my life I had been interested in ski lift mechanics and ski area operations. While we were riding the skyline lift up at Sugarloaf on December 10, 2012, my friend told me about another friend from Freeport who makes snow and suggested that I meet him. Below us on the lift there was a mystery child (perhaps about 14 or 15 years old) dragging about 15+ snowmaking hoses down the trail with Sugarloaf snowmakers.

Phone calls, and multiple extensive researches later, I was making my own snow in the backyard with just a pressure washer. I only ran .5 gallons a minute then but at the time it was great just seeing this cloud of white in the sky come from (my efforts). I loved it ever since, and on March 15, 2013, I made snow with my own home built snow gun, called a tee gun. By the next season I had built an even bigger snow gun doing 1.5 gallons a minute during the 13-14 season. Last summer was the biggest upgrade season yet. I installed 200 feet of pipe through the ground, built my own water pump that puts out over double what I did last year making around a foot an hour. I’ve also built my own air demoisturizer and added a second air compressor. As of January 8, 2015 I’ve used 10,000 gallons of water.

How did you get started with snow making? (the mechanics of it)

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.31.18 PMI started with a simple air/water snow gun called a tee gun in March 2013, and in 2013-2014 I upgraded to a combo gun. A combo gun has at least 2 nozzles, all mine have 3 total nozzles. On my snowguns the bottom nozzle is an air/water mixture while the top 2 are just water. The air/water nozzle is called the Nuc nozzle and top 2 are called the bulk nozzles. The Nuc nozzle creates a fine mix of ice, the bulk nozzles spray a fine mist of water. When (the temperature is) cold enough the water mixes with the ice and it crystalizes to form snow. The Nuc nozzle is key because without the ice there is nothing for the water to bond and crystalize to.

Are you a skier or involved in other winter activities? If so, what?

I am a backcountry skier up at the ‘loaf. I’ve been skiing ever since I was 2. Skiing is really my life, my life literally revolves around the weather. When its cold I’m always pumped to go make snow. Or when a snowstorm comes I jump around the house with joy and send photos and videos to everyone I ski with.

What do you do in your free time?

Honestly, all I do is make snow, when I’m not making snow in the backyard I’m out at Quarry Road making snow at the Waterville Recreation Center were I (volunteer to) help run 20 HKD snow guns. I also have a strong snowmaking connection with Sugarloaf and Eaton Mountains.

Has your formal schooling influenced in any way with your making of snow?

Not really, everything with snowmaking has been self-taught. The mechanics of it are self learned. Every design needed, came from hours of thinking to create the best possible design for what I’ve needed. Almost 100% of the things I’ve built have been thought of and designed in school while (in other) classes.

Who has supported you in pursuing your interest?

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 7.31.34 PMMy friends have definitely supported me. My friend from Freeport and I are best friends now. We literally swap equipment back and fourth like nozzles, hoses, pumps, you name it. Each fall we do mega snowmaking runs at his house where we combine our equipment to make as much snow as possible. Then in the spring we come to my house for the Bug Mega Run. This past fall we used nearly 3000 gallons in an 8-hour period and covered his entire hill, top to bottom, with 9+ inches of snow for a rail jam the next day with 6-8 (guys).

How do you (if in any way) apply what you are learning in school to your passions/interests outside of school?

There is only one subject I’ve applied into snowmaking from school and that’s filming. I make a ton of videos on snowmaking and do lots of photography. Snowmaking is very math and science based but what we learn in school (is different from this real-life application of) snowmaking. Teachers love the snowmaking thing but I don’t think they really understand the magnitude of time and effort it takes. You could do an entire science unit on snowmaking from water droplet sizes at given pressures and cohesion and adhesion, PSI, GPM, CFM, flow rates and on and on.

What are your plans for after high school?

My plans after high school are to go into ski are management. I’m looking at Lyndon State College right now.

Please provide any information about your art class or Ms. Goulette and how art has influenced or impacted you and your snowmaking passion.

Art has impacted me from doing cool designs for my backyard park. Like the iconic forest park pine tree I stenciled on to literally every rail/box. It’s even on my big ramp. Art has also helped me with drawing and designing my projects. Ms. Goulet has definitely been a huge supporter of my snowmaking set up.

These innovative real-life applications can be seen at


Community Art and Skatepark Beautification

June 30, 2014

Story from Waterville High School Art Teacher, Suzanne Goulet

WSHSkatePaula Raymond, a colleague with Adult Education and a resident of the South End planted the seed with
community members and Matt Skehan with Waterville Parks and Rec about making a connection with the
Waterville Senior High School Art Department.

Plans were made in the Fall……but cold weather came a bit early (remember?) ….the Spring arrived!

Laden with Sherwin-Williams donated paint and supplies, a volunteer group of Art and Outing Club students converged on the weather beaten skatepad to add a bit of color. Students came prepared with designs and having explored the culture of street art (Keith Harring, Shephard Fairey, Banksy, etc) and were then joined by visiting community members.

Alternative Education Educator, Ryan Guerrero, shared his street art skills with a transformation of the center pad and mini-ed sessions on the fineries of spray tips.

The canvas is large…..and the inspiration is to contribute two times a year to create a quilt of color and images.

You can read the entire article published in the Kennebec Journal by clicking here.



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?


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


Waterville High School

May 18, 2013


The image is one of 90+ different invitations/announcements for this event.

Each student artist/designer/filmmaker creates a personalized announcement that features her or his work. Students print and cut at least four copies on a sheet that is pre-printed on the back with the event information. One goes to the art teacher for the archives and one must be hand delivered to an adult that works in the school (custodian, administrator, support staff, food service or faculty). The value of promotion and advocacy is discussed and practiced (even hand shaking!) Someday students may be promoting a service, product, idea or self, and this simple word document (for introductory level students) is a great place to start.

Thank you to Kay Allison, art teacher at Lewiston Middle School, for the idea passed on to Suzanne Goulet, Waterville Senior High School art teacher.

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