Posts Tagged ‘Waterville Senior High School’

h1

Wisdom from Maine Arts Educators

September 4, 2018

From the voices of veteran visual and performing arts educators on starting a new school year

Make it a delicious school year!

Whether you’re just starting to teach or you’ve been add it for 50 years or somewhere in between you might be excited out of your mind to start or having the back to school dreams and asking yourself “how the heck am I going to do this?!” or somewhere in between. I asked veteran teachers “what’s your message for new and veteran teachers starting off the school year?” Here they are – WORDS FROM THE WISE and EXPERIENCED! It’s an amazing, amazing (and amazing) collection. THANKS to everyone who contributed!

Collectively below is the wisdom of 654 + 65 years of teaching. These are not in any particular order!

Kate Smith – 20 years
Central School, South Berwick Music Educator, Grades PreK-3
-The first friends you should make are the secretaries and the custodians.
-Drink plenty of water.
-Advocate for transition time between classes (see above).
-Don’t take yourself too seriously.
-Take the time to know your students.
-Find an Arts mentor. (MALI teacher leaders are great!)
-Build/maintain/reach out to a network of teachers for a sense of community and just-in-time support.
-You are going to mess up and wish you could forget it all. Write it down instead. Some day it’ll make you laugh like crazy.

Jake Sturtevant – 13 years
Falmouth High School Music Educator
If there is one thing I have learned to do over the course of the time I have been teaching it is to breathe. The power of breath is so important, and it takes moments to do. I still have those feelings of being overwhelmed and always reaching for the surface of the water beneath the pile of to-dos and hope-to-dos, but now I just try to pause and take a breathe and allow that feeling to settle and often it moves further from me.

Jen Etter – 11 years
York Middle School Music Educator 
My biggest words of advice starting a new school year and something that I am attempting to be mindful of is to not lose sight of the big picture getting bogged down in the details. Education is ever changing and constantly evolving and that can be frustrating at times. Keep focused on the big picture and what you know to be important and always keep students at the center!
Patricia Gordan – 37 years
RSU#14 Windham Raymond, Music Educator
  1. I do not just teach music to children. I teach children through music.
  2. Whenever I get to the point where I begin to think I know what I’m doing, I gain more wisdom and realize I still don’t know what I’m doing. (Keeps me humble.)
  3. When I have a student who is a behavior challenge I try to get to know them better and build a relationship with them outside of class.
  4. Music is a vehicle for expressing all thoughts and emotions. It can be scary to share the sad and angry songs with students. Will I get negative feedback from parents? “Go Tell Aunt Rhody” is a song about death! Should I use it? Of course we should be tactful and careful, but songs in music class should cover all emotions.
  5. A musician must have the heart of a gypsy and the discipline of a soldier. -Beethoven – Some students will be really good at the heart thing and some will be really good at the discipline thing. Stretch them toward the other skill.
  6. Sometimes I have a hard time with the word, “fun.” Music is fun but it is also hard work. I want the students to have more than “fun.” I want to feed their souls. I want them to feel the natural high that comes from producing a fantastic product that is the result of extreme effort.
  7. Especially for elementary teachers – Listen very, very closely. The “music” is in there somewhere. 😊
Iva Damon – 10 years
Leavitt Area High School, Turner, Visual Art Educator
Going into this year I am really resonating with going “back to basics”. We’re here for the kids as they are at the heart of everything we do. Remembering that at the end of each day, I am able to make connections and help achieve steps in their learning. At the same time, this year I am going to work harder at self-care and making sure to take time for myself.
Holly Leighton – 10 years
Mattanawcook Academy, Lincoln, Visual Art Educator
Teaching is not something you learn and then implement for the next 30 years. It is a constant.

The more I learn the more I realize what I don’t know. It is the “what I don’t know” that drives me to learn more. This is how I grow as a person and educator. It is a continuous cycle that inspires a fresh outlook to each new school year. Take workshops and conference opportunities, no matter how long you have been teaching. After 20 years of teaching I am always come back with something I can use to positively affect student learning and engagement.

Cindi Kugell – 29 years
Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School, South Paris, Visual Art Educator
Know your “Why”. When we focus on our reason for teaching, and for me it’s because there is nothing cooler than working with kids, it gives our lives purpose, clarity and focus. Working with kids keeps me young, inspired and energized and the gratification that I get from students excitement centered around the arts fuels my passion. I truly feel that teaching is my purpose.
Hope Lord – 28 years
Maranacook Community Middle School, Winthrop, Visual Art Educator
Each school year is a new opportunity for teachers to inspire students, innovate, take risks, collaborate, and celebrate the arts.
Adele Drake – 15 years
Hampden Academy Visual Art Educator
I believe in always being open to learning and receiving help and support from others.
Jane Snider – 26 years
Hancock Grammar School Art Educator
While working outside all day in my gardens to end my summer season I was thinking about all of my gardens, how much they had grown since early spring. I realized how much my teaching is like my gardening! Many plants are now in need of a rest, much like my students and I are in late Spring! I have nurtured the seedlings, plants and bushes throughout the season. I have carefully and thoughtfully helped them showcase their beauty! They’ll be back next year, bigger and brighter! Tomorrow I return to school to nurture my students and showcase the beauty of their learning through their art! I’ve had my rest and restored my spirit, I’m ready to carefully and thoughtfully begin a new season for my students! What do they need to grow and flourish?
Sue Barre – 25 years
Waterville Senior High School Music Educator 
Every year (on the advice of my first principal) I work to learn something about each of my students that has nothing to do with music. This process keeps me on my toes and it is also fun for my students to share their non music passions. I am often uplifted, sometimes saddened, and every so often astounded, to the response I can get from “share three things you did this summer.” My personal goal this year is to greet my students every day at the door……they deserve my attention, whether they are making music or not.
Carmel Collins – 20+ years
Lake Region High School, Naples, Dance Educator
Education today is like working with a living breathing organism. It is forever in a state of flux; morphing, refining, retracting, reshaping……Practice being flexible, adaptable and innovative, learn to let things go and move on, keep light on your feet and don’t get stuck in the mud!
When a parent or guardian becomes angry or frustrated with you, always remember that to them they are fighting for their child, a child they have loved and nurtured since birth. Most of the time they are not angry with you, rather it is the situation they are frustrated with and they are looking for help. Try to stay focused on the issue and don’t make it personal. Practice this and they will become your friend and loyal advocate.
Melanie Crowe –  16 years
Marshwood Middle School, Eliot, Visual Art Educator 
The anticipation of a new school year brings up so many emotions – a changing of the seasons, realizing summer is coming to an end, wiping sand off of my sandals for another season, and the vegetable garden bearing fewer treasures. Although, the excitement of meeting new students and having a chance to bring in a fresh approach and atmosphere to the classroom is a just as much a welcome adventure today as it was entering my first year 17 years ago. I am honored to share the art studio with my middle school artists, the opportunity to engage, challenge, and expand their minds is such a precious experience. The years go by in a blink of the eye, the students faces change, but the desire to light the flame of love for art grows stronger each year. I look forward to working with my colleagues integrating art in as many avenues as I can, bridging the gaps from one content to another so students can see how their learning is not in isolation but interconnected. When students can see how valued they are in the art studio, they begin to believe how valuable their art making experience is. I wish you all a wonderful school year working with the youth of Maine and beyond!
Lindsay Pinchbeck – 12 years
Sweetland School, Hope, Founder, Director, Teacher 
New Beginnings
An opportunity to start again
Still jitters – every year, conditioned since a child
Now knowing
The mix of wonder, unease and transition
Breathe
Fear not the unknown
Anthony Lufkin – 12 years
Friendship Village School, Prescott Memorial School, Union Elementary School, Rivers Alternative Middle School, RSU 40 
Every year is similar, but never the same. Each summer goes by faster and faster, but despite wish for more R&R, I always look forward to the new school year. Art and teaching are similar to me in that they are both all about making connections. In art we attempt to connect with artists of the past to understand their ideas, or we try to connect people with our own ideas and perspectives through creation. Teaching effectively requires making connections with students in a way that they can relate to, understand, and appreciate what we are teaching. If we lose connection, not only does artwork become insignificant to us, so does the purpose for learning. Each school year is an opportunity to make connections in new ways. Being in relatively the same position for several consecutive years gives me the insight for identifying ideas and processes that will relate to specific students. As I prepare to start my 12th year of teaching art, I am looking forward to “reusing” successful lessons, opportunities, and connections I have been able to make thus far.  However, I am also looking forward to experimenting with new ideas to better convey ideas, and give students new ways to understand, and more importantly connect, to what art has to offer.
Andrea Wollstadt – 20 years
John F. Kennedy Memorial School, Biddeford, Music Educator
Allow yourself to get caught up in the excitement. Students involved in music have a passion for music. Their joy and excitement is infectious. These kids are PUMPED UP about playing in an ensemble or participating in a music class. Whatever worries or anxieties you might have about the upcoming school year, make sure you give yourself a chance to catch some of their enthusiasm.
Lisa Marin – 22 years (and this is her last)
Jonesport-Beals High School & Jonesport Elementary Visual Art Educator     
Words of wisdom for the new teacher: I remember that first year being very excited, nervous and worried about doing a good job for my new students, the school system, and my colleagues. I tried to get as much input as I could from my fellow art teacher friends, who were very gracious and generous with advice and materials. I was told to relax, have fun, and realize that it takes a few years to make the program your own. So, cut yourself some slack and you’ll be great. Oh yes, and make friends with the custodial staff. Their help over the years has been invaluable.
Words of wisdom for the veteran teachers: It may sometimes be hard to keep up the energy and enthusiasm in the face of new and increasing demands on your time that have little to do with quality teaching for students. I’ve tried to combat this by finding ways to shake up my lessons. I’m looking for ways to incorporate materials I’ve been unfamiliar with or slightly intimidated by to blow out the cobwebs! It’s been fun and I often find I am helped in my success by my students. We say we are all in this together!
For the soon to be retiring teachers (like me): Plan ahead for what you’d like to do post retirement. That will make the transition so much easier. This sounds like a no brainer but is often overlooked. As much as you might love your job remember, you do the job, you aren’t the job. A new teacher’s approach can be wonderful. We were once new teachers as well with fresh ideas. Enjoy your new year!
Shalimar Chasse – 25 years
Wiscasset Middle High School Visual Art Educator rk Middle School Music Educator 
I like to start right off with hands on- avoiding the loooooonnnnnnnngggggggg and boring “expectations” talk that mostly sounds like “wha wha wha wha, wha wha, wha wha” to students just waking up after a summer of sleeping in until noon. I refer students to my on-line site and a unit binder that holds class expectation information. I send them home with a parent guide to art class and encourage them to review this with their parents and return with a parent note confirming their time together and comments or questions. I encourage students to ask me any question to help them acclimate to our space and class while we are doing our first day art activity. Students know what is expected, some need reminding or clarification or simply to know they might not get away with something they have tested. They come to art to Do art- so I like to meet their expectations hoping they might return the gesture.I love the newness of a brand new school year- with no mistakes in it. I like to think of the upcoming year and classes as the best we will experience yet.
Allie Rimkunas – 14 years en Etter
Great Falls Elementary School, Gorham, Visual Art Educator 
Love your students. The most difficult ones need the most love. As an art teacher, I rarely know the home situations, or past trauma that these little ones might have or are still dealing with. I try to keep that in mind when I know a difficult student is coming into my room. Every day is a new day and a possibility for new positive interactions.
I have been teaching for 14 years, and every August brings a new batch of school anxiety dreams. Never fails. I figure that if I didn’t get them then I am not doing my job and changing it up enough.
Catherine Ring – 65 years
Isle au Haut Visual ArtEducator 
Share your passion for learning with children. It’s contagious!
Jane Kirton – 20 years
Sanford High School Music Educator 
Be Compassionate . . . Be consistent . . . CommunicateBe compassionate – Music is one of the few subjects that connects the heart and the brain. Showing compassion towards my students and my colleagues is who I am. The world is filled with so much pain, we don’t know what our students are going through at home. I take great pride in the fact that from day one I tell my students that my classroom is their home and we are a family.  No bullying is allowed. If there is a drama free atmosphere in the room, our music will sound better!  Show you care, smile (even though you are a nervous wreck). Don’t forget to be kind to yourself.  Take care of you – exercise, drink plenty of water, yoga, anything to relieve stress.

Be consistent – Consistency, in my eyes, is critical in good parenting. Set your classroom code of cooperation on day one and stand by it! Treat everyone the same. Discipline can be challenging for a new teacher. Discipline allows a successful start for the entire class. I always remind myself I can always ease up a bit as we get into the year but hold firm to your rules. Keep up with the paperwork (yes, there are certain things we need to do as part of the job which doesn’t have anything to do with what we teach – just “get it done,” don’t put it off.)

Communication – I always tell my students that I’m not a mind reader. I encourage them to tell me what’s going on. It is also important to communicate with them and their parents – concert schedule, paperwork, etc. Communicating with your colleagues is also important. I recently read a post where a new teacher was critical of older teachers in their district in the ways they were teaching. Not a great way to start!  We’re all in this together. Reach out and communicate.  Communicate with your administration, janitors, secretaries, etc. Ask if you don’t know!!

Rob Westerberg – 32 years
York High SchoolMusic Educator 
It’s not about the product, it’s about the process. Precious few are going to remember your concert or art exhibit or play or dance recital three years from now. But dozens of years from now every single participant will remember their journey with you to create that product, and whether or not you caused them to flourish academically and blossom personally. If you take care of those two things – on a daily basis – the rest will take care of itself. Academic without personal is tedious. Personal without academic is cheating them. Both combined is spot-on and will leave you at the end of the day feeling like it was all worth while. Because it will have been.
Charlie Johnson – 44 years
Mount Desert Island High School Visual Art Educator 
Get to know your learners; it is through positive connections that a teacher can discover that which is not always overt from an individual. We are all unique and we are all special, and if you endeavor to learn about your students in a positive manner, it goes a long way toward developing a teacher/learner relationship that benefits both parties.
I’m just starting my 45th teaching year, and I’m just as excited about my new students and classes as I was my first year, because I haven’t fallen into “the same old thing” trap and have many new pieces to explore with my students!
Barbie Weed – 14 years
Gray-New Gloucester Middle School Visual Art Educator 
I always find that the best way to begin a new school year is to forge connections with students as soon as possible. Whether students are returnees for new to the school, taking a little time to get to know something about them sets a positive tone for the whole year. I’m excited for the new experiences that students will bring to my classroom.
Jean Phillips – 30+ years
Wiscasset Middle High School English and Drama Educator
Life is an occasion; rise to it.
Lisa Ingraham – 12 years
Madison Elementary School Visual Art Educator 
Plan meticulously, but keep your mind open to teachable moments. Some of the best learning experiences in my art room began with a student question, interest, and/or aha! that changed our direction for that day.
I’m looking forward to a great, creative, messy year!
MaryEllen Schaper – Retired in June with 42 years
Dance Educator 
Take your work seriously; don’t take yourself too seriously. The work is VERY important, but you can be replaced.
For new teachers, yes, you want to develop positive relationships with your students, but they are NOT your friends. If you need friends at work, develop friendships with your colleagues.
My former superintendent, used to say, “we are there to teach ALL children. Parents send us their best. They don’t keep “the good ones” home”.
We never know the baggage a student brings to school, so listen and be kind. Help students learn that that baggage may be a reason, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse by the student, the teacher, or the parent. There’s a difference.
Applicable Lin Manuel Miranda “Hamilton” quotes:
“Why do you assume you’re the smartest in the room?” You might not be. I have learned A LOT from my students.
“I am not throwing away my shot.”  You have amazing opportunity to influence lives now and beyond anything in your wildest dreams, so go in EVERY DAY and give 100%.
“I am looking for a mind at work”. Teach your students to think outside the box, ask questions, and how to find answers, even if they might not be what you had in mind.
“Talk less. Smile more.”  Breathe. listen. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll see and hear.
“I wanna be in the room where it happens”.  You ARE in the room where it happens every day. Savor it. It goes by quicker than you’d think!
Lori Spruce – 10 years
Brewer High School Visual Art Educator 
Contribute to the knowledge and skills that you have not only in your own content area, but also expand out to involve your colleagues content areas as well. By doing so, you help not only yourself,  but also students and teachers can learn and grow in the same way. By getting out of your comfort zone and content area, the relationships that you build are invaluable and help build the confidence needed to model what you learn.
Pam Chernesky – 26 years
Mt. Blue High School, Farmington Visual Art Educator 
Start each school year open and ready to build a new community! Bring your best self and a positive attitude to what you do. Every year there will be new initiatives and demands on your teaching and your time, but the real focus should be meeting your students and sharing the excitement of creating and learning with them. Remember that you have content knowledge, passion, and experiences to share and that your students want to learn from you. Don’t become bogged down by the initiatives, administrative demands, or even the details of lesson plans. Offer challenges and take risks in your classroom! Laugh with your students!  Have fun!
Kris Bisson – 16 wonderful years!
Marshwood Middle School, Director of Choruses 
No matter what type of learners you have in your classroom, every student needs understanding.

When I’m excited about what I’m teaching, my students are excited about what I’m teaching!

Theresa Cerceo – 15 years
Dr. Levesque Elementary School & Wisdom Middle High School, MSAD # 33 Visual Art Educator
Trust your instincts, value your strengths and keep yourself open to learning new things.
Danette Kerrigan – 13 years
Sacopee Valley Middle School Visual Art Educator 
Every year is different, but poses the possibility of new discovery and greatness. Every year is the same – the same bright expectant eyes, sleepy heads, hugs and growth. Starting a new year is never boring, always keeping me on my toes, yet is as exciting as opening a new box of crayons… the possibilities are endless. Fashions change, expectations change, requirements change, students stay the same – still needing reassurance, encouragement, celebration and a champion.
For new and veteran teachers – breathe. Embrace each day and reflect at the end on what went well and be honest about what did not. Remember that everyone has something to offer, even those adults who may try your patience. They too, got up this morning, hoping to do the right thing. Assume good intentions. Always apologize – even to students – especially to students – when you have had a bad day and spoke shortly when you shouldn’t have. Remember that you are making an impact you don’t even know about yet.
Rick Osann – 15 years (retiring this year!)
Bonny Eagle High School Media, Theatre, and Visual Arts Educator 
Be sure to be yourself. Teaching can be really stressful and it’s easy to try to be different to either be the “perfect teacher” or to get your students to “like” you.  The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your own skin.  Students of any age recognize quickly if you’re not being true to your core beliefs. Students will respect you if you just be yourself.
Bill Buzza – 25 years
Edward Little High School Music Educator 

Some words of advice for the beginning of the year:

#1 – Take time to get organized. We get so busy and there are many demands on our time. Using an organizational system that works for you allows you to spend more time teaching.
#2 – (New teachers) Find a mentor and don’t be afraid to ask questions. It’s much more efficient to learn from others than trying to reinvent the wheel.

#3 – Don’t be afraid to say “No” but keep an approachable demeanor. Many times students try to learn / push a teachers limits. We need to be committed to our response and consistent so students know what to expect.

#4 – Build relations with everyone; students, administrators, parents, colleagues, custodians. There will be a time when those connections will pay great dividends.
What’s your advice to new and returning educators? Please email me yours and I will collect them for a future blog post. How will you include and support new teachers in your school/district? Please introduce them to the Maine Arts Education blog – its easy to subscribe (on the right side, half way down). And, invite them to join the community by joining the arts education list-serv by sending me their email address.
Before we get to the “wise words” from Maine, Nancy Flanagan taught K-12 music for 30 years in Michigan. She blogs for Education Week, the TEACHER section called TEACHER in a Strange Land (you may want to follow her on twitter) and on August 6 she wrote a post called Ten Non-Standard ideas About Going Back to SchoolIt’s worth the read (after you read what Maine arts educators have to say)!
h1

Waterville Senior High School

November 14, 2017

Once Upon a Mattress

h1

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.

IMG_1764

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 sbarre@aos92.org.

h1

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.

http://youtu.be/VCGUrQrnp0U

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VCGUrQrnp0U

h1

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.

WSHSkate3

h1

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?

h1

Archived Webinars: CDLN

May 31, 2013

Wrapped up with a bow!

A GREAT BIG THANK YOU TO:

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Lisa Gilman

img_2854

Jen Nash

IMG_3111

Suzanne Goulet

%d bloggers like this: