Maine DOE team member Jason Anderson is being highlighted this week as the part of a Get to know the DOE Team campaign. Learn a little more about Jason in the brief question and answer below.
What are your roles with DOE?
I serve as the Visual and Performing Arts Specialist on the Secondary Education and Integrated Instruction team at the DOE. I frequently communicate with arts educators statewide, addressing their needs in a variety of different ways – collaborating on student pre- and post-assessment tasks as an outside evaluator, serving as a master of ceremonies for concerts, and constant visits to school arts programs to observe unique and effective teaching strategies that are yielding significant results for students. I also administer a statewide music education initiative called Maine Kids Rock (30+ teachers statewide that incorporate modern music into their classrooms), and a rotating art exhibit at the DOE offices in Augusta. As I continue at the DOE I will actively work with other content specialists on cross-disciplinary projects that will benefit teaching and learning statewide.
What do you like best about your job?
I love the opportunity to celebrate arts education at all levels statewide. It’s a good day when I have the opportunity to visit a program in a school/district and celebrate all the hard work they are doing to make arts education an integral part to a student’s public school experience.
How or why did you decide on this career?
After 14 years of teaching music in Vermont and Maine (and a graduate degree in curriculum and instruction), I was looking for an opportunity to have a wider impact on arts education/arts curriculum and instruction than my own classroom… this position was posted on the first day of my most recent summer vacation, so it was almost serendipity that I should apply. It has been a great career shift, and I’m honored to be able to serve my arts education colleagues all over the state!
What do you like to do outside of work for fun?
Outside of work, I love to both attend performances and perform as a vocalist. Time at our family camp in Aroostook County is also a love of mine outside of work – just getting to spend time with my stepchildren, wife, and fur baby Simon (black Labrador retriever) is my favorite pastime.