Deer Isle-Stonington High School to Celebrate Arts Week

Submitted by REACH Performing Arts Center.

The fourth annual Deer Isle – Stonington High School Arts Week will run January 27-31, culminating in a public dinner and performance on Friday Jan, 31 at 5:15 PM.

In previous years grades 9-12 were split into four teams, each writing and creating a devised theater piece answering an essential question, this year’s Arts Week will have students in grades 8-12 identifying the projects most intriguing to them. They will then be assigned to one group based on their interest, working within that discipline for the entire week.

This year, Arts Week is celebrating the bicentennial of Maine with projects that will focus on the history and culture of our state. Funding for the week is made possible by the REACH Performing Arts Center, and additionally, is funded in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission, an independent state agency supported by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Projects include 3D Printing with James Rutter and Screen Printing with Hope Rovelto of Portland’s Little Chair Printing, who have both worked for Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. Mural Making with DISHS Art Teacher Cynthia Pease. A culinary project hosted by Healthy Island Project’s Edible Island exploring native Maine food pathways with Chef Cheryl Wixson. A music through technology workshop run by Mark Churchill. The traditional theater Arts Week theater project with veteran director Jesse Gorden and Opera House Arts’ Joshua McCarey. A filmmaking experience with Current Harbor’s Jamie Watkins, and a week building in the shop with DISHS teacher Steve Zembrusky.

The public event on Friday Jan 31st will begin at 5:15 at the Elementary School Cafeteria with a meal created, prepared, and served by the culinary group led by Chef Wixson. At 6:00, all will move to the REACH Performing Arts Center for presentations by each of the disciplines.

There are no tickets required for any events, though donations will be accepted by the REACH Performing Arts Center to offset the costs of Arts Week.

We hope to see you there!

The Washington County Consortium Educator Profile: Dale Bailey

Submitted by Sarah Woog, Executive Director at Washington County Consortium.

Washington County Consortium (WCC) Educator Profile: Meet Dale Bailey, Speech-Language Pathologist at AOS 90

I first heard about Dale Bailey’s work from Mandy Belanger, Principal at Woodland Elementary School. Mandy praised his passion for supporting educators and students and his expertise in the areas of speech and language. She thought he’d be a great presenter for Harvest of Ideas, too.

I reached out to Dale to ask him to consider presenting at Harvest of Ideas and, in his response to the request for proposals (RFP), he described a professional background that speaks to Dale’s depth of experience and tremendous expertise. I was excited to be able to offer Dale’s session about dyslexia screening in Maine to Washington County educators:

Over a more than 20 year time span, Dale has worked as a speech-language pathologist, LD evaluator (079), district data consultant and early literacy coordinator.  He has a special interest in the connection between oral and written language assessment and development. Dale has extensive experience designing and delivering PD in the areas of assistive technology, assessment, language and early literacy.  Dale has held positions as adjunct faculty (UMFK & UWSP) and as the Statewide Early Literacy Coordinator for the state of Wisconsin. He currently provides services to students in AOS90 while continuing to provide professional development & support to educators in both Maine and Wisconsin.

The feedback from Dale’s session at Harvest of Ideas confirmed that he has a lot to offer. Many shared it was the best part of their day, and that it gave them ideas and practices to try immediately in their classroom. He was also lauded as an incredibly informed and skilled presenter. 

I reached out to Dale to interview him for a profile because I wanted to hear more about his journey, his core beliefs around language and learning, and his hopes for schools and students in Washington County. He welcomed me in his office at Woodland Elementary School so we could sit down for a conversation. I am grateful for his time, candor and insights, and am excited to share them here.

Dale had a stutter growing up, and described himself as an “under the radar kid.” His academic success earned him admission to Colby College, where he studied economics. While at Colby, and during summer internships, he realized he’d “have to learn to be a successful communicator in order to succeed in the world.” During the summer after his junior year, he participated in a residential speech therapy program for adults, which helped him achieve his goals around speech fluency, and sparked a deeper interest in the area of speech and language.

Dale did enter the business field, but his interest and personal connection to speech and language nagged at him. After oscillating for some time between working in business and working on his Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders, Dale obtained a Master’s from the University of Maine at Orono in 1997, and went right to work in the field in 1998. After building his career and expertise in Maine and then Wisconsin, Dale decided to come back to Maine in 2018 and found a fit working with all schools and grade levels in AOS 90.

At AOS 90, Dale sees unique assets and challenges. He appreciates how, in a small district, he is able to work with both students and educators and sees professional development as an integral part of his work. His understandings are constantly informed by both students and educators, and he is able to support educators’ growth while informed directly by students’ experiences. 

As for challenges, Dale shared that “sustained, purposeful, targeted effort is required to move the needle,” and lamented the challenges that limited resources in most districts pose to engaging in sustained efforts. He elaborated: “Teachers work their tails off, they work so hard and oftentimes, if not all the time, do good work with limited information…and/or with limited materials. It’s quite remarkable to see really great results from teachers who have these limits. If we give teachers great materials and great information about what they are trying to teach or how they are trying to teach it, gosh, we could do a lot.”

There are many people with whom Dale has worked who give him great hope when imagining the possible. He spoke of Mandy Belanger, Principal at Woodland Elementary School. “Mandy- she’s hungry; she wants to figure it out. She wants to understand reading as a door to learning and development; she wants to figure out how to move the needle on reading development, to open up doors for kids in learning, thinking, and developing as individuals.” 

Dale’s work and story inspire my imagination, too. Consider Dale’s early challenges with speech and recall the Harvest of Ideas feedback around Dale’s gift for speech. Dale wasn’t born with his speech skills; he was motivated to gain these skills and was able to access the resources to achieve them. He then worked throughout his career to understand speech and language and use his evolving understandings to impact student learning. Dale’s gift that I’d like to celebrate is the gift he gives us through his work, to his colleagues, and his students, and all those impacted by his work throughout his career. Thank you, Dale, and thank you, too, to the passionate educators he celebrates as well. 

Please, take a moment to reflect on the gifts educators all over Washington County give each other, their communities and their students. And take another moment to celebrate the gifts you give and receive, as well.


Get to know the DOE Team: Meet Jason Anderson

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.

Commissioner Makin Begins 2020 with a Visit to Dover-Foxcroft and Dexter

On January 3rd Maine Department of Education’s Commissioner Pender Makin visited the Tri-County Technical Center (TCTC) in Dexter for a tour of the facility and to have a round-table discussion with students, educators, and legislators about successes and concerns from the Dover-Foxcroft/Dexter region.

During her visit, the Commissioner got the opportunity meet and talk with educators and administrators as she toured TCTC, and to talk with students as she visited classrooms to learn about the innovative things happening at their school. She also enjoyed a delicious lunch with students and educators prepared by culinary arts students and instructors from TCTC.

Following the tour, the Commissioner got the opportunity to hear from a student panel comprised of students from area high schools who grew up in the region, and heard from educators and legislators from the surrounding area to discuss education issues and concerns from their perspective. During her visit she was also able to celebrate and experience the strong bonds, resilience, and creative thinking of the leaders in the area to keep the community and the education system thriving through economic and regional struggles.

Below are a few pictures from the visit. There is also an in-depth news article written by Sheila Grant of the Eastern Gazette Newspaper and can be found in the January 10-16, 2020 issue.




2020 High School SAT – SAA & ELL Request Dates – REMINDER

This is a reminder regarding 2020 high school Math and ELA/Literacy SAT accommodations dates:

  1. College Board Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) portal accommodation requests are currently open at with a deadline of 2/24/20.
  2. State Allowed Accommodations (SAA – a separate SAT form not college reportable) as well as English Learner 50% Extended Time Advanced Request window opens Tuesday 1/14/20 with a deadline for both on 2/24/20. Both can also be requested through the SSD portal at