Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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connecting with the arts logo round table A Workshop For Middle Grades
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About This Workshop
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About the Featured Educators




Meet the Teachers

Discussion Leaders

Joel Baxley Joel Baxley
Director of Visual Art,
Southeast Center for Education in the Arts

Joel is in charge of designing and teaching the visual art components of the professional development programs at SCEA. He also co-teaches a course in arts integration for education majors at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Prior to joining SCEA, Joel was a teaching principal at a facility for adolescents in state custody in Jackson, Tennessee. He also established and taught a visual art program at West Elementary School in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Joel's artwork has been recognized in national and local exhibitions, and he has produced illustration and design in print and electronic media for clients in Florida and Tennessee. He has also designed stage sets and scenery for numerous productions with college and community theatre groups.

Joel holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual art and English, and a Master of Education in curriculum and instruction from Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson, Tennessee.

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Scott Rosenow Scott Rosenow
Director of Theatre,
Southeast Center for Education in the Arts

Scott is in charge of the theatre elements of the professional development that SCEA presents. As part of his responsibilities at SCEA he co-teaches a course in arts integration for education majors at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.

Scott has taught and directed at Fossil Ridge High School in Texas and at Buckeye Woods Elementary School and Kilbourne Middle School in Ohio. He directed and taught summer drama programs at Omaha Community Playhouse, Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, and the University of Texas at Austin. During his four years in Hawaii he taught at the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Hawaii Baptist Academy, Chaminade University, and the University of Hawaii. Scott’s doctoral dissertation is an exploration of educational drama as a framework for concept-based curriculum integration in the elementary classroom.

Scott holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre arts from California State University, Northridge and a Master of Fine Arts in creative drama and children’s theatre from the University of Texas at Austin. He is working on his doctorate in drama/theatre education at The Ohio State University.

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Teacher Participants


Noel Grady-Smith Noël Grady-Smith
Dance Teacher
Mineral Springs Middle School
Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Noël Grady-Smith is passionate about the arts and the impact of mixing quality arts instruction with creative teaching in the classroom. She attended the College of New Rochelle in New York as a performing arts major for two years before receiving a Bachelor of Arts in education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She also received a Dance Education Teaching Certification from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

Noël owned and operated a dance studio for thirteen years in Chapel Hill before becoming an itinerant dance teacher for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in 1989. She has been the dance teacher at Mineral Springs Middle School since 1993, and she is lead dance teacher for the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. In this capacity she serves as a mentor and coordinator for 12 other dance educators, while providing demonstration lessons and staff development in her own school. Noël is the first teacher in the United States to receive National Board Certification while teaching full time as a dance educator. She was named National Dance Educator of the Year by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, and she is a past-president of the Dance Association for North Carolina Educators.

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Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet
Visual Art Teacher
FAIR School (Fine Arts Integrated Resource School)
Crystal, Minnesota

Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet studied photography, painting, drawing, art history, and creative writing, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in visual art. Realizing that the best way to merge all these interests was to become a visual art teacher, she returned to college and received a teaching license and eventually a Master of Education in art education. She was renowned early in her teaching career for making her students write as much for visual art as they did in language arts, and for giving vocabulary and history tests while still expecting high quality art work.

Rachael currently teaches at FAIR School, a fine arts, interdisciplinary, desegregation school near Minneapolis that serves grades 4-8. At FAIR she puts her love of music, her theatrical nature, and her interest in science to good use teaching interdisciplinary visual art classes that find connections among all areas of learning. Rachael had the good fortune to help with the architectural planning committee for FAIR School, which opened in 2000, and she has the coolest art room in the world. When not teaching Rachael can be found in her garden, reading a book, making art, training in the martial arts, or cooking with her family.

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Jane Percival Jane Percival
7th- and 8th-Grade Language Arts/Math Teacher
Hilltown Cooperative Charter School
Haydenville, Massachusetts

Jane Percival has taught for more than 30 years in a variety of settings that include public schools (grades 3-12), and private residential schools (grades 6-12). She has worked primarily with middle-schoolers, the age group with which she began her teaching career and one that she thoroughly enjoys. She has taught in self-contained classrooms, on a four-person instructional team as the language arts and/or science teacher, and in departmental settings as the English teacher or literacy specialist. In 2000, Jane left her position as assistant professor in the Education Department of the University of New Hampshire at Keene to join the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School, a public school in western Massachusetts, where she began the school’s middle school program.

Building on students’ strengths has always been a focus of Jane’s. Therefore, it was inevitable that she would make certain that the arts were integrated into her classroom curriculum, along with the traditional academic subjects for which she was responsible. Early in her career, she found integrating theatre a natural way to help students enter worlds foreign to them and then express their understandings of those worlds. At the Hilltown Cooperative Charter School, Jane plans weekly with her team, including the visual art teacher and music teacher, to integrate the arts consistently into the ongoing program of studies. Jane holds a doctorate degree in education.

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Mary Lou Schweickert Mary Lou Schweickert
Band Teacher
Hand Middle School
Columbia, South Carolina

Mary Lou Schweickert is in her 23rd year as the band teacher at Hand Middle School in Columbia, South Carolina. Under Mary Lou’s guidance, the band program at Hand has grown to include well over 200 students each year, and has won the South Carolina Band Directors Association Outstanding Performance Award 12 times.

Mary Lou has been involved in the Arts in Basic Curriculum (ABC) project at Hand since its inception in 1999, including serving as the project director. The goal of the ABC project is to ensure that every child in South Carolina has access to a quality, comprehensive education in the arts, including dance, drama, music, visual art, and creative writing. Mary Lou is an active performer on the trombone, and has been a member of the South Carolina Philharmonic since 1981. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music education from the University of South Carolina.

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Rick Wright Rick Wright
6th-Grade Teacher
FAIR School (Fine Arts Integrated Resource School)
Crystal, Minnesota

Rick Wright spent part of his childhood in Europe, where his parents dragged him to art museums. He developed a fascination with the Flemish artists Brueghel, Bosch, and van Eyck. After high school in Bath, Maine, he attended the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. It was during a junior year abroad in Nepal, while teaching English to the children of Tibetan refugees, that he discovered a love of teaching. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education from Augsburg College, and has been a teacher for 13 years. He taught first in inner city Minneapolis, and now teaches at FAIR School near Minneapolis. There, he continues to integrate his love of art into the academic curriculum of sixth grade.

During vacations he and his daughter guide kayak trips on Lake Superior, and the whole family sails on their wooden sailboat, Chrysalis.

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