I hope this note finds you all adjusting to your teaching schedule routine and enjoying brightening the lives of all you teach. My letter this month comes as an update on what has been happening since the last issue and all that we can expect for the coming months for AMEA. By now, I hope you have all seen our wonderful newly updated website. Past President Carl Hancock has done a masterful job of designing, consolidating and updating our AMEA website. We want this to be a source of current information and research for all members. You can reach any of the executive board through the site if you have questions or concerns.
It has been inspiring to watch the work and dedication of your AMEA Executive Board in the last 2 months. When the schedule came out for a round of meetings across the state for the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Community Engagement Tour highlighting the benefits to Alabama public school students and professionals as well as detail how ESSA will complement Alabama’s Plan 2020, your division Presidents, Vice Presidents and other leadership jumped in to represent you at each of the meetings. Their attendance and the questions they asked have moved the committee to action regarding music and the arts having a place at the table in the discussion on the structure of how to incorporate the support of the arts in our state. I appreciate their commitment to AMEA and the cause for music education.
Meetings and attendees:
August 9 Montgomery Meeting – Susan Smith and Andy Meadows
August 16 Auburn Meeting – Carla Gallahan and Phil Wilson
August 18 Shelby County Schools – Becky Halliday, Ted Hoffman
August 23 Birmingham City Schools – Greg Gumina, Sam Nordlund
August 25 Mobile County Schools – Linda Byrd
September 6 Huntsville City Schools – Pat Stegall
September 13, Tuscaloosa – Carl Hancock, Josh Mayer, Ginny Coleman
I encourage every AMEA member to start a conversation with your principals and school board members about ESSA and what it means at the local level. Resources are available at Governor Bentleys website (http://governor.alabama.gov/essa/ )and also the NAFME website (http://www.nafme.org/take-action/elementary-and-secondary-education-act-esea- updates/)
From the Southern Division
– President Elect Greg Gumina, Executive Director Garry Taylor and I attended the Southern Division meeting in Atlanta and heard from each state on the activities of their MEAs. As well, we had training on the implementation of the new National Standards and the efforts of NAFME to encourage diversity in leadership and serving the needs of the membership. I have asked each division to encourage all members to become involved in our organizations to better reflect the makeup of our organization and students we serve.
The AMEA Professional Development Conference is an event we all look forward to as a time to reconnect with colleagues and to hear wonderful clinics and concerts. We are excited about our Keynote speaker Scott Lang who is not only a motivational speaker, but is the force behind the Be Part of the Music movement. Lynn Tuttle will join us as well for our Leadership Breakfast and FAME sessions. Lynn is the Senior Regulatory Policy Advisor for the National Association for Music Education and will give us all insight into the progress of ESSA and how we can make an impact at the local level.
Our Intercollegiate Band will be conducted by Dr. John Locke, conductor of the University of North Carolina Greensboro Wind Ensemble. Working to support and strengthen our ties to the music industry community, AMEA has scheduled a reception on Thursday evening in the Exhibits from 9-10:30 with entertainment from 151st National Guard Jazz Combo. We hope this will give our members and vendors additional time to visit and make connections. Remember to register early and reach out to other members to do the same.
Due to responsibilities associated with running for local office, our newly appointed Assistant Executive Director, Mildred Lanier has had to step down. The AMEA board approved her replacement, Dr. Rusty Logan. We look forward to working with Dr. Logan in this role and know he will hit the ground running in supporting our Executive Director Garry Taylor and our Professional Development Conference!
Remember over the next few weeks to be a little selfish as teachers tend to think of everyone around them and not take care of themselves. We exist as an organization to encourage educators, so please let us know what we can do to support you in your mission to enrich the lives of your students each day.