Kaitlin Young, the 2018 Maine Teacher of the Year, graduated from the University of Maine with a degree in music education in 2010. She teaches general and choral music to elementary and middle school students in Dover-Foxcroft. As the Maine Teacher of the Year, Young will travel throughout the state and country collaborating with other educators to support efforts to prepare students for college, work and civic life. “I am hopeful that this opportunity will allow me to share stories of many of the incredible music and arts educators across our state.”
IMPORTANCE OF MUSIC AND ART: Young says she would love to see schools invest more in music and arts programming. “Students need to experience — not just have access to — quality arts education, the same way that they need to experience quality math, science and social studies. The more you learn and experience, the more connections you make. These connections allow for a greater perspective that help you to think creatively, flexibly and empathetically,” Young says.
PART OF A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY: Young, who recently earned her master’s degree in music education from the Hartt School, part of the University of Hartford in Connecticut, credits UMaine with helping shape who she is. “It truly helped me experience the joy of growing up, learning and being a part of something bigger than yourself,” she says. Today, Young says she is happy to be part of a supportive community. “The students and colleagues that I have the privilege of working with each day always motivate me. We all benefit from continuing to learn together.”