Hello and welcome to Lee Expressive Arts for 2015, where we will “Explore the Wild”!
 
I am so excited to be part of the Lee community.  For those that don’t know, I am a Mizzou graduate.  I received my BSEd in music education and taught elementary music, middle school and high school band/choir for seven years around the state.  My wife and son landed in Poplar Bluff, where I received my MA in educational administration from Southeast Missouri State University.  We were blessed with our daughter during our time in Poplar Bluff as well.  The four of us went to Waverly, Missouri, where I was the principal at Santa Fe Elementary for five years.  Once both of our children were in school, we moved back to the middle of the state and lived in Lebanon, where I was the assistant principal at Maplecrest for one year then the principal of Hillcrest for the last eight.  We are excited to be back in the place where my wife and I met.  My wife will teach Choral Music at Smithton Middle School and Hickman High School.
 
Our theme this year will be, “Explore the Wild.”  With all the opportunities this year, it was a nice way to pull it all together.  Mrs. Tummons and Mrs. Rainwater are working out the details to produce the musical, “The Lion King” this year. In addition, Dr. Mehr let me know there is a great bird exhibit happening this fall at one of the museums.  Mrs. Canepa is working out the details for the One Read, but the choices seem to have plenty of wild animals in them.  Each of the teachers I spoke with had many ideas to pull the theme together in the classroom as well.  It should be an electric year of excitement.
 
The Lee teachers have also been hard at work this summer.  We are so lucky to have a great PTA and partners in education, who provided 23 of the teachers the opportunity to attend the COCAedu Summer Institute.  The Center Of Creative Arts (COCA) is an amazing place where students and teachers can go to learn and enrich their lives through the arts.  We spent three days immersed in arts integration.  We learned how to embed art work into science and dance in assessments.  We learned how to present the actors toolbox, which we learned was something Mrs. Tummons had been doing with the students this past year as well.  We are working on a way to incorporate this building wide.  It is amazing how well it helps students focus and build concentration.  It gives the students the ability to learn what strong choices are and how we let down the class with weak choices.  We learned how to incorporate improv techniques into the class learning.  This is just the tip of the iceberg of learning that took place.  I was so excited to be right beside the teachers learning.  You will see new life in the teaching staff this year.  We all agreed, this will help transform learning and get the whole school on the same page with arts integration.  Thank you to our PTA and our partners that helped provide this opportunity.
 
I’m looking forward to a great year of activities. At Lee, we Learn, Explore, Express.  I can’t wait to open this new chapter in the rich history of Lee with you and your children where we will Learn and Express ourselves while Exploring the Wild. 
 
 
Mr. Ed Elsea
Lee Elementary Principal 

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