Amanda Albanese

Amanda Albanese

Art Teacher

Flagler College, Pratt Institute, Maine College of Art

For Ms. Albanese, art is more than a personal passion. It is important. “Art allows one to notice the world,” she says, “and gives permission to engage the imagination.” Creating art is one the ways that people – not just students – understand what we are seeing and what we are feeling, and then communicate it to others. “It becomes transformative,” Ms. Albanese says, “in its ability to share life.”

Hands-on Learning

Growing up, education was front and center for Ms. Albanese: her mother ran a small nursery school out of their home. Interestingly, that early experience was not specifically focused on art, but on “hands-on learning,” she says, “which incorporated the care of plants and animals into our daily routine.” In fact, the school was called “The Farm.”

Today, as an art teacher, Ms. Albanese exposes her students to a wide variety of hands-on artistic pursuits. However, the virtual learning environment of Maine Connections Academy presents some challenges “in the art room.” Ms. Albanese sees those challenges as opportunities.

“We experiment with new creative tools and technologies that are equitable and accessible to students,” she explains. Students are encouraged to present their work to classmates, to get comfortable with “shared personal experiences.” This helps them “build confidence” in their public speaking and become “leaders in their own learning.”

Animal Advocate

The early experience at “The Farm” had another significant impact on Ms. Albanese: She loves animals. When she’s not teaching at Maine Connections Academy, she reports that she is “out on the trails with my dogs or camera … or both.” She’s also spent considerable time supporting “animals in need.” Ms. Albanese has volunteered at animal shelters and farm animal sanctuaries, not only here in Maine, but in Rhode Island, and even California, as well.

Amanda's unique photograph shot through broken glass