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This year has been so abundant.

So much packed into one year.

The beginning of 2019 started off with learning more about the local connections with environmental organizations on my area, experiencing my first Maryland Association of Outdoor and Environmental Education conference, and recertifying my school as a Maryland Green school! We also were awarded two grants for environmental education projects! I also took the green club on a field trip to Sandy Point state park for a green school celebration! One of the best field trips ever.


In March I attended the National Art Education Association convention in Boston. I visited and fell in love with two new museums, the Isabella Gardner Museum and MFA. I learned the importance of networking and sharing who I am with others and found my place with the Caucus on the Spiritual in Art Education.


The spring was busy with my student teacher from Towson, who accepted a job this year! We also had our schools annual Arts in Action event!


Summer came and my intuitive henna took off. Sharing my gifts with many, some even had their designs become a permanent part of their lives.


I painted “en plein air,” at Cromwell Valley park with BCPS teachers.  It was such an awesome experience, and I am so looking forward to it again this coming summer.

I also attended an AVID one day intensive training, where I learned a lot about different ways to teach students, that I have been using this year! I am excited to say that I was asked to attend the week long training this summer 2020.

Working for St. Paul’s summer camp this year was a new experience… all camps combined, in a new location. It was a wonderful summer with amazing coworkers and campers! Visiting Irvine Nature Center and the Senator Theater were some of my highlights!

Then August came… with a bang. Breaking my wrist 2 weeks before school started for the new year. This was by far one of the most testing time for me. Testing my faith and trust that I have the power within to heal and come back stronger than before. Testing my sense of self…. am I my right hand? As an artist I began asking myself, does my identity come from my hands? Can I create even if my hands don’ work the same as they always have? This was a powerful time for a deep dive within.

I healed faster than the doctors have seen from a 30 year old. The whole process from break to out of cast took 6 weeks, and the doctor was so surprised at the amount of healing that occurred. My mobility was about 90% back to normal! I attribute my healing to my mindset, words and movement. I constantly used healing words over broken words. I visualized my wrist healing and strengthening. I stretched and stretched, and slowly got back into yoga, and stretched and stretched.

My 12th year of teaching began and I became an adjunct professor at Notre Dame of Maryland University, teaching Methods in Secondary Art Education. This was a huge milestone for me and my own self awareness. I love sharing my passion for teaching and art, especially with other passionate teachers. It was such a blessing to teach this course.

The workload for 2019 was intense, physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. So much growth. Like a seedling, breaking through the concrete. Learning when to rest and when to reach. Realizing the activeness of balance. Balance in work, life, love, relationships, creating and resting. The balance of self care and self growth.

2019 was an abundant, and it was beautiful to watch the balance unfold.

Thank you to everyone who shared in this past year with me. I am forever grateful for you. <3  Excited and open to receiving all that this new year has in store.

Migwetch and Gizagiin

Raine Dawn

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AVID stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination.  AVID is a nonprofit created in San Diego by an English teacher named Mary Catherine Swanson.

Mary Catherine Swanson 1980Mary noticed that teachers at Clairemont High School had low expectations for students bused in from disadvantaged areas of San Diego, which caused a belief that these students could not succeed. Swanson believed if students were willing to work hard she could teach them the skills needed to be college-ready.

She discovered that a teacher’s job was to provide the missing background pieces while quickly accelerating the rigor of the coursework in a manner that was supportive, encouraging, and interesting to the student.

AVID was created and implemented in the 1980’s and has been changing lives by helping schools shift to a more equitable, student-centered approach. 

When schools partner with AVID, they receive professional development, a suite of resources, and ongoing support to ensure a lasting impact that maximizes their return on investment. AVID is not “one more thing to do”—our work with schools aligns with their goals to accelerate and enhance the work that is already happening.

On July 6th, 2019 I attended my first day session at the AVID Summer Institute in Philadelphia. Baltimore County Public Schools sent any educator who wished to attend the one day workshop, being that we had a star student as the guest speaker!

Elijah Edwards, from Pikesville High School, spoke about his journey and how AVID became a saving grace for him, helping him to finally walk proudly in his own shoes to pursue his passions in life. ElijahEdwards

“Elijah Edwards will be a first-generation college student. He has been an AVID scholar for all four years of high school, and during that time, he has taken seven Advanced Placement classes. He was a four-year wrestler, AVID Ambassador, and AVID Class Representative. He will attend Jacksonville University in the fall of 2019 with an $80,000 Presidential Scholarship. At Jacksonville, he plans to study pre-medicine in hopes of becoming an anesthesiologist.”

At the beginning of the day we attended two PLW’s (professional learning workshops), Buy-in to Belief and WICOR Strategies.

I truly feel this program will bring about change to the climate of our school.  AVID builds relationships. Through teaching critical thinking skills and teamwork, students develop relationships that help them succeed way into the future. Its already bringing our faculty together.