Argy Nestor
Ambassador, Academy, Advisory

Argy Nestor

Augusta, ME, US

Director of Sweetland Middle School. Curious about how learners of all ages learn. Committed to supporting learners, teachers, and parents in a student-centered learning environment with the arts at the heart.

I am Argy Nestor and have loved being an educator since 1976, first as a visual arts teacher for students in grades Kindergarten through grade 8. My teaching continued mostly with young adolescents until 2006 when I moved to policy and programming for the State of Maine, USA. My decisions around programs and policy were always driven by the question: What is in the best interest of PreK-grade 12 learners? 

I worked with arts educators throughout the state to build on and re-create their teaching and learning in the classroom through collaborative professional development. In seven years the Maine Arts Leadership Initiative supported the work of 108 PK-12 teacher leaders and teaching artist leaders. The community of learners encourages educators to challenge themselves to collaboratively build on their knowledge and experiences using a Logic Model. They've shared their research by providing workshops (over 200) with educators (almost 2,000) throughout the state and country. Whether the community is small or world-wide I believe bringing educators together to collaborate is critical for success.

In 2019 I returned to the classroom and presently direct the Sweetland Middle School. The curriculum is driven by the arts and student-centered learning. Sweet Tree Arts was established in 2013 as a community arts center and has grown into supporting learners of all ages including a K-8 school. 

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

The use of technology helps facilitate learning way beyond individuals. But technology is nothing without innovative teachers facilitating learning so students can be stretch and think creatively. Asking questions, considering multiple answers, collaborating with others - so much is possible when learning and curiosity are supported. Everyone becomes better and the world is impacted positively. When Lindsay Pinchbeck and I traveled to Malawi in 2016 our eyes were opened to ideas that were life changing. The arts were at the heart of our work.  Being part of the HundrED community supports my beliefs and I am able to give back when connecting to educators around the world. 

How can education support students to flourish?

Every person deserves the right to learn and reach their potential. Listening to learners of all ages and supporting them to lead their learning helps them to reach their potential.  

What role does innovation play in education change?

Thinking creatively and encouraging learners to be innovative will make the world a better place for all humans.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Segni Mossi - The arts are a vehicle for learning. I am interested in learning about ideas that connect learning with the arts. 

TingTing Poetry Education - In my work in Maine I am responsible for the Poetry Out Loud program so learning about how poetry is inspiring learners in China is fascinating. 

Live Time Assessment and Continuous Feedback - Assessment is critical to supporting learning. I am curious about the way this is happening in this innovation. 

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

Maine Arts Education, meartsed blog - shared stories, resources, innovative ideas, and resources communicating best practices of arts education. 

Maine Arts Leadership Initiative - a program of the Maine Arts Commission - fully committed to excellent visual and performing arts education for every learner in Maine. Supporting teachers to to lead and innovate. 

Go! Malawi whose mission is to collaborate with rural Malawian communities to develop sustainable programs in education, healthcare, commerce, and conservation. 

Express-a-Book - an alternative to traditional book clubs that supports all learners in their learning.