Educator Profile    Educators

Melissa Sylvester (ME '05)


Yarmouth High School
Yarmouth, ME

Subject(s) taught: Visual Art: Photo 1, 2, and Advanced Photography, Graphic Design 1 & 2, Drawing & Painting, Art Fundamentals
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12

At the time of the Award, Melissa Sylvester was:

Yarmouth High School
Yarmouth, ME

Subject(s) taught: , Art
Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12


Biographical Information

I am a passionate Visual Arts teacher who thrives on instilling the love for learning and creativity into the lives of my students. As an energetic and spirited educator, I am continuously searching for innovative methods to improve student learning and my teaching practices. Looking for new ways to network with educators around the country and the globe energizes me. The integration of technology into the Visual Arts curriculum continues to be a priority in my classroom; I believe it is critical for educators and students alike, to stay abreast of technological trends and practices in order to understand the remarkable influence it can have on creativity and communication.

Personal Message

From the moment I walked into my classroom 20 years ago, I knew I had found my passion. As an art educator, I instill the joy of imagining, exploring, and learning about the world of visual art in my students. Reaching every student is especially important; I am constantly using a variety of strategies to help students realize their confidence, intelligence, independence, along with their true artistic self. Students know that the atmosphere in my classroom is one in which motivates them and encourages collaboration. They know that they will learn from me, as well as their peers. Creating project-based learning opportunities and learning outside of the classroom walls are essential in increasing students' growth and achievement. Connecting with colleagues, presenting at conferences, and immersing myself in a myriad of professional development opportunities invigorates me and supports me to be the best teacher I can be.

As an artist, I see recurring themes of vitality and illuminations emerge in my work. I am drawn to nature, color, light and shapes, while being mesmerized by the allure of my environment. More than 25 years ago, I received my first camera and began photographing. It has not only become a passion, but an integral part of my life. I enjoy capturing the decisive moments and splendor that surrounds me. I am most enticed to photograph at Popham Beach where I spend my summers. The liberty and time that I have allows me to be truly imaginative. As I hear the crash of the ocean waves, the claps of thunder in the distance, or the chatter from my family and friends, I am inspired to record memories and make statements with the freedom and creativity that my camera provides.

Related Connections

Article: Back to School, Back in Time

Additional Information


1995 Bachelor's of Fine Art, Concentration in Photography and Ceramics, University of Southern Maine

1991 Associates Degree in Business, University of Southern Maine

Master's of Science in Education, Course work in Masters of Art Education

National Board Certification 2012

LMC Fellow 2015

Technology in Education, Art Education