Hello and welcome to Lee Expressive Arts for 2017!
    I am so excited to continue 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 teaches Choral Music at Smithton Middle School and my children attend Battle High School.
    Our theme this year will be, “Spin A Story.”  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 another majical musical this year. In addition, Dr. Mehr let me know there are great exhibits happening this year at one of the museums.  She is also getting geared up for Ibiyinka to visit!  Mrs. Canepa is working out the details for the One Read.  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.  We all have our own personal narrative, how will you spin your story.
    The Lee teachers have also been hard at work in the summer.  They have attended the COCAedu Summer Institute over the last several years.  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.  They spend 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 previously and now we are all doing it.  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 takes place.  You will see new life in the teaching staff this year.  We all get excited when our teaching transforms learning and gets the whole school on the same page with arts integration.  
    I’m looking forward to a great year of activities. At Lee, we Learn, Explore, Express.  That is my story and it is time to start the third year at Lee!  What will your story be?
    Mr. Ed Elsea
    Lee Expressive Arts Principal