World Languages & Music
Jordan Guerette - French & Music
Mr. Guerette reclaimed the French language for himself. He found the language of his paternal grandparents beautiful. “Unfortunately, like many immigrants from Québec who settled in Maine, they chose to not teach their children French as at that time it was seen as the language of lower-class people,” he says. “I never got a chance to learn French from them either, so I decided to formally study it and reclaim the language of my family.”
While he was working toward his Bachelor of Arts degree in French at the University of Southern Maine, he completed an immersion program at L’Universite du Maine in Le Mans, France.
In addition to his French degree, he also has a degree in music from USM. He is a guitarist and saxophonist who teaches private music lessons and has also managed Bull Moose music in Brunswick. He is also pursuing a graduate degree in music composition. He looks forward to teaching music electives at Baxter.
He feels fortunate to begin teaching at Baxter because of the enthusiasm of its community: “Every student and teacher I’ve met is thrilled to be here.”
Fun facts about Mr. Guerette: He is part of a heavy metal band that sells albums not only in the U.S. but abroad. He has never met an animal he didn’t love and especially loves cats, though he is allergic to them. He knows how to brew cider. And every morning he brews himself good coffee in his own French press.
Megan Lawrence - Spanish
In teaching Spanish, Megan Lawrence brings to bear a masters degree in Spanish from Middlebury College—and a world of experience. She’s lived and taught or studied in Spain, Costa Rica, and Sweden. And she’s also a hundred-ton master merchant mariner who earned her captain’s license in 2013.
Ms. Lawrence is a graduate of Gorham High School and the University of Southern Maine, where she majored in geography and anthropology.
“I want my Spanish class to be a setting that will allow students to listen and respond to each other, that will inspire them to read, write, create, and think for themselves,” says Ms. Lawrence. “At Baxter, the interest the students display in what they're doing is palpable and exciting. On the day I interviewed at the school, they were curious and enthused, and that excited my ambitions for what we can accomplish in the classroom.”
Fun facts about Ms. Lawrence: She raised sheep when she was growing up. She reads every chance she gets; memoirs are her favorites. She writes short stories in Spanish. She has skied the Pyrenees and hopes, someday, to ski the Alps. She loves maps and globes but claims to be a terrible navigator.
Dustin LeVasseur - Music
Dustin LeVasseur is a music educator and musician who grew up in Northern Maine. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Performance from the University of Southern Maine, Dustin stayed in the southern Maine area as a working musician. After a short while, Dustin moved to New York City where he became fascinated with music and creativity as it relates to education and lifelong learning. While in NYC he received a Masters in Music Education from Teachers College, Columbia University. For seven years Dustin worked as a music specialist at the Calhoun School, where he was able to co-develop an elementary music exposure and creativity course.
Dustin is thrilled to be back in his home state of Maine to continue his work educator as a part of the wonderful Baxter Academy community. As an educator, he feels that good learning practices are rooted in trust.
Fun Facts about Dustin: He loves to cycle and his longest ride was from Brooklyn to Portland. He loves to explore cultures through cooking and music. Dustin is fascinated with turn-of-the-century France. He plays drums, guitar, bass, sings vocals, and writes music.
Enyue Li - Mandarin Chinese
Before moving to the United States, Enyue Li earned her master's degree in education and taught for seven years in her hometown, Xi'an, China, where she won numerous awards, including the prestigious National Chinese Teachers' Award for Fundamental Knowledge of Chinese Language/Literature Competition of China. In the Bei-Lin district-wide awards, she was recognized for Excellence in Teaching, Outstanding Coach, and Highest Ranking Class. Since arriving in Maine, she has taught Mandarin for eight years to students ranging in age from five to adult. She anchors the elementary-age program at Portland's CAFAM Chinese School.
Her emphasis is on encouraging lively, colloquial dialogue and introducing students to Chinese culture as they practice reading and writing. Ms. Li is excited to be part of Baxter. She says, "This school is awesome because of the idea of students leading the learning."
She lives in Scarborough with her husband and young son.
Fun facts about Ms. Li: She has done research in Chinese calligraphy and grammar. She plays the piano and is interested in reading, running, and some cooking. Shehas reviewed most books related to China and Mandarin language in Maine's libraries. She was born in the Year of the Snake; in honor of that, you'll see her wearing lucky red all year.