Special Area Teachers

We are very fortunate to have a number of special subject areas offered at Cushing Community School. Weekly, students participate in art, physical education, and music classes.


Other programs and resources at Cushing Community School include the Title I, Reading and Math Intervention, and Resource Room.


See the links below for information about individual teachers and special program areas at Cushing Community School. 

Librarian/Media Specialist

Special Education

Mrs. Shafer, Special Education Teacher

Tell us about yourself:

I grew up in Northeast Connecticut, where I raised my family, and when my last son was fige I started going back to school to receive my Bachelors Degree at Eastern State University.  After working as an Instructional Assistant for seven years, I decided to become a Special Education Teacher and went to Southern Connecticut State University to receive my Masters in Special Education.  As time went on I decided I wanted to become a Reading Specialist and went to Southern Connecticut State University for two years of Saturdays to get my Sixth Year in Reading.  Since then, I have found it to be very rewarding as it has helped in helping students to become good readers, by passing on strategies for success.

Tell us why you like to work in Special Education:

 I like to work in Special Education because I believe everyone can learn.  Students need to learn who they are as a learner.  That is my speciality, helping students learn who they are as a person, and then a learner.  Throughout my years of teaching I have learned many helpful strategies.  Becoming a reading teacher as well has allowed me to gain even more strategies.

One of my favorite things to do is read to my grandchildren.  It's a wonderful feeling to be able to open their eyes and minds to what a story/reading/books can bring to their lives.  I look forward to these moments for many years to come by asking the amazing question, "What are you reading?"

How should parents contact me?

Parents can contact me by emailing at rshafer@rsu13.org, write me a letter or just call the school of their cfhoice, Cushing Community 354-2312.



Meet Mrs. Eddy

Tell me about yourself.

My name is Janelle Eddy and I am the K – 8 art teacher in Thomaston. I grew up in Cushing and attended Cushing Community School and Thomaston Grammar School. I graduated from Georges Valley High School in 1996 and graduated from the University of Southern Maine with a Bachelors Degree in Art Education in 2002.


Why do you like teaching art?

I enjoy teaching art because it allows me to share my passion for art with my students. I enjoy this quote by Pablo Picasso, “All children are artists. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” I truly believe that all children are artists and that it is my job to give them the tools to believe and realize that they are.


What are your favorite student units?

I have always enjoyed working with clay, so any lesson in which we work with clay would be my favorite lesson. We make frogs, turtles, cupcakes, vases, and many more items out of clay.


What is your plan for parent contact?

Please feel free to call Lura Libby School at 354-6464, or email me at jeddy@rsu13.org.


What are your homework guidelines?

I do not assign homework. However, I encourage students to draw at home.



The Philosophy of Art

Philosophy of Art Education:

The art program is dedicated to educating and caring for each student as a person and individual ~ accepting all students, whatever their ability, and playing upon it to enhance their imaginative and natural talents.

Art Room Expectations:


2.~ Come to class prepared.

3.~ Participate in classroom activities.

4.~ Write down homework assignments.

5.~ Complete homework.

6.~ Respect individual classroom rules.

a)~ respect teacher, classmates and yourself

b)~ no talking during directions

c)~use materials properly

Personal Expectations:

1.~ Accept responsibility for personal decisions and behavior.

2.~ Express your needs appropriately.

3.~ Respect others opinions, feelings, and beliefs.

4.~ Work cooperatively with others.

5.~ Show a willingness to take risks and meet challenges.

                    6.~Show an ability to start, continue and complete tasks.

                  Grading/ Evaluation:

Evaluation is an on going process.~ Student expression both visual and verbal including creative thinking, problem solving, class participation, willingness to learn and try different ideas and individual effort are all important parts of evaluation.

Evaluation will not be based on whether a student finds the right answer to a problem presented- as there are really no wrong answers in art.~ Rather, evaluation will be based on the the following:

1.~ Ability to follow directions.

2.~ Completion of projects to the best of his/her ability.

3.~ Proper use of materials.

4.~ Ability to use new art vocabulary in context.

5. ~Willingness to be creative.


~ Most Important:





Meet Dr. James Boyd, Music Teacher


Hello, my name is Dr. James Boyd, the new music teacher here at Cushing Community School.  I am a native of Greenville, SC and grew up in Atlanta where I discovered my love of music playing trombone and singing in choirs.  I hold a B.M. Degree from Furman University (SC), a M.M. form Arizona State University, and  Ph.D. in music theory from the University of Michigan.  I have been teaching music at the college, secondary and primary levels since 1979, and recently moved to Maine from Connecticut, where I taught general music, chorus, and band in the Hartford Public Schools for 15 years.  While my first instrument was the trombone, I began to play piano and guitar early on, and continue to enjoy learning new instruments, especially the ukelele.  I am a composer as well as a performer, and truly feel everyone can experience the joy of creating and performing.

My wife, Maureeen Boyd, is an experienced performer of cabaret and musical theatre, as well as holding a M.A. in theatre from the Univeristy of Kansas.  We have two adult children, Billie (in Seattle) and Devin (in Connecticut).  We are currently living in Lincolnville, ME and hope to find our permanent home soon in the mid-coast region.

Physical Education



Occupational Therapist

Mrs. Lauren Watts

Occupational Therapist



Tell us about yourself:

I am one of the Occupational Therapists for RSU 13. I work in the schools on the west side of the district (Cushing, Thomaston Grammar, Lura Libby, Oceanside West and the St. George School). I live in Tenants Harbor with my husband and our two dogs. We have three grown daughters and one granddaughter.

I love working with students in the various schools because I get to know a lot of different students of all ages. Every one of them is unique! It is very rewarding to see my students progress with their skills.


What is your parent contact plan?

I can always be reached via my rsu13 email if parents have questions. 




Sue Foltz

Speech Pathologist



Teacher Biography:

Most of my working career has been in the area of education.  Besides running a theater and working at the YMCA in Pennsylvania, full time educating has been my life's work.  My friends think of me as a "grammar snob."  Currently I'm working on that flaw.  Besides teaching I enjoy antiquing, playing the drums, playing bridge, attending church groups, and reading.


Why you like to teach your grade or special area:

 Since I now have the gift of being able to work with only a few speech students, it is my delight to have time to prepare daily lessons that combine many of the areas of speech, such as articulation, fluency (stuttering), voice, social skills and language.  Language has always been a stronger skill for me than math and the sciences and speech gets to include so many "fun" topics to teach.  My own children roll their eyes when I gather my grandchildren around the kitchen table to share traditional grammar with them.


Your favorite units:

This is difficult to choose.  It's fun putting definitions to music which aids memory.  Using antique "props" is meant to give students some history along with their speech lessons.  I love to use Dick and Jane and David and Ann books for a twist in teaching reading.  Social skills can sometimes be targeted while having a tea party, and of course there is always repetition, repetition, repetition.