SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Pemetic Elementary School’s music teacher of 31 years resigned from his position to teach a totally different subject this year: French.
“I just decided to do something different,” said Ed Michaud, who has replaced Norman Fineman as the school’s French teacher. “I’ve always loved French, and so when the position opened up, I decided to apply.”
Michaud, who graduated from University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1991, minored in French. He took a job straight out of college teaching music at Pemetic Elementary School.
The school’s jazz band won various awards in state competitions under his direction. Michaud went on to develop the first elementary school show choir on Mount Desert Island in 2005. Throughout his years as an instructor, he received a master’s degree in conducting from the University of Maine and a doctorate in musical arts at Boston University.
After losing his 13-year-old son Simeon to lymphoma in 2014, his life was difficult at times, but Michaud said teaching music fulfilled his passion to instill creative and critical thinking in students.
When Southwest Harbor students returned to the school this month, they were greeted by new music teacher Michael Milazzo, who is excited to take on the role. Milazzo studied at the University of Maine and has elementary school music teaching experience.
“I’m most looking forward to teaching instrumental music,” Milazzo said.