The ambassador of Ambassadors, Terry Shay, is first and foremost a vocal teacher to lucky K-12 students in Traer, Iowa. Terry followed his North Star, connected the dots, and continued his mission to teach creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking when he joined our FableVision family as a FableVision Ambassador. His enthusiasm, passion and heart quickly landed him the position of Lead Ambassador of the FableVision Ambassador Program and is the originator of International Dot Day and the Celebri-Dots blog. For this month's FableFive blog post, we chatted with Terry to learn more about his journey, what it takes to be a FableVision Ambassador, and the Dot movement.
1) Walk us through your FableVision Journey?
My journey with FableVision began at the Iowa Technology Education Connection Conference many years ago. I was at a session about a keyboard and the presenter was demonstrating how the keyboard could be used to import into any word processing program and then she demonstrated using Stationery Studio. I ended up not be interested in the keyboard, but I will never forget how amazing the software was. I knew that I had to know more about the company who made it. I called and had the tremendous good fortune to reach Bill Norris, who sent me the software and kept in touch. A few months later, I was asked to be a FableVision Ambassador. A few years later, I was asked to lead the program. Working with and for a company who has a mission that matches my own is a dream.
2) What has been a highlight moment of your experience as a FableVision Ambassador?
Watching someone’s face light up when I ask them if they celebrate Dot Day is certainly at the top of the list. It is a joy to hear all the different ways celebrations are held around the country. Not to mention, the opportunity to work closely with Peter H. Reynolds and Dr. Peggy Healy Stearns.
3) What are the qualities you look for in a FableVision Ambassador and how does one apply?
The main quality I look for in an Ambassador is willingness to share. We are looking for a variety of locations so we spread the mission far and wide. Currently we need Ambassadors in Alaska, Arkansas, Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, and Wyoming.
4) Tell us about your teaching experience, what has been one highlight of your career?
I am a K-12 Vocal Music teacher in Traer, Iowa. The highlight of each year is watching kids shine in our Swing Show. Kids get to sing, dance, perform in skits, and almost every year I am blown away by a soloist who starts out meek and mild and then steps on the stage and becomes a star.
5) You love children's books! And are the driving force behind Celebri-dots. Tell us about the blog and the dot movement.
International Dot Day, September 15th, started in 2009 and has been a constant source of joy ever since. Inspired by Peter H. Reynolds’ book, The Dot, Dot Day is intended to get kids to be creative. In 2011, Newbery Medal winning author, Sharon Creech, sent me a dot on Dot Day. Inspired by seeing the dot that one of my favorite authors made, I wanted to see what other famous people would create. Since then, 216 dots have been published in a variety of media including paint, photography, sewing, raspberry juice, hair dye, computer code, pencil, pen, and more. It’s an amazing gallery of creativity and it inspires kids to make their own mark.
At FableVision Learning we love to celebrate creative educators we meet along the way. The FableFive series is our chance to highlight these folks. The format is simple; we select one person and ask five questions to help us get to know them better, their relationship with FableVision Learning, and to help them spread their mission!