Social Studies Teachers Participate in Summer Professional Development

Social Studies Teachers Participate in Summer Professional Development
Posted on 09/27/2018

Five Wausau School District social studies teachers participated in professional development experiences during the summer.

Wausau West High School teacher Elayna Clark was chosen to participate in the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History’s summer institute: 9/11 & American Memory. Elayna spent a week with 29 educators from around the country at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, NY. The team of educators interacted with the museum’s president, curators, and other experts on 9/11, memorialization, oral history, and curriculum development, and they toured the museum in depth and learned about the events and aftermath of 9/11. Further highlights for Elayna included the Broadway Show: Come from Away followed by Q & A with the cast, a lecture by a 9/11 first responder, and being filmed by CSPAN. Throughout the week, the team developed and shared curriculum based on the institute which will be used and shared with other educators from around the world.

Paul Clark, who teaches history at Wausau East High School, studied Colonial American history this summer at Yale University as part of a Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminar. Led by historian John Demos, author of The Unredeemed Captive and Entertaining Satan, the seminar focused on the life cycle and worldview of the early European settlers of the Americas--how they dealt with and viewed birth, courtship, marriage, parenting, death, and the afterlife. Paul, along with other seminar participants, used content and learning strategies from this seminar to develop classroom activities for their students.

Wausau West High School history teacher Christine Kadonsky participated in three summer learning experiences. She was the Teacher Facilitator for the “Martha Washington and Women of the 18th Century” George Washington Teacher Institute at Mount Vernon. Christine studied the Age of Discovery at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles for a weeklong Gilder Lehrman Institute Teacher Seminar. In addition, she studied for a week in Washington, D.C. as a participant of the White House History Teacher Institute, sponsored by the White House Historical Association.

John Kozlovich, Wausau West High School history teacher, participated in the American Revolution Institute’s Master Teacher Seminar, run by the Society of the Cincinnati in Washington D.C. Each year, the organization selects 13 teachers nationwide to stay at its headquarters, the historic Anderson House, and use its extensive library and archives to develop lesson plans relating to the American Revolution. The focus on the American Revolution, as a global event, connects to the World History curriculum that John teaches. He wrote a lesson that explored the role of enslaved people during the war through a variety of primary and secondary documents.  In addition, John took part in a National Endowment for the Humanities program to study Herman Melville's Moby Dick and the world of 19th-century whaling in New Bedford, Massachusetts. The institute bridged numerous connections between literature and the historical, economic, and social nexus presented in world of whaling. John met a variety of academic experts and secondary instructors throughout the nation and went on excursions beyond the seminar room, including a ferry to Nantucket, going aboard a whaling ship, touring a New England fish market, and visiting Melville's former estate outside Pittsfield, Massachusetts. 

Horace Mann Middle School sixth grade social studies teacher Deb Woller spent three weeks traveling in Africa this summer. Her journey began in Cape Town, South Africa, where she studied the history and ongoing struggles related to Apartheid by visiting Nelson Mandela’s prison on Robben Island, the District Six Museum, and participating in a township tour. She then explored the geographic wonders of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and observed the majestic wildlife of Kenya in Nairobi National Park. The final nine days of her adventure were spent experiencing the magic of Egypt. The tour included the pyramids and sphinx at Giza, the Cairo Museum, Abu Simbel, the Valley of the Kings, the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor, the Alabaster Mosque, and 20 hours on a sailboat on the Nile River.