Friday, May 21, 2010

Two 27J teachers win Abraham Lincoln Fellowships

Two School District 27J teachers find themselves in an elite group of 50 nationwide who have earned Horace Mann-Abraham Lincoln Fellowships. “There is a unique situation in School District 27J,” said Sandy McCollum of Horace Mann Educators Corp.
“Each year we award 50 to educators nationwide,” she told Superintendent Dr. Rod Blunck. “This year, for the first time, we have three Fellowship recipients from Colorado, two fellowship recipients from your school district. This speaks volumes about the quality of your teachers.”

The District 27J winners are Lauryn Mascarenaz, Pennock Elementary School teacher, and Elizabeth Sedalnick, Brighton High School teacher.

“We are proud of the initiative and the success these teachers model for their peers and students alike,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Rod L. Blunck said. “Our students are well served by teachers like Elizabeth and Lauryn who take time to advance their own education so they can enrich the educational experience in their own classrooms.”

The fellowship is a five-day teacher program this summer sponsored by Horace Mann, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, and the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency and held in Springfield, Ill.

Purpose of the fellowships is to bring together exceptional educators from across the country to study the life of Abraham Lincoln and to develop strategies for applying historical content in the classroom and across the curriculum.
Educators gain unprecedented access to original source documents and hear from experts on Lincoln’s life and the Civil War era, McCollum said.

The five-day program includes:
• seminars and lectures on Lincoln-related topics. Past topics have included a look at Lincoln the lawyer, Lincoln as president, political cartoons in the classroom, Civil War medical practices, and “Ghosts of the Library.”
• hands-on workshops provided by The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum Education Department on a cross-curricular approach to teaching the life and times of Lincoln.
• field trips to Lincoln-related sites, including his home, tomb, law office, Old State Capitol and New Salem, a reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood.
• unprecedented access to the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.
• access to original documents at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library, including extensive collections about the Civil War and 12-million documents relating to all areas of Illinois history.

Applicants were asked to write essays on “Why is Lincoln relevant in today’s classroom?” and “How will you translate the benefits you receive from this Fellowship Program to your students?”

A panel of teachers judges the essays and chooses the winners, McCollum said.

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