A Summer of Professional Development

Here's how some of our teachers spent their summer...

Science teacher and Spartanbuilders advisor Dan Perez attended multiple workshops related to science education and technology. During a week at MIT's SEPT Program (Science and Engineering Program for Teachers), he was part of a select group of 25 teachers from around the world exploring the latest advances in science education, ranging from neuro-cognitive development to video games in learning. Shown in the photo: Dan with MIT's Roboboat (autonomous boating) competition entry.

During engineering workshops at Vernier Science in Oregon, Dan worked on integrating the Labquest units we use at Solebury with engineering and science applications. He also received a scholarship grant to attend a Makerspace workshop in Philadelphia. "I'm looking forward to applying some of the lessons learned to Honors Chemistry and Engineering/Robotics activities, stay tuned!" he said.

Social Studies Department Head Jared Levy spent two weeks this summer at the Backyard Writers Residency in Tufo, Italy. There, he worked on creative writing and also this summer, he had a short story published in the literary journal, The Machinery.

Spanish teacher Laura DeCerchio attended the iFLT (International Forum on Language Teaching) conference in Denver for four days, where she took part in workshops and observed nationally renowned teachers teaching demo classes to students. Laura plans to incorporate a few ideas from the forum in her classroom, including incorporating "brain breaks" -- physical activities that give students' brains a chance to relax from processing another language.

Science teacher Andre Lutz went to a week-long AP Biology workshop in San Diego. "Having been to one earlier in my career, it was eye-opening. The AP Biology program has been redesigned to make it more discovery-oriented, and the presenter has been teaching the course according to the new system since it's inception. Normally, if I am able to take away one or two things that I will be able to use in my class, I consider it a successful workshop. In this case, I must have at least a dozen new ideas that my students will (hopefully) find interesting and exciting this year," she said.

Art teacher and painter Kirby Fredendall P'21 signed with Candita Clayton Gallery this summer. Candita is located about five minutes from Providence, RI. If you're ever in the area, stop by to see Kirby's gorgeous landscapes.