2009 Rural School and Community Trust / Fund For Teachers Grant Recipients

Last Updated: November 05, 2009

Fund for Teachers The Rural School and Community Trust partnered with Fund for Teachers to provide grants for self-directed national and international learning opportunities to teachers at Rural Trust affiliated schools in several states. Curriculum developed by the 2009 Fund for Teachers awardees is available here.

The Rural Trust currently offers fellowships for self-directed international learning opportunities to teachers through its Global Teacher Fellowship program.

Resources from Past Fund for Teachers Awardees

Mt. Abram High School
Merit and Sally Bean who teach high school math and art will travel to Greece and Turkey to explore the art and history of the area and to learn how the culture and geography of ancient Greece have influenced the development of Western Civilization. Over three weeks, the Beans plan to visit several sites in Athens, the Greek islands and Turkey where they hope to learn more about how math and art interrelate and how the early artists and architects might have used the “Golden Rule,” a numerical principle employed by the ancient Greeks to ensure perfect proportions, and how those ideas of beauty and proportion still influence us today.

 Curriculum: Greek Culture, Art, and Architecture


Corbin Middle School
Michelle Anderson and Melissa Evans will journey to Egypt to immerse themselves in the environment, language, culture, and history from the Old Kingdom to the Ptolemic period. They plan to blog their experiences on a daily basis for the benefit of their English and Social Studies students back home and ultimately plan to submit their journals as well as a unit of study to nationally recognized middle school publications.

 Presentation: Browse Travel blog.
 Curriculum: Egyptian Odyssey
The News Journal: Article about Michelle and Melissa's trip.
Kentucky Department of Education: Press release annoucing Melissa Evans as 2010 Kentucky Middle School Teacher of the Year.
Thetford Academy
Stephen Schultz, a high school technology design teacher and wood-working instructor will travel to Takayama, Japan to explore the Japanese cultural aesthetic of Wabi Sabi or harmony with nature through the study of traditional Japanese architecture and woodcraft. Stephen will first participate in an extensive five-day workshop at Shinrin Takumi Juku, a traditional woodworking and environmental education school before embarking on a ten-day tour of Japanese museums, castles and historical buildings in and around Takayama. Stephen plans to incorporate this experience into a instructional unit on the culture of Japan, Japanese architecture, woodworking, resource management that promotes sustainability and environmental considerations.

 Curriculum: Japanese Traditional Woodworking and Craftsmanship
 Presentation: View video below.

North Country Union High School
Tyler Alexander will travel to Washington, D.C. to attend The Civil War Institute at American University. He hopes to use the experience to create and implement a curriculum unit which focuses on the Civil War’s relationship to American politics, nationhood and race relations and the ways in which the War has been remembered throughout the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. When Tyler is not teaching high school Social Studies, he is a devoted Civil War re-enactor which undoubtedly will inform his studies at the Institute.

 Presentation: The Civil War in American Memory
 Curriculum: The Civil War in American Memory
Greenbrier Elementary
Anne Brown is a kindergarten teacher who will travel to Namibia on an Earthwatch Expedition to learn all about Cheetahs. She will spend 15 days in Eland Joy, a 15,000-hectare working farm and headquarters of the Cheetah Conservation Fund. She will participate in wildlife surveys, help feed and care for captive cheetahs on-site, aid in the day-to-day operations of the farm and assist with data entry. Anne plans to blog her entire journey and upon return use her journal entries and photos to create a website that will support her curriculum unit on Cheetahs.

 Presentation: Cheetah Conservation in Namibia
 Curriculum: Cheetah Conservation and Namibia, Africa
Zachary Elementary School
Brandie McNabb, Melanie Alexander, Leah Boulton and April Smith are 2nd- and 3rd-grade teachers who will travel to Orlando, Florida to attend several workshops on cooperative learning at the Kagan Summer Academy. The training they receive will help them foster new ways of engaging and reaching students of all ability levels in their academic instruction as well as auxiliary classes like art, music, Spanish, and computer technology.

 Presentation: Our Kagan Experience
 Curriculum: Kagan Summer Academy 2009
Cannon County High School
Gwenda Copeland, an art teacher in Tennessee, will participate in a residential pottery workshop offered by the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, a nationally recognized center of contemporary arts and crafts education operating in the hills of Gatlingburg, TN. Gwenda, who has 18 years of experience teaching high school art, hopes to improve her technique at ceramics and subsequently her students’ skills in this area.

 Presentation: To the Mesa Verde and Beyond
 Curriculum: Finding, Processing, and Forming Local Clays Using Ancient Methods
Warren County Early College
Ryan Hurley will embark upon a literary journey of several European countries to study and investigate the lives of four authors he teaches in his secondary English classroom. Ryan’s eighteen day odyssey will begin in Ireland where he will visit the boyhood home of Frank McCourt, then move on to Stratford upon Avon, the birthplace of William Shakespeare in the English countryside. His third major stop will be Paris where he will visit cites significant to the writings of Ernest Hemingway. In addition to Paris, Ryan will travel to Stressa Italy, a city that factors heavily into the writing of Hemingway’s, A Farewell to Arms. The final leg of Ryan’s journey will take him to Peloponnesus and the surrounding Greek Isle where he will visit sites significant to Homer’s Odyssey.

 Curriculum: Their Stories Are Our Stories: Literary Research Project
 Presentation: Click here to view video

Click here for an article on Ryan's experiences from the September 9, 2009 Warren Record.
KIPP Pride High School
Keith Starr teaches high school physics and will travel to Mauna Kea International Observatory in Hilo, Hawaii, considered an international Mecca for astrophysicists to study astronomy and its relationship to the teaching of physics. In addition to his own nightly observation sessions, Keith plans to interview several of the astronomers in regards to developing best teaching practices. Keith hopes to use this experience to create an introductory astronomy curriculum as well as an astronomy club for his students. Ultimately, he will use his fellowship to continue his work on a previous project: the development of Astrophysics curriculum for the NC State Department of Public Instruction.

 Presentation: A New Perspective at 14,000 ft
 Curriculum: Astronomy Club and Outreach Group
Marlinton Middle School
Shirlene Groseclose, a middle-school foreign languages teacher, will travel to Guatemala to explore and understand the rich culture of the Spanish and Mayan people, their influence on Hispanic culture and the challenges facing Guatemalans today. Shirlene will partner with Cross Cultural Solutions, an organization that places international volunteers with local families. In addition to using her travel journal, video clips, pictures and crafts to make the study of Hispanic culture more relevant to her students, Shirlene hopes to locate a school or educational entity in Guatemala with videoconferencing capabilities as well as students learning English who can serve as pen-pals for her students back home. Long-term, Shirlene plans to involve her students in community awareness projects where they will be required to make public service announcements using student-made video podcasts on cultural diversity with an emphasis on Latin-American influences.

 Presentation: Guatemala, Tierra de los Maya!
 Curriculum: Expanding Diversity in West Virginia