(RtoL) Dale Bernardoni, Ph.D., CT Managing Director, FFT, History Teacher Shannon Andros '02, Kelly Coull, and English Teacher Christine Browning.
Dale Bernardoni, Ph.D., CT Managing Director of the Fund for Teachers (FFT) visited campus today to personally inform three Norwich Free Academy Teachers -- Shannon Andros '02, Christine Browning, and Kelley Coull that their summer grant requests had been funded. The three fellows are part of a group of 153 teachers in the 2019 cohort receiving $875,000 provided to the FFT by the Dalio Foundation.
The FFT selects from a field of applicants those proposals that best enhance instructional practice, advance student success, and benefit school communities. Recipients return from their professional learning experiences to enrich their students immediately and long-term.
Bernardoni told the three “outstanding” NFA recipients, “The goodness and benefit of your work will last for years to come.”
As a team, Andros and Coull, social studies teachers, intend to explore South Africa’s townships, classrooms, and museums, the historical and modern parallels of social conflict shared with the United States to improve instruction of race relations and transform student inquiry into informed action. They will provide an interactive experience with students in South Africa and conduct a comparative data analysis of social issues in both countries. “We believe,” says Andros, “that our students have much more in common than they may realize.”
Browning, an English teacher, will travel a leg of William and Eleanor Slater’s 1894-95 “Grand Tour” through Europe and the East on their private yacht Eleanor. William A. Slater built and endowed the Slater Building on the campus of Norwich Free Academy to honor his father John Fox Slater, a founder and corporator of the Academy. The building houses the Slater Memorial Museum, and a permanent exhibition memorializing the younger Slater’s global tour with his family, a popular exhibition for students combining history, geography, art, language, and culture. “I love the Grand Tour Exhibition,” says Browning, “I take my students to the museum to connect what we do in the classroom with the collection. What better way for me to connect them than actually to have seen the sights and visit the sites the Slaters did on their trip?” In the end, Browning hopes to inspire her students “to take a personal grand tour of the significant and meaningful places in their towns and cities.”
The three teachers were surprised Friday afternoon by Bernardoni's appearance at a luncheon celebration in Levanto House on campus. Present were the teachers’ house principals Kathleen Cote, Mykel Bridget Czaja, and Kristin Peckrul and their Department Heads Karen Cook and Tracey DeDonato. Head of School David Klein welcomed and offered congratulations to the group.
This year’s three recipients bring the total of Norwich Free Academy’s FFT grant recipients to five in the past four years.