2013 - 2014 Teacher Grants

Pedro Méndez-Barroso, BHS World Language (Spanish)                                    $2,500

Barroso will travel to Argentina to interview former political prisoners of Argentina’s “Dirty War” and families of disappeared political activists.

Purpose: To study state terrorism, political persecution, and government genocide, and to gather oral histories in order to inform BHS students of “Democracy and Dictatorship in Latin America” about this period of time in Argentina’s history.

Read Pedro's Blog at http://dirtywarargentina2013.blogspot.com.ar/

Christine McDonnell, Devotion School Librarian                                                $1,875

McDonnell will attend the New England Puppet Intensive, which provides training in puppetry movement, drama, character development, physical design, and construction.

Purpose:To develop a core of classic folk and fairy tales incorporating puppets to use in storytelling with Devotion students in the early primary grades

Lisa Soltani, Driscoll School, 6th grade math                                                      $692

Soltani will attend “Twitter Math Camp 2013,” a meeting of math teachers from around the country who share practices, lessons, technology, and innovations via tweets and blogs.  

Purpose: To exchange ideas on how to improve the engagement and motivation of students by implementing standards-based grading, differentiating instruction, and introducing “three-act” math lessons

Melissa London, Pierce School, 6th grade math                                                   $1800

London will travel to Tanzania to interview several experts about how various communities and biological ecosystems in the region have been impacted by global climate change.

Purpose: To learn more about issues related to climate change, such as warming oceans, sea-level rise, and ocean acidification, and to incorporate this knowledge into Pierce’s interdisciplinary unit on global climate change

Mark Goldner, Heath School, 7th & 8th grade science                                          $2,500

Goldner will join a small group of educators exploring the lives of the Inuit and their Arctic homeland at the Canadian Wildlife Federation Learning Institute and blog about his experiences.

Purpose:  To learn firsthand about connections between the land, climate, and culture in the Arctic and to share that knowledge with students and other Brookline educators

Debra Abner, Lincoln School Librarian                                                                  $4,975

Jeff Denman, Baker School, 6th & 7th grade social studies

Two first adopters of Brookline’s new World Geography curriculum will travel to Berlin, Germany, and visit sites associated with the Cold War. 

Purpose: To provide a vital visual perspective of this aspect of history so students can better understand the events of that period and their consequences, as well as the connection with today’s German society and greater Europe

Lynne Cohen & Shelley Mains, BHS Librarians                                                      $4,332

Bridget Knightly, K – 12 Librarian

Kathryn Leslie, BHS 10th & 11th grade social studies

Kathleen Moriarty, Lawrence School Librarian

Four educators will attend the American Association of School Librarians National Conference.

Purpose: To develop new strategies to effectively integrate literacy skills and participatory online tools into subject-area curriculum, and to learn about new directions   for development of the BHS collection of print and digital resources to meet the needs of teaching, student research, and independent reading

Andrew Kimball, BHS World Language (French & Spanish)                                 $2,500

Kimball will tour Southeast Asia, visiting the former French colonies of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, the only Asian adherents to La Francophonie, a political-linguistic community similar to the British Commonwealth.

Purpose:  To provide greater global context to BHS students who study French language and culture, exposing them to ways in which the French colonial presence has left an imprint on politics, architecture, and cuisine in other countries

Chris Smith, Pierce School, 6th grade ELA & World Geography                           $2500

Smith will explore Peru, studying its history and geography by visiting schools, working with artisans, learning from archaeologists, and visiting Lima, the ancient Inca city of Cusco, and Machu Picchu. 

Purpose: To help create a unit on South America for all of Brookline’s sixth-grade classrooms, utilizing new knowledge, photos, and artifacts from Peru, and also to incorporate this learning into Pierce’s interdisciplinary unit on global climate change

Audra M. Francisco, Lincoln School Speech-Language Pathologist                     $1,530

Francisco will attend an intensive three-day training in the PROMPT technique, which helps improve motor skills necessary to the development of interactive language.  

Purpose:  To expand clinical expertise, knowledge, and skills in the treatment of motor speech disorders to support students in Lincoln’s Adaptive Learning Center (a systemwide program for Brookline students who have multiple complex disabilities)

Kathryn Coleman Gallahue, Pierce School Comprehensive Learning Center             $2,325

Gallahue will become certified in the Level 1 Wilson Reading Program, a multi-sensory program proven to be effective for students with language-based learning disabilities.

Purpose: To provide a systematic, language-based reading program for those students who have not learned to read using traditional general education reading methods, especially those CLC students who require intensive, explicit language/reading instruction

Natalie Dean, Coordinator, Lesley Apprenticeship Program                                $1,825

Dean will attend a Learning and the Brain Summer Institute entitled, The Neuroscience of Reading: Using Research to Understand Reading Acquisition and Disorders.


Purpose: To share with Brookline’s special education interns the neuroscience of typical reading acquisition and reading disorders as well as practical strategies concerning how these ideas can be applied in the classroom

MaryAnn Biele, Lincoln School, PreK-8 Occupational Therapist                           $3,430           

Erin McQuaid, Pierce School, PreK-8 Occupational Therapist

Biele and McQuaid will attend the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Annual Conference and Expo in April 2014. 

Purpose: To improve access to the curriculum for children with special needs and bring back information that will inform decision-making regarding treatments, resulting in improved outcomes for students

Danielle Anderson, Baker School, 5th grade                                                     $1,000

This first adopter of new social studies curriculum will visit the Library of Congress, Smithsonian museums, the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building, and other District of Columbia sites and museums of historic significance.  

Purpose: To deepen her knowledge of American history, particularly aspects that connect to the fifth grade social studies curriculum, and to share her first-hand experiences with students and other social studies teachers

Briana Brown, BHS Environmental Science                                                        $1,600

Brown will attend the St. Johnsbury Academy Summer Institute in advanced placement environmental science.

Purpose: To refine her environmental science curriculum in order to improve student understanding and expand her catalogue of rigorous, inquiry-based classroom laboratories

Erica Birnbaum, Baker Speech-Language Pathologist                                          $1,155

Birnbaum will attend the Annual American Speech and Hearing Convention.

Purpose: To learn about current practices in speech-language pathology and gain new insight into how to best serve Brookline’s school-aged population with needs in the area of communication

Kathleen O’Connell, Heath 4th grade                                                                  $2,500

O’Connell will study Spanish in a language immersion program in Cusco, Peru, this summer and also will hike the ancient Inca Trail and visit Machu Picchu. 

Purpose: To support students by intertwining spanish with daily classroom routines and to share knowledge of the Incan culture as part of the fourth grade Native American and Exploration units