This summer, 100 Indiana teachers, principals, guidance counselors and school librarians in K-12 education will pursue a broad range of imaginative projects designed to infuse their busy lives with personal renewal, intellectual revitalization, and a healthy dose of fun. They are the recipients of Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowships.
To reinvigorate their spirits, some fellowship recipients will become globetrotters. From Austria to Zanzibar, they will immerse themselves in aeronautical engineering, Tajikistani language and culture, organic farming, biblical history, Italian Renaissance sculpture, flamenco dancing, Nepalese history, ancient architecture, underwater ecosystems, French cuisine, kilt-making and the Islamic Golden Age of Mathematics. Other recipients will spend time around the U.S. hiking the Appalachian Trail, attending creative writing workshops, stargazing in the Pacific Northwest, fly fishing, touring New York City skyscrapers and zipping along Route 66. Others will remain in the Midwest, kayaking Indiana State Parks, studying with a master woodworker, flying airplanes and working as a technician in a pharmacogenomics laboratory at the University of Chicago. Some recipients have already begun to think about how their students can also benefit from these fellowships and plan to form new clubs — cooking, pottery, bluegrass appreciation, fitness and knitting — plant a medicinal herb garden, hold concerts and incorporate project-based lessons into their curricula.
“Our state’s teachers, principals, guidance counselors, and school librarians give so much of themselves to their students,” said Sara B. Cobb, vice president for education at the endowment. “In addition to the invaluable work they do during the school day, they work nights and weekends to plan lessons, give extra attention to individual students, direct extracurricular activities, and develop professionally.
“These individuals are precious resources, and Teacher Creativity Fellowships provide them with an important opportunity for renewal. Teachers get to become learners again as they explore their own curiosities and dreams, spend time in other parts of the world, pursue personal passions, and just ‘get away.’ We regularly hear that these experiences have helped many Indiana educators regain their enthusiasm for their profession - and that’s a plus for them and their students.”
Including the 2013 class, 2,542 Indiana educators have received grants since the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program began in 1987. Fellowship recipients are selected from a competitive pool of applicants. About 450 applied for the $10,000 awards.
2013 recipients include:
Teresa L. Cribelar, of Rockville Junior/Senior High School, received a grant for “Australia Through the Eyes of Natives and Immigrants,” to gain perspective on Australian culture while living with two families in Sydney, Australia. One family has Aboriginal roots and one emigrated from South Africa. Cribelar will travel through Australia, visiting historical and cultural sites.
Joan K. Lunsford, of Rosedale and Montezuma elementary schools, received a grant for “Following the Trail of American Poets,”to visit the homes of several American poets, attend writers’ workshops, and write and publish poetry.
Kelly S. Stout, of Sarah Scott Middle School, received a grant for her project, “Here We Go: Indiana to Florida and Beyond,” to explore Florida’s coral reefs and parks, kayak, hike, snorkel and study sea turtles.