Faculty Take to the Classroom

 
Whether teachers were attending a workshop, presenting at a conference, or teaching a non-FWCD class, they were building upon their skills. Independent school teachers do not have formal continuing education requirements like many other professions. FWCD teachers are simply committed to being the best teachers they can be and their participation in professional development programs has an ongoing impact on how they deliver curriculum to their students and how students learn. 
 
Some professional development experiences are “flashier” than others, but all are a reflection of the passion of the teacher who pursues it. Below are some of the professional development opportunities that FWCD faculty experienced this summer.

Summer Professional Development
 
Stephen Blan participated in the Global Education Benchmark Group's Global Leadership Symposium (July 9-11) at the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, New Jersey. This symposium focused on leveraging your institution’s resources to build a high-quality global program.
 
Stephen Blan, Clint Hagen, Michael Parker and Alison Robinson spent three days together discussing and writing details for future international trips and study abroad opportunities within the Center for International Studies. This will eventually open up the chance for every FWCD student to take part in a life-changing opportunity where service, language studies, and/or cultural connections will be offered.  
 
Stephen Blan, Teresa Hoppe, Shari Lincoln and Sarah Smith worked together to develop a Center for International Studies plan/guide for teachers to increase their understanding of global competency and understand how to embed those competencies into their curriculum.
 
Natalie Bracken ’05 spent 11 days in New York City with Tanya Wathen choreographing 13 dance numbers for the spring musical: Chicago The High School Edition. Tanya is one of the Dance Captains of the Broadway production Chicago, currently running in the Ambassador Theatre. Chicago is the longest-running American musical in Broadway history.
 
Hester Burdman and Catherine Lampka planned a curriculum for a new sixth-grade course that combines sixth-grade math and pre-algebra courses into one year.
 
Lynnette Burleson, Clint Hagen, Aaron Hoover and Audrey Laker ’12 created a new eighth-grade unit encompassing history, English and Latin, which focuses on the studies of the Roman Empire and the play, Julius Caesar.
 
Lynnette Burleson and Jackie Rains instructed Middle School Writing Boot Camp in August for some Middle School students. 
 
Bryan Carlson and Clint Hagen revised the Upper School and Middle School Latin curriculum to include standards-based assessment of key skills. Their goal was to find a way to employ standards-based and student-selected practice units to assist them in both learning and maintaining the essential skills needed to read and comprehend Latin. Their work included 1) the creation of skill activities and standards-based assessments for the identified critical skills; 2) development of a grading system that integrates the student performance on these units into their grade to provide feedback and encouragement to complete the appropriate time frame; and 3) an adjusted curriculum to allow space for this work to be done and for students to progress within the system.
 
Angeles Casanova and Audrey Laker ’12 generated communicative strategies/activities to enhance the oral language skills in the eighth-grade Spanish classroom. Together, they designed a daily schedule where at least two speaking activities will be in place; looked at the current curriculum, map, textbooks and resources to explore the content to meet the objectives required in eighth grade; created a bank of online activities to provide students with community activities that enhance the four language abilities that should take place in the classroom; and identified the best technology tools to be used in the classroom to facilitate the practice, reinforcement and use of the second language.
 
Ed Chisholm and Stacy Bourne Walsh ’02 traveled to New Orleans in June for the National Athletic Trainers Association annual convention. In addition to education on hydration and orthopedic injuries, they learned about how to aid in athletes’ mental health and about working with local emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to safely remove equipment and spine board for possible spinal injuries. The EMS conversation spurred Ed and Stacy to contact the local MedStar EMS crews who cover FWCD sporting events. In early August, FWCD hosted several EMS personnel and 33 Athletic Trainers from around the area to discuss protocols and practice extrication, equipment removal and spinal motion restriction of the injured athlete.

Catherine Collins-Vecino taught 12 different one-hour and 20 minute workshops at TCU’s Advanced Placement English Literature and English Language Institute in late June, where she was a guest presenter. Topics included approaches to poetry and prose analysis, teaching comedies, using short stories as a foundation for literary analysis, grammar instruction, and making The Odyssey and Antigone relevant today.
 
Catherine Collins-Vecino, Laura Hayes, Alison Robinson and Jon Shipley instructed Upper School Writing Center Boot Camp in early August with selected students in grades 9-10.
 
Teresa Crafton attended the Association of Independent School Librarians Summer Institute in California, where she learned the terms “truth decay” and “above the scroll,” and spent time on the website AllSides.com.
 
Lauren Cunningham conducted research to create an art history pre-trip curriculum as well as an art history-focused itinerary for a combined Latin and art history trip to Italy with Bryan Carlson in summer 2019.
 
Lisa Dickerson Davenport ’87 spent the month of June in Virginia conducting a reading clinic for underprivileged students as part of an internship to complete her Reading Specialist Certification K-12 at Lynchburg College. She worked with a second-grader and sixth-grader, writing case studies on each student and marking their results of pre- and post-assessments as well as providing recommendations for parents and teachers.
 
Karen Davis, Joan Massey, Loren Sammons and Alicia Schordine worked together to develop a Humans of FWCD evening event for fourth grade.
 
Julie Dean attended a vocal jazz workshop for music educators at the University of North Texas to further explore the jazz style for her students and Falcon Flyers choir. She was the only elementary school teacher present and the other educators were excited to know that children can learn to improvise and swing.
 
Julie Dean and Karla Dunning created a comprehensive scope and sequence for the Lower School Music Department that seamlessly connects grades K-4 classes.
 
Dorrine DeChant and Theresa Fuss worked together to create an eco-space where students have the opportunity to enjoy artist designs and to create sculptures and land art for others to enjoy. The goal of this “Zen garden” is to give students a therapeutic opportunity to reconnect with nature; maintain various species of plants; and learn to observe, nurture and create.
 
Colin Douglas ’06 attended the Independent School Management Chairing Your Department Summer Institute (June 25-29).
 
Colin Douglas ’06 worked together with Chloe Bade Anderson ’05, Sheri Fuller, Lindsay Richardson and Sarah Akhtar Smith ’91 to recalibrate the first-grade social studies curriculum.  
 
Karla Dunning attended the Texas Choral Directors Association annual conference in July. She sat in on elementary Honor Choir rehearsals; participated in workshops taught by experienced teachers on various elementary music topics: and heard performances by students, college graduates and the Dallas Street Choir (which is a choir that gives homeless individuals a chance to connect and share music in a come-as-you-are environment.)
 
Tricia Franks attended seminars on Painting Botanicals in Watercolor and Watercolor Techniques at the Botanical Research Institute of Texas.
 
Janie Garrett worked with Chesley Cunningham to learn how to use HTML to improve her Quia pages. Janie learned how to imbed photos, videos and audio clips that need HTML.
 
DeAnn Hall, Aimee Jenkins and Shelley Rains attended the Texas Girls Coaches Association (TGCA) Summer Coaching Clinic in Arlington (July 8-11). The TGCA is the only statewide organization in Texas composed of coaches of girls’ athletics, designed for coaches of girls’ athletics and governed by coaches of girls’ athletics.
 
Karina Hinz worked with Jackie Rains to learn the skills and units covered in seventh-grade English. They also worked together to develop new Accelerated Reader requirements, new grammar approaches and new writing prompts.
 
Teresa Hoppe worked with Joni Heinzelmann, Joan Massey and Alicia Schordine to determine how best the Lower School Learning Specialist can assist the fourth-grade classroom teachers in math class. Together, they reviewed Everyday Math 4 units to determine what differentiation (support, extension, enrichment) resources might be most helpful and how the Learning Specialist can best work with students and teachers.
 
Teresa Hoppe and Mark Martin attended The Teacher’s College Reading & Writing Project Summer Reading Institute at Teachers College (Columbia University) in New York City (June 25-29) to further their professional development related to Lucy Calkins writing instruction. The institute focused on effective reading instruction strategies and had 1,400 participants from all over the world. Lucy Calkins led large group morning sessions, and afternoon sessions included guest authors and literacy experts Donalynn Miller, Mary Ehrenworth, Steven Layne and Janet Wong.
 
Terri Hutton traveled to Houston in July to attend a pre-conference workshop, Organizing Your AP Exam Administration, during the College Board’s AP annual conference.
 
Rebecca James created high-quality instructional videos for art processes to be used in the classroom in a group setting to increase student engagement. She observed that students are far more attentive and retain more knowledge watching the process in a video format rather than a live demonstration. Rebecca created QR codes that the students can access individually in the classroom or at home. Videos also will allow students to easily catch up if they miss a day of class, need to review or want to work on it at home.
 
Daniel Lancaster and Myna Sam fine-tuned the AP Language course, mainly focusing on FWCD’s Social Contract/Protest Literature unit. They also both scored AP Language essays in Tampa for eight days.
 
Kristin Larsen attended The University of Texas at Austin’s Counselor Advisory Board in June. She was selected for membership on the board last year. She and other board members met Dr. Miguel Wasielewski, the university's new Executive Director of Admissions, providing him with perceptions of the university and critical insight about its first-year recruitment process.
 
Kristin Larsen and Charlie Runyan attended the Association for College Counselors in Independent Schools Summer Institute on the campus of Trinity University in San Antonio. They joined 200 other College Counselors and discussed timely issues impacting their work, their students and their schools.
 
Shari Lincoln and Anne-Lise Woods ’85 redesigned the sixth-grade English curriculum. Their goals were to 1) coordinate more of the text readings/literature study to align with the world geography course; 2) integrate text readings that reflect people of the world (global emphasis); 3) find ways to integrate more writing instruction/opportunities along with the literature; and 4) find ways to integrate grammar instruction on a weekly basis.

Mark Martin and Alicia Schordine traveled to St. Louis, Missouri, for the Summit for Transformative Learning (June 3-5) to present their work on inclusivity and diversity related to the Humans of FWCD project.
 
Sara McCullough presented “The Reading Workshop Model Revolution: Creating Lifelong Readers” at the Summit for Transformative Learning (June 3-5) in St. Louis, Missouri. This presentation is about Sara’s journey with Reading Workshop and how it has transformed her students and her classroom and turned them into true lovers of reading.

Rob Napier attended The American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese in Salamanca, Spain (June 25-28) at Palacio de Congresos and Universidad de Salamanca. He participated in a variety of workshops that dealt with topics on teaching Spanish language and culture and met teachers from across the USA. On July 20, he attended a one-day program on “Football Theory” in Grapevine with renowned Coach/Instructor Raymond Verheijen. This thought-provoking course was focused on working with objective knowledge references when coaching rather than using opinion and subjective knowledge references.
 
Jamie Ringgenberg and Christine Spikes developed new Next Generation Science Standards-aligned, inquiry-based units for two new topic areas: waves and electromagnetism.
 
Cynthia Reyes attended the Elementary Technology Conference in Galveston (June 10-12). The conference included breakout sessions on new technology apps, green screen, websites, coding games, robotics, Seesaw (using digital portfolios in the classroom) and technology creations stations.
 
Sherri Reed attended the Texas Mining and Reclamation Association Coal Camp in Longview, Texas (June 10-15). She spent time in the classroom learning about coal, meeting miners and other professionals in the field, standing in and on the equipment, and being on the strip picking up coal samples.
 
Charlie Runyan attended a counselor fly-in program at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., and then hit the road to visit colleges in Alabama, Georgia and South Dakota. During his tour of southern colleges, he explored the campuses of and met admission officers from Auburn University, University of Alabama, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Georgia Tech, University of Georgia and University of South Carolina. He also volunteered for a three-day admission workshop called Camp College, sponsored by the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling, which took place at Lamar University in Beaumont.
 
Kathryn Sohne developed health and wellness lessons for FWCD fifth- and sixth-graders' designated PE periods. Theresa Fuss and Kathy Roemer helped her map out/create lessons that are an extension of Theresa’s  Lower School programming and can be a precursor for Kathy’s programming in Upper School.
Spencer Smith read for the AP Literature Exam in Kansas City.
 
Bree Stubbs took a course at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., through the Gilder Lehrman Institute that covered American history and the use of primary and secondary sources in the classroom.
 
Rachael Swinhoe worked with Chesley Cunningham to support her curriculum. Rachael’s goal is to utilize technology more frequently, specifically Google Classroom. They worked together to “flip” Rachael’s lessons and provide voice-over notes on the portal for students who are absent. Rachael also created Skills Reviews as an online assessment.
 
Kelly Tierce attended the Gardner Carney Leadership Institute (gcLi) in Colorado Springs. It was a weeklong dive into the neuroscience of the adolescent brain, as well as the psychology of the adolescent. All of this knowledge was gathered in order for educators to be able to better understand adolescents and their potential toward leadership. The participants’ own leadership strengths as adult facilitators were uncovered, and they had the chance to go through many important team building and leadership exercises. Kelly also attended the Folio Conference outside of Washington, D.C. It featured speakers who talked about how to communicate effectively with all types of colleagues and to engage in valuable and honest conversations with faculty and staff. She gained additional technical information about Folio and spoke with prestigious schools around the country about how they use Folio to meet the needs of their faculty and staff.

Sara Teegarden spent a week at TCU taking a class to prepare for the AP Comparative Government class she will teach this year. She participated with 10 other teachers, six of whom were teaching in other countries.
 
Lisa Wallace attended the Camp Lonestar Yearbook and Student Media Workshop at Timber Creek High School in Keller (July 26-28) with her yearbook book and journalism leadership team. She also participated in the School Newspapers Online/Texas Association of Journalism Educators Texas Summer Workshop (July 31-Aug.1).
  
Santa Fe Six
The following six individuals attend the EE Ford Summer Teachers’ Colloquium at Santa Fe Prep.
 
Michael Parker spent a week in deep conversations about ecology and conservationism of our fields and streams, as well as the issues surrounding access to our national parks and all they have to offer. Discussions centered on the book, The River Why by David James Duncan. Time was spent fly fishing to provide the participants a grounding experience in order to tie concepts from the book into the discussions. The natural progression of the week created some answers to the questions and yet sparked more about stewardship and mentorship for our students and generations to come.    
 
Christy Alvear and Julie Dean attended the class called “Creating Space, Creating Place.” They visited places around Santa Fe that inspired artists and writers, such as the cliff dwellings in Bandelier National Monument and a 200-year-old chapel, as well as creative places like Georgia O’Keefe’s home and art studio. They explored the questions of “What makes a space that fosters creativity?” and “What gives a space a sense of home or belonging?” They also studied mindfulness to develop a sense of awareness in creating space for creativity.
 
Natasha Hatcher and Molly Risewick attended the “Confluencia” workshop, where they read and learned about the history and the confluence of the American Indian, Spanish and Anglo cultures. They enjoyed a cooking course and tasted delicious food, visited the International Museum of Folk Art, read letters and works that dated from the 1600s to present day and then analyzed how attitudes have changed or remained similar. The entire course was presented in Spanish, and all interviews and guided tours were conducted in Spanish. For Molly, the experience provided her quality time in the language she teaches and, at the end of the day, she reconnected with colleagues who were in other courses and got to know each other better. For Natasha, the experience was fantastic -- mentally, physically and spiritually.
 
Aaron Hoover participated in the “Field School of the Southwest” course. He explored various ancestral Pueblo sites at Bandelier and Chaco Canyon. During the course, he learned a few things about First Peoples and made new friends.
 
 
 
4200 Country Day Lane, Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: 817.732.7718
Fort Worth Country Day (FWCD) is a K-12 private, independent, coeducational, nondenominational college-preparatory school located on approximately 100 acres in Fort Worth, Texas. The mission of Fort Worth Country Day School is to foster the intellectual, physical, emotional, and ethical development of capable students through an academically rigorous college preparatory program that integrates the arts and athletics.