APRIL 2019
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Educator Receives Grant to Study History of New Orleans

Demarest, NJ: Nancy Schneberger, chair of the Academy of the Holy Angels English Department, has received a grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History that will fund her studies of “New Orleans and the American South.” She and her peers will be studying the 301-year-old city in cooperation with the Historic New Orleans Collection, a museum, research facility, and publisher located in the French Quarter.

Schneberger always returns from her travels with wonderful gifts for her students. However, rather than purchasing quirky souvenirs that fade or break, this dedicated educator brings her classes a lasting gift: historical context.

“I am studying the South as a ‘nation within a nation.’ I’m excited because I teach a lot of southern literature, and this seminar will surely inform my teaching,” Schneberger said of the five-day summer session in Louisiana. “I've never been to New Orleans, and the museum where the seminar will be held looks great. Of course, I'll have to read a giant book to prepare.”

Holy Angels is a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School, a designation that allows the Academy’s educators to apply for the prestigious Teacher Seminars program. This year marks the third occasion that Schneberger has successfully applied for a Gilder Lehrman grant. Her previous awards funded her studies of the Gilded Age at Stanford University, and her examination of “The Age of Lincoln” at Oxford University. Schneberger’s continuing education has also included a Fulbright seminar in Tübingen, Germany, and a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in Vienna, Austria.

Schneberger has been teaching at AHA for 30 years and began her work as department chair in 2000. She strives to present her students with the social and political context of topics being discussed in class.

During this summer’s seminar, participants will be working with Pamela Tyler, a retired history professor from the University of Southern Mississippi. Together, they will look at southern history and how New Orleans has handled various historical developments.

The workshop will begin with the arrival of the French and the Spanish, and the purchase of Louisiana by the United States. The session will conclude in the 21st century with a detailed look at the city’s geography and its recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Topics will include slavery in the Old South, the experiences of the city’s large population of free people of color, and the American Civil War and its aftermath. There will also be a closer look at Storyville and yellow fever, local food, music, architecture, and the annual Mardi Gras celebration.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


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