MARCH 2017
Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

AHA Educators Receive Grants to Study in the United Kingdom


Demarest, NJ: This summer, Gail Fair and Nancy Schneberger from the Academy of the Holy Angels will be studying in the United Kingdom. Both educators applied for the competitive Teacher Seminars program sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History – and both have received grants. 

Fair, who is chairperson of the AHA History Department, will travel to the University of Edinburgh for the “Thomas Jefferson and the Enlightenment” seminar. She plans to share her experience with her Advanced Placement United States History students in the fall.

“I will also use the materials from the class to give my students any new insights that I gain,” Fair added. “I am also an advocate for international travel and study abroad programs for my students, and hope my experience will inspire them to learn in many different environments.”

While she is in Scotland, Fair plans to pay a visit to Glenthroes, a high school in Fyfe that participated in Skype sessions with Fair’s AP Government and Politics class in 2012 and 2016.

“As those were both presidential election years, we provided information and did some online surveys about the presidential candidates in both of those elections. We then did Skype sessions in 2012 and just recently, November 2016. As it happens, the school is less than an hour from the university and I let the teacher I had dealt with know I would be at the university. After my program concludes, I have been invited to visit the school and meet the students we Skyped with,” Fair said. 

Fair holds a Bachelor of Arts in social studies and a Master of Arts in social studies with a concentration in history. She has been teaching at Holy Angels for 20 years, and has been the head of her department for most of that time.

She previously received a Teacher Seminars grant in 2003. That session was held at Columbia University.

Schneberger, who chairs the AHA English Department, will attend Oxford University for "The Age of Lincoln" seminar.

“I feel very honored to be accepted for the grant and I know that what I learn will inform my teaching,” Schneberger said. “Having participated in a Fulbright seminar in Tübingen, Germany, and a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar in Vienna, Austria, I know well the prodigious impact such programs have on the participants and how the knowledge gained bears fruit in many ways, in the classroom and personally.

“Collegial sharing, lectures from experts in their fields, and full concentration on a topic on location is a most vibrant way of exploring a subject, and I look forward to sharing ideas with the teachers who have been selected from all over the United States and with the Oxford professors in the program.”

Schneberger has been teaching at AHA for 28 years and was named department chair in 2000. She said she plans to share the information she gleans from the seminar to develop curriculum with her colleagues at AHA.

“I am particularly interested in learning about the role of the press in the abolitionist movement and the ongoing challenges of racism and sexism of that period and beyond,” she said.

Schneberger strives to present her students with the social and political context of topics being discussed in class.

“In my American Literature classes, I cover the fiction and nonfiction of the Civil War period, and some of the topics that will be covered in this seminar, such as religion and politics and the meaning of the war for American nationalism, will surely benefit the students.”

The Academy of the Holy Angels is a Gilder Lehrman Affiliate School, a designation that allows AHA educators to apply for the Teacher Seminars program.

Since 1879, thousands of women have passed through the portals of Academy of the Holy Angels high school, the oldest private girls’ school in New Jersey. 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. Our goal is to provide each girl 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 giving service to others.

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