Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical Fellows

James Krolikowski - 1986

A Manchester Memorial High School history teacher with a twelve year commitment to experiential education, Krolikowski developed many "hands on" activities to stimulate his students.  His sabbatical project was the research and writing of a New Hampshire history textbook and teacher's guide that capitalizes on the experiential approach.

Paul Cuetara - 1987
A former industrial arts and computer teacher at Newmarket Junior-Senior High School with sixteen years of experience, Cuetara believes that new challenges face traditional vocational programs.  For his project, Cuetara explored models, which could be adapted in New Hampshire schools for new, more relevant skill building, using new technologies such as Computer Assisted Drafting and Robotics.

Wendy Thomas - 1988
"I don't teach English, I teach kids.  My best ideas have come not from books or courses, but from my colleagues and more importantly, from my students."  Sixteen years of teaching "low-level" students, most recently at Southside Junior High School, has taught Thomas deep respect for her students.  Her sabbatical project involved adapting two Shakespeare plays for students with reading difficulties using more modern language and prose style.

Pamela Hoyt - 1989
A teacher at Fuller Elementary School, Hoyt believes that "good teachers are not born.  They are made by the teacher next door, or down the hall, or in another community.  Educators improve the quality of education when they become sharers and mentors."  During her sabbatical, Hoyt spent intensive hours visiting other classrooms, learning the Whole Language philosophy of teaching.

Arthur Johnson, II - 1990
A mathematics teacher for 22 years, Johnson, who teaches at Nashua Senior High School, believes that math "can be as interesting as life itself if students can experience it and apply it.  It should be a source of excitement, pleasure and satisfaction."  His sabbatical project, geared toward at-risk students, has been the development of a textbook, which uses actual New Hampshire problems to teach math skills.

Pamela Pelletier - 1991
"With scientific literacy at its lowest level, it is imperative that schools become more involved!"  Pelletier, a science teacher of eleven years at Pelham High School, used her sabbatical year to develop a teacher's curriculum that focuses on using microbes to foster students' interest in the sciences.  Pelletier has a particular interest in encouraging young women to enter scientific fields.

Mark Illingworth - 1992
"Typical mathematics teaching leaves out the most important ingredients: passion, romance, humor and imagination.  We've got to put some fun into it!"  Illingworth, a former mechanical engineer, currently teaches at Hollis Elementary School.  He used his sabbatical to develop a manual for teachers, presenting a series of interactive, hands-on math problems designed to interest elementary schools students.

Katherine Wilson - 1993
"Children want to learn; they love challenging's up to us, the teachers, to provide them with opportunities to explore new horizons".  Wilson, a 21-year veteran, teaches a special curriculum of thinking skills called Mindstretch in the Kearsarge Regional elementary schools.  Her project developed a notebook of activities for teachers, including videotape lessons and other materials to be presented in a series of in-service workshops around the state.

Dorinda Gibney - 1994
Gibney, a computer specialist in the Merrimack School District since 1988, will organize a statewide conference for teachers addressing technology in the classroom.  "My project is based on the recognition that peer coaching and collegial sharing can be a highly effective way to transmit techniques and skills."  In addition to a statewide conference, Gibney plans to recruit teachers who have successfully implemented computer projects into classroom activity to head coalitions, which will continue training at a local and regional level. 

Joseph Sullivan – 1995
"High school students do not write enough.  There aren't enough good writing assignments or good writing teachers...I want to help teachers help students become better writers."  Sullivan, a 28-year veteran as a writing workshop teacher at Manchester West High School, used his sabbatical year to visit classrooms in 85 schools around the state.  This experience went into the creation of a 90-day writing course that will be a practical guide to creative writing -- one that can be used by any classroom teacher.

Mark Vallone - 1996
Vallone, a social studies teacher at McKelvie Middle School in Bedford, is developing a 32-page color atlas of New Hampshire and a teaching guide to be used by students and teachers across the state.  The atlas will offer a blend of history and geography using a variety of old and new maps.  "I want kids to use real maps that real people use in their lives...teachers need stuff that's interesting and will get kids' attention."  The atlas and guide will provide a series of problem solving exercises aimed primarily at 4th grade student, but useful for junior and high school students as well.

Kathleen Mathews - 1997
"If children's' spelling is to cohesively interface with the reading and writing process, then we must redefine spelling and spelling instruction."  Matthews, a second grade teacher at the Deerfield Community School, plans to synthesize theoretical research into practical models for teachers to use in basic language arts instruction.  Word study, not just spelling, is the basis of her innovative approach, which will culminate in a teaching resource for K-5 teachers.

Barbara Hopkins - 1998
Barbara Hopkins is a scientist who loves to teach – most recently at Oyster River High School in Durham.  Her plan is to develop a scientific instrument sharing system, connecting industry, the university system and public schools.  Modern instrumentation is expensive.  Individual schools might be unable to afford new equipment, but a lending “library” will provide a low-cost solution for teachers and students to access this new technology.

Mark Thomas - 1999
Mark Thomas teaches at the Three Rivers School in Pembroke.  His sabbatical year will be spent developing a hands-on science curriculum on orienteering for middle school students at four participating schools, incorporating math, physical education, and special education principles.  Students’ natural curiosity and desire to explore and discovery will be channeled into scientific inquiry through this curriculum.  The project will include training and outreach activities and result in materials being housed at the NH State Library.

Jim Brough - 2000
A pilot himself, Jim Brough developed an inexpensive program to introduce aviation to middle school children.  Using flight simulator computer programs, students have "flown" all over New England, learning math, meteorology, geography, and teamwork.  Colleagues in the flying community provide actual plane and flying experience for the students at the end of each program.  This program motivates students by showing practical applications for classroom teachings. 

Tom Sintros - 2001
Connecting students with their physical environment and their community is what Tom Sintros' Project PLACE is all about.   Through his environmental science classes at Keene High School, Project PLACE has developed into a region-wide program that brings conservation, land stewardship and community planning from theory to reality for the students and teachers who participate.  Similar to the highway adoption program, the students and teachers take responsibility for conservation lands and work with the communities to provide for its stewardship.

Kay Morgan 2002
Ms. Morgan’s project takes place in the North Country, an area she lived and taught in for many years.  Her project connects students to their communities through an interdisciplinary approach using the humanities. She will create print and web resources for teachers around the state, which will broaden the NH History Initiative and include aspects of art, literature, music while stressing the importance of the region and it's heritage.

Dan Reidy - 2003
Dan Reidy is created a Web site with video of NH’s geology.  It was designed around the middle school science curriculum, to help teachers without a science background provide a comprehensive unit on NH’s geological treasures.  He partnered with NH Public TV and Plymouth State University and the Web site is now hosted permanently at

Sue Pribis – 2004
Ms. Pribis created a Web site for math (and other) teachers in elementary and middle schools to use to help them integrate math with every day life.  As a teacher herself, she found that trying to motivate students to simply learn and memorize the numbers wasn’t the best inspiration, but when she started using examples of real life math, her students became very engaged.  This project is a compilation of NH-based resources as well as a collection of the best on-line references and games that were found. Math extends far beyond the classroom walls.

William Church -2005
Bill Church is a high school physics teacher whose project has been to help other teachers, especially in elementary and middle schools, use technology in their classrooms.  He has matched high school seniors with teachers who request help with using technology – usually computers, but also robots and other ‘tech-y” thing – to train the teacher to feel comfortable using these tools with their students.   

Libby Curran – 2006
Ms. Curran’s Reading Buddies program matches readers with same skill levels in pairs to encourage reading and improve skills.  She has created a series of books for the lowest level reader so all children can experience the success of reading a book.  She brought her program to fifteen elementary schools during her sabbatical year and they continue today as independent programs.

Bruce Larsen – 2007
Mr. Larsen designed his sabbatical program to empower other elementary level teachers to be excellent science mentors to their students by exposing them to unique resources and modeling their use.  Top quality demonstrations and activities for classrooms help teachers not trained in the sciences overcome trepidations about tackling the science units.  He hopes that his project will reach elementary teachers who already are comfortable with science teaching, and help them expand their use of new technology and enhance their classrooms.

Ina Ahern – 2008
Ina Ahern teaches science at Plymouth Regional High School and will take her sabbatical year to bring her GIS experience and lesson plans to other teachers around the state.  Ina’s project shows teachers and students how to use GIS technology to enhance their curricula in fields such as history, geography, civics, environmental science and even economics.  Her facility with both teaching and technology make learning the new material seem effortless and fun.  She will reach out to five districts during the year.

Denise Dunlap – 2009
Denise Dunlap began inviting senior citizens to her classrooms nearly 20 years ago. She found the interactions with the children spanned across the curricula. They brought history to life, helped students write stories for language arts and improved communication skills. She used her sabbatical year to establish a structured method - Connecting the Generations - for integrating seniors and students in other districts, and to build a website for future classes.

Greta Mills – 2010
Ms. Mills has developed a program of Math Modeling for middle school students so they can begin to learn about higher concepts of mathematics. Math models use physical representations of mathematical equations to demonstrate concepts and theories. Advanced students can build the models; intermediate and novice levels use them to understand theories.

David Kelly – 2011
David Kelly has been making middle school students excited about science for over 30 years. Several years ago when robotics competitions began to be popular he started researching less expensive ways to participate in such activities. He discovered VEX robotics systems which are smaller and more portable as well as being fairly inexpensive and started promoting competitions. His sabbatical year will be spent expanding the number of schools using VEX robotics as well as hosting more competitions. His website is 

David Hobbs – 2012
Mr. Hobbs, an English teacher at Winnaucunnett High School will spend the sabbatical year working with teachers around the state gathering how they promote 21st century reading and writing skills and sharing his research via a website and blog called Digital Literacy NH. 
Reading and writing teachers are looking to digital media to expand the definition of what it means to be literate in the 21st century. This project will increase awareness and use of technological tools at the classroom level as well as promote communication and collaboration between New Hampshire districts, schools, and classrooms and it will create a living and lasting place for New Hampshire teachers to celebrate student work in a 21st century medium.

Deborah Sringhorn  2013
Ms. Springhorn teaches humanities at Lebanon high school and her project will expand her work engaging students in discussions about contemporary and historic issues through the use of art. She plans to use the works of award-winning freelance photographer James Nachtwey to introduce each study unit. Highly interdisciplinary in nature, the curriculum will provoke inquiry, engender compassion and inspire change. A resource such as this will encourage teachers to attempt the very difficult task of teaching about current global conflicts.

Michael Alberici – 2014
Sound In Focus is a residency program for grades 4 and 5 that will inspire students to become mindful listeners. He uses music, physics, biology, mathematics, film and ingenious experiments that engage students and teachers to help them focus on the aural world. Within weeks of the announcement that he had been chosen for the sabbatical, he had filled every residency spot with a waiting list. An accomplished musician himself, Mr. Alberici’s love for music and for teaching is contagious and the teachers and students who will work with him will remember these lessons for years to come.


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