The 2013 Institute attracted twenty-five Summer Scholars of diverse backgrounds from across the country:
Travis F. Baldwin teaches U.S. History to 1914 (10th grade) at Sissonville High School in Charleston, West Virginia. He is the chair of the Department of History and the Social Studies and also teaches two elective courses, The Holocaust and World Religions.
Travis has been involved in Project TEACH (Teaching Exemplars of American Constitutional History) for the past nine years, a project funded through a TAH grant.
Travis is also an adjunct professor at the University of Charleston, teaching courses on Social Studies Methods, World Geography, and West Virginia & Appalachian Regional Studies.
Tim Beirne graduated from Messiah College in 2009 where he earned a B.A. in history with social studies certification.
He currently teaches United States History and AP United States History at the Stony Brook School on Long Island. Outside the classroom he coaches soccer and softball and works in a boy’s dormitory as a house parent.
Presently, Tim is pursuing a M.A. in history at Stony Brook University and he is primarily interested in American religious history with an emphasis on seventeenth and eighteenth century British North America.
Robert Boutilier grew up in Bridgewater, Massachusetts in the heart of the Hockomock Swamp- a key battle site during "King Philip's War." Stories from local historians fed his interest in Wampanoag history and the complicated and and often brutal interactions with colonists.
He majored in history at the University of Massachusetts and has been a middle school American history teacher for 15 years. He now teaches geography and would like to design lessons from a local, historical geography perspective such as finding maps and creating hands-on lessons that will be engaging and inspiring.
Brenda Cowe is a school library media specialist at the Buffalo Academy for Visual & Performing Arts, where she also edits the young adult art and literary journal Dazzle.
She has previously worked as a social worker and grant writer. Some of Brenda's interests include singing with the Buffalo Master Chorale, writing poetry, jewelry design and photography.
Darlene Cronin, a member of the Navajo Nation and currently teaches at Wingate High School, Ft. Wingate, New Mexico. Her clans are Zuni Red Streak into Water clan and born for the Big Water clan.
She has taught on the Navajo reservation for the last 25+ years. She has a Masters degree from the University of Kansas in Science Education and ABD from the University of New Mexico.
Teresita Cuesta loves learning and her second grade students share this enthusiasm. She creates a classroom environment where each child's natural curiosity is nurtured and guided toward deeper understanding and where character development is as important as intellectual rigor.
After serving students from preschool to seventh grade in her native Guatemala for almost two decades, Teresita moved to the Washington, D. C. area in 2000. She has been teaching at Sidwell Friends School since then.
Teresita holds a BS degree from Universidad Rafael Landivar in Guatemala and a MEd in International Education from Framingham State College.
Jennifer Gomez has taught history for eight years at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida and she currently teaches 9th grade World History and 11th grade American History.
Jennifer earned an M.A. in History at the University of North Florida with a focus on Native American studies in December 2009.
In May of that year, Jennifer presented a paper "Cowkeeper and the Ethnogenesis of the Seminole Indians" at the Florida Historical Society's Annual meeting in Pensacola, Florida. Jennifer’s research focused on the Alachua chief Cowkeeper and his physical and political distance from the Creek in Georgia.
Anne Hester graduated from the University of South Florida, majoring in History and Psychology. She started teaching in 2004 and has been at Riverdale High School in Fort Myers, Florida since 2005.
She currently teaches 11th grade American History and 10th grade World History. She has also just been chosen as Social Studies Department Head.
In addition to her Social Studies background, she is also certified to teach English 6-12 and has her endorsement to teach ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) 6-12.
Leslie Ihrig is a 5th grade teacher at Grant Elementary School in Petaluma, CA.
She has been married for 25 years to husband Craig has two sons – Griffin, 19 and Keenan, 24.
She majored in fine arts in college but history has become her passion. She served as Teacher-Leader for a three-year TAH project 2008-2011 and as a Wiki Trainer in 2012. She has served on multiple committees in the Petaluma School district; most recently writing curriculum for the new Math Common Core Standards.
Beyond her many professional credentials, Leslie has studied organic gardening and worked for Macy*s as a Visual Merchandising manager.