Faculty Pursue Educational Endeavors Over Summer
Categories: General, Lower School, Middle School, Upper School
Posted: 8/11/2017


While our faculty take advantage of the summer break to rest and rejuvenate, they also utilize their time out of the classroom to pursue educational endeavors of their own. Take a look at a few of the adventures our teachers had this summer!

Rebecca Brown, Upper School Art Teacher
Mrs. Brown was selected as a featured artist for the Metro Montage XVII, an annual juried exhibition at the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. Her artwork, "Moonscape," will be on display through September 10. Metro Montage features works of fine art by contemporary artists that showcase the diversity within our nation's culture. This year, 81 works were chosen from approximately 500 submissions to represent a body of work that is unified through creative expression.

As part of Whitefield's Retaining the Best grant, Mrs. Brown also attended a National Geographic photography workshop in San Francisco. The focus of the workshop was street photography taught by experiened National Geographic photographers.

Kyle Hughes, Upper School History Teacher
Dr. Hughes received his Doctor of Philosophy in theology from Radboud University Nijmegen, the Netherlands, on June 12. His thesis title was "The Trinitarian Testimony of the Spirit: Prosopological Exegesis and the Development of Pre-Nicene Pneumatology." 

Amelia Carmichael, Middle School English Teacher
Christy Dixon, Fifth-Grade Teacher
Elizabeth Weathington, Lower School Music and Computer Teacher

These teachers attended Google Summit 2017 in Charleston, South Carolina, which is a two-day conference focusing on innovation and implementation of G-Suite and other Google Tools to promote student learning and engagement in grades kindergarten through 12. Certified Google trainers and key-note speakers shared cutting edge best practices in educational technology and overall great teaching methods. Mrs. Carmichael, Mrs. Dixon, and Ms. Weathington were able to customize their individual schedules to attend multiple hands-on sessions covering topics such as project-based learning, digital literacy, STEM, digital citizenship, introductions to G-Suite, Google Cardboard, digital portfolios, and much more. These sessions were shared in a way that they could immediately return to Whitefield and share these amazing new tools with their students. 

Penny Crosland, Third-Grade Teacher Assistant
Mrs. Crosland and her husband went to Rome, Italy, several Greek islands, Athens, Greece, and Kotor, Montenegro. They saw many Roman and Greek ruins and ended their vacation spending time with missionaries in Athens. Mr. Crosland helped in the mission office, while Mrs. Crosland helped pack New Testament Bibles that the mission gave away to Greek homes.

Kyle Justice, Upper School Math Teacher
In July, Mr. Justice, along with his children Zach (’19), Zoe (’22), and Drew (’24), traveled to Ecuador, where they led a five-day chess camp at Amor y Esperanza, Whitefield’s partner school in Quito. They stayed with Pancho and Pity Zola and their three children, further strengthening the bonds of fellowship between the two families and the two schools. Mr. Justice's trip was funded by Whitefield's Retaining the Best grant.

Melinda Lee, Fourth-Grade Teacher
Ms. Lee had the awesome opportunity to tour the Holy Land. Her adventures included wading in the Mediterranean Sea, visiting many ruins, seeing the area where Jesus fed the 5,000 and taught about the Beatitudes, walking around Nazareth, boating on the Sea of Galilee, touring Bethlehem’s Shepherds’ Fields and the Church of the Nativity, watching people get baptized in the Jordan River, and even riding a camel! She also visited Capernaum and saw where Jesus preached, saw the olive trees in the Garden of Gethsemane, walked the Via Dolorosa, and had the Lord’s Supper in the Garden Tomb area.

Mary Charles Kaish, Kindergarten Teacher
In June, Ms. Kaish had the chance to go on a mission trip to Honduras. She went with a group of about 40 people from Mt. Bethel United Methodist Church in Marietta. They spent a week at Orphanage Emanuel, which is home to nearly 450 children aged infant to early twenties located outside the town of Guaimaca. This was her third time going, and she loved seeing both new and familiar faces, including the young boy that she sponsors. While at the orphanage, the group spent time with the children in Christian fellowship and fun all week long. They even had a chance to spend time in the classrooms working on science projects with the children. Some other highlights of the week included a water balloon fight, ice cream party, rocking babies to sleep, morning devotions with the children, and lots of games of soccer!

Lynn Handley, Lower School Librarian
Mrs. Handley traveled with 10 others from her church to Overtown, a very poor area of Miami. Touching Miami with Love is a missionary project that exists to help children in this area. During the school year, these children are provided an after-school program with free tutoring, homework help, physical activity, and snacks. The summer program provides them with two meals, enrichment and literacy programs, devotional time, weekly field trips, and a weekly cookout for families. While the other members of my team worked with the elementary-aged children, Mrs. Handley spent the week organizing their largely-donated collection of books into a usable library. The books were labeled with the book levels to assist the workers in finding appropriate levels for the children. The team also brought along over 200 new books to add to the new library. Mrs. Handley will return in October to finish and create a database for their collection.

Vicki Simms, Third-Grade Teacher
Because of Whitefield's Retaining the Best grant, Mrs. Simms fulfilled her dream of visiting Scotland, land of her Presbyterian heritage. Her trip was filled with wonderful images of old stone walls, churches, castles, lochs, rivers, mountains, and the sea. Most of all, it was filled with Christ-centred learning about our forefathers and martyrs, which made a huge impact on her life. "They wanted to live for Christ and His Word, but often they died for it instead," said Mrs. Simms. "It’s fascinating to learn how God worked through history, the printing press, and their sacrifices to preserve it; what a privilege it is to read and study the Bible! As a result of this venture, I hope to inspire others and my students to cherish it and to stand up for their faith in adversity, as well."