2019-20 American Distinguished Teaching Award grantees

Kari Giordano

Kari Giordano

School of Education, University of Edinburgh - Arts Education

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Kari Giordano

Kari Giordano

School of Education, University of Edinburgh - Arts Education

I teach art, design, and photography to grades 7-12 at Mount Everett Regional School in Sheffield, Massachusetts. I received my Bachelor of Fine Art from State University of New York at New Paltz and my Master of Art in Teaching from Rhode Island School of Design. Beyond my teaching duties, I serve as the K-12 Arts Curriculum Leader as well as advisor to numerous school organizations. My awards and honours include the prestigious James C. Kapteyn Award for Excellence in Teaching, Berkshire Community College’s 40 Under 40 Award, and State University of New York at New Paltz’s 40 Under 40 Award. I have had over a dozen articles published in SchoolArts Magazine, a national art education publication, have presented my design curriculum at the National Art Education Association National Convention and have been invited to speak at the New Paltz Women in Leadership Summit. Outside of education, I own and operate a freelance graphic design and photography studio. I live and work in Berkshire County, Massachusetts with my husband and two young sons. For my inquiry project, I am excited to study rural arts education and how practical, place-based projects can connect rural students with their local communities in an age where urbanisation has a profound impact on rural districts.

Elana Eisen-Markowitz

Elana Eisen-Markowitz

School of Education, University of Strathclyde - Education Policy

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Elana Eisen-Markowitz

Elana Eisen-Markowitz

School of Education, University of Strathclyde - Education Policy

I have been working in New York City public schools since 2007 — as a social studies teacher, a union chapter delegate, a Gender and Sexuality Alliance facilitator, and now, as a Restorative Justice Coordinator at a public transfer high school serving students ages 16-22. For over a decade, I have been part of a member-led organisation in NYC called Teachers Unite that tries to organise educators to resist policies and institutions that segregate and criminalise young people of colour and to try to work as allies to our students and their families in campaigns for racial, social and economic justice. I also maintain a collaborative art presence on social media called @Vent_Diagrams (www.ventdiagrams.com). Recently, Scotland has made an international name for itself in queer-inclusive policies and I want to know more! While in the UK, I’ll be working on an inquiry project about the possibilities and limitations of LGBTI-inclusive democratic cultural change in state-funded schools in Scotland. I hope to consider what it takes for democratic cultural shifts to meaningfully take hold at individual publicly-funded school communities by examining the relationship between national LGBTI-inclusive education policy change and successful cultural change occurring at school sites in Scotland.

Claire Kalambay

Claire Kalambay

School of Education, University College London - EAL Education

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Claire Kalambay

Claire Kalambay

School of Education, University College London - EAL Education

I have just finished my 12th year of teaching English language arts and working as a teacher leader at Bronx Collegiate Academy, a high school in New York City. I serve as the Chair of the English department, inquiry leader, new teacher mentor, and advisor for extracurricular activities. In the classroom, I work primarily with students who are learning English as a new language. In 2018, the UK Department for Education reported that students with English as an additional language (EAL) outperformed compared to students who are native speakers of the language and I want to know what practices created such a successful outcome. My Fulbright project will explore how schools can support students learning English as a new language by creating a culture of additive bilingualism. My goal is to identify those methods that successful school systems use to shrink the gap between students acquiring the English language and their fluent peers. This Fulbright will allow me to explore and document different ways of approaching challenges that exist in helping students develop English proficiency, and bring my learning back to my classroom, my school, and my district. While in the UK I look forward to seeing lots of theatre, especially a Royal Shakespeare Company production.