BBA awards endowed faculty travel grants, sabbatical


MANCHESTER — Burr and Burton Academy has announced the recipients of its annual faculty travel grants and endowed awards.

Science teacher Elpi Blanchard is the recipient of the Bigelow Fund for Excellence, which encourages teachers to seek enriching experiences that will deepen their knowledge and invigorate their dedication to teaching.

Blanchard, who teaches engineering and forensics, plans to travel to England to study English bridges, visit The London Natural History Museum and the Sherlock Holmes museum.

Social Studies teacher Kendra LaRoche is the recipient of the Ormsby Hill Trust for Excellence fund, which supports enrichment opportunities for teachers to renew their love of teaching their subject matter. She will use the opportunity to travel to Latin America, following the Salkantay Trail to Machu Picchu.

"Latin America has a story to tell me, an ancient story of Incan emperors and Spanish conquest. However, the journey is where the story is developed, and what better way to take the journey then by foot!" LaRoche said in a news release from BBA.

The Rowland Travel Award was given to math department head Mike Caraco, who will travel around the country to explore and study innovative schools during the day and then attend a Major League Baseball game in the evening with his son, Christian, a current senior at BBA.

The trip will serve the dual purpose of helping him to explore blended-learning, proficiency-based instruction, and other education innovations at some of the highest-achieving and most progressive schools in the country, and complete his eight-year quest to attend a game at each of the 30 MLB stadiums with his son.

The Rowland Sabbatical provides the opportunity for faculty members with at least seven years of experience at BBA to continue their education, conduct research, experience other cultures through travel, and pursue projects related to their specific discipline. This year's recipient is Barbara Muench, who will study literacy across multiple populations and school systems. She will observe explicit reading instruction in the Chicago inner city schools, meet with English as a Second Language teachers in Rochester, Minnesota, volunteer to teach reading to adults in West Virginia, and tour a New York City school that specializes in reading instruction.

Her work will culminate in South Africa where she will live at a township and work as a teacher in an underserved school.

After her work in the township, she will meet her family in Cape Town and travel for two weeks in South Africa to retrace the tragic and profound history of apartheid before flying home from Johannesburg.

Finally, the two Rowland Chairs are awarded each year to acknowledge and honor teachers who are innovative, who inspire students and their peers, and who clearly have committed their hearts and souls to meeting the mission and vision of our school. This year's recipients are social studies department head John Graf, and music teacher Julie Freebern.


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