Catlin Gabel teachers chosen for a Fulbright Teacher Exchange and an NEH seminar

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August 3, 2009
For more information:
Nadine Fiedler, Catlin Gabel publicity, 503-297-1894 ext. 301,
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Catlin Gabel teachers chosen for a Fulbright Teacher Exchange
and an NEH seminar
Nichole Tassoni studies Dante in Italy, and Cynthia Beals heads to Turkey
Two Catlin Gabel high school teachers have been selected to participate in prestigious international programs. Cynthia Beals was awarded a Fulbright Teacher Exchange grant to teach in Turkey by the U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board, and Nichole Tassoni was chosen to attend a seminar on Dante in Italy sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Cynthia Beals will teach mathematics at Eyuboglu High School in Istanbul during the 2009-10 academic year. In return, Turkish teacher Nazme Karamustafaoglu will teach middle school mathematics at Catlin Gabel. Both were selected to take part in the prestigious and competitive Fulbright Teacher Exchange program, which is open to classroom teachers of any grade. Beals is one of 100 U.S. teachers that will participate, one of only five teachers from the Pacific Northwest, and the only teacher going to Turkey.
After a three-day orientation in Washington, D.C., Beals will travel to Istanbul to begin teaching on August 10. “I’ve always been interested in other cultures, and teaching abroad has always been a dream for me,” she says. “Head of school Lark Palma and Upper School head Michael Heath have been very supportive and positive. This is a great opportunity for my professional development, and for Catlin Gabel to broaden its community and learn from a teacher from another country. We will all benefit from a new perspective on a fascinating culture.”
You may read about Beals’s Fulbright Exchange and residence in Istanbul on her blog at .
Catlin Gabel high school English teacher Nichole Tassoni is taking part in a six-week summer study of Dante’s Commedia in a National Endowment for the Humanities seminar based in Siena, Italy. The teachers and professors in the seminar have been exploring Dante’s world by visiting cultural and artistic sites important to Dante and his poem in cities that include Florence, Rome, Orvieto, San Gimignano, Ravenna, and Assisi. “The visits have really enriched the poem and its sense of history and culture,” says Tassoni. Discussion, collaborative learning, and writing are key components of the seminar experience, which ends August 6.
“I chose to apply to this seminar because I had never read Dante’s masterpiece before, and wanted to do so with a group of scholars,” says Tassoni. “The experience has been all that I hoped for. Our two instructors—Ronald Herzman from SUNY-Geneseo and William Stephany from the University of Vermont—are passionate, life-long experts on Dante, and the 14 other teachers in the seminar are amazing to work with. Of course, being in Siena has been wonderful!”
Catlin Gabel serves Portland and the world as an educational catalyst, drawing together dedicated educators, motivated students, superb curricular resources, and thoughtfully applied technology, in a beautiful and functional setting, all for the purpose of forming bold learners who become responsible action-takers for life. Catlin Gabel is an independent, non-sectarian, progressive coeducational day school serving 730 students from preschool through twelfth grade. Its roots go back to the Portland Academy, founded in 1859. The school occupies 54 acres on Barnes Road, five miles west of downtown Portland. For more about the school, please visit
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