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Bolles Ottenstroer Fellows Prepare for International Trips
group of individuals holding plaques in front of blue curtain

Bolles leadership announced the faculty members who were awarded the 2024 Duane Ottenstroer Excellence in Teaching Fellowships during post-planning on May 30 in McGehee Auditorium on the Bolles Upper School San Jose Campus.

The Ottenstroer Fellowships identify and reward excellence in teaching at Bolles by providing opportunities for professional growth among faculty. Funded by a grant from Duane and Sue Ottenstroer, the fellowships are awarded annually to members of the Bolles faculty who have had a significant impact on the learning process and have a plan for future improvement. Interested candidates prepare an application describing a project to be funded by the fellowship, usually for summer study or research. Ottenstroer Fellowships are available to teachers at every grade level, and the recipients are chosen each spring by an administrative selection committee.

The following Bolles teachers will travel across the globe to complete their fellowships this summer:

Deborah Carney
Middle School Bartram Campus English Teacher and Lead Teacher 
From Stratford-Upon-Avon to Verona: Following Shakespeare on the Road to “Romeo and Juliet” 

Synopsis from Fellow: “When I first arrived at Bolles 18 years ago, I was excited to have the opportunity to teach Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ as part of the Grade 8 curriculum. My fellow English teachers wanted in on the fun, and our annual Grade 8 Shakespeare Day was born. In addition to the performances, we now collaborate with the PE department and advisors to include ‘Family Feud Montague versus Capulet’ events in the gym. For my proposal, I desire to travel to England and Italy to visit and document the actual places and locations we discuss during our study of the play. In England, I will travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon, the birthplace of Shakespeare. Spending a few days in London, I want to take a tour that retraces the footsteps of Shakespeare through central London visiting South Bank, Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and seeing the site where the original theatre was located and its competitor, the Rose Theatre. In addition to learning all about Shakespeare in England, I will travel to Verona, Italy, the setting of ‘Romeo and Juliet. I plan to document my travels through a blog, create videos and take photographs to share with the other Grade 8 English teachers and students. I will create presentations to enhance the learning experience by providing ‘real’ images, information and stories from the locations visited. Materials purchased throughout the trip will be used in the classroom and as part of Shakespeare Day.”

Christina Karvounis
Lower School Ponte Vedra Beach Campus Librarian
Japan: Storytelling, Culture and Connection

Synopsis from Fellow: “In my delivery of the Lower School Library curriculum on the Ponte Vedra Beach Campus, I use a book titled ‘SAME, SAME BUT DIFFERENT’ by Jenny Kostecki-Shaw as a foundational text to develop and practice cultural competencies in students throughout the school year. The library curriculum is grounded in the principle that storytelling connects us as a human family and provides students learning opportunities for building cultural competencies via stories with authentic voices and experiences from around the world. This Ottenstroer Excellence in Teaching Fellowship proposal is designed to extend my own cultural competencies of Japanese culture with location immersion and museum tours, grow my knowledge of Japanese book arts, storytelling and Kamishibai (Japanese Paper Theater), and connect with lower school colleagues at our sister school in Tokyo, the Keio School 慶應 義塾幼稚舎 . In addition, I will explore the practice of shinrin-yoku (forest bathing) and visit several natural sites to develop an understanding of the relationship between Japanese culture and nature.”

Elizabeth Miron
Lower School Whitehurst Campus Art Teacher
Journey Through Art: Exploring Spanish Roots

Synopsis from Fellow: “As an art teacher with Spanish heritage, traveling to Spain offers a unique opportunity to connect with my own ancestral roots and explore the rich cultural heritage of the country. By immersing myself in Spanish art, architecture, cuisine and traditions, I can gain a deeper understanding of my own cultural identity and share this personal connection with my students. Spain has long been a hub of artistic innovation and creativity, with a rich history of artistic movements, renowned artists and iconic masterpieces. By experiencing the vibrant art scene in cities like Madrid, Barcelona and Seville, I can draw inspiration from the diverse range of artistic styles, techniques and themes present in Spanish art. Whether exploring the masterpieces of Goya and Velazques in the Prado Museum, marveling at Gaudi’s architectural wonders in Barcelona or experiencing the colorful traditions of flamenco, I can gather a wealth of ideas and inspiration to infuse into my art lessons, sparking creativity and curiosity in students. While in Spain, I plan on using sketchbooks and other art mediums to document my journey.”

Andi Oldham and Carolyn Houston
Lower School Science Teachers
Scientific Exploration: Exploring Iceland’s Natural Phenomena

Synopsis from Fellow: “For many years, we have engaged students in the exploration of our changing Earth via hands-on activities and our curriculum. With this grant, we desire to achieve a true hands-on experience as educators, and no place is more geologically and ecologically unique and exciting than Iceland! Nothing is more exhilarating than experiencing our planet in a new light. This rejuvenated sense of enthusiasm and confidence will enrich our teaching and expand our students’ knowledge base of real-world concepts, igniting our students' curiosity to explore further and think critically about Earth's rapidly evolving landscape and its long-term implications. The most impactful connections we establish with our students stem from real-life narratives and firsthand encounters. We are particularly enthusiastic about delving deeper into Iceland's dynamically changing landscape, remarkable strides in space exploration, advancements in agriculture and food science and innovative strategies in renewable and green energy. This will equip us with fresh insights, strategies and techniques to enhance our science labs and make our lessons more engaging and interactive for our students.”

Maggie Vance
Bolles Instrumental Music Director
Jazzing Up Education: A Cultural Exploration at the Montreux Jazz Festival

Synopsis from Fellow: “In pursuit of this grant, I aim to advance and enrich music education within the community. As a dedicated music educator, my goal is to create transformative learning experiences, instill a lifelong passion for the arts and contribute positively to the cultural fabric of our community. I am committed to the success of improving student proficiency, coordinating successful performances and establishing dynamic jazz bands and ensembles. Attending the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland offers a unique opportunity for professional development and enrichment, directly benefiting both students and the role of The Bolles School Band Director in the following ways: exposure to diverse musical styles; networking with industry professionals; workshops, masterclasses and educational settings; cultural immersion; inspiration and motivation; and documentation and sharing.”