K-12 Teaching and Learning From the UNC School of Education

LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

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LEARN NC was recently awarded a contract by the American Battle Monuments Commission to build an interactive teaching companion to the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Verdun, France. This team will explore ways to unlock the narrative stories and trends of the American soldiers who are buried at the Meuse-Argonne by using emergent technologies like GIS tools and Augmented Reality. Once created, we’ll be disseminating these materials to a national audience of educators in time for the centennial commemoration of World War I. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a partner in this project.

Members of this team include:

Yevgenia Arutyunyan
Yevgenia Arutyunyan is a native of Moscow, Russia, and a graduate of Davidson College and Wake Forest University who has taught high school history at Charlotte Country Day School for the past 13 years. Her professional foci have been incorporation of the arts, gender, and cultural studies into the history curriculum, developing electives on world religions, globalization, and international relations, advancing students’ engagement with the world through the Model UN, Academic World Quest, and travel abroad, and enhancing a well-established research and writing program within the upper school history department.
Colin Baker
Colin Baker is the Department Chair of Social Studies at Blacksburg High School, Blacksburg, Virginia. He has taught World History since 1997, and Advanced Placement (AP) European History since 2000, during which Blacksburg High School has been consistently ranked among the top 100 schools in the nation by Newsweek magazine, based upon AP scores. He has been involved for 6 years, and for the past 3 has been on the leadership team, at the AP European History national exam reading. He is involved in the writing of new questions for the AP European History national exam redesign. As a native Scot he holds a Masters in Politics and Modern History (Honours) from Edinburgh University, and has a deep interest in modern military history studying battlefields while traveling extensively throughout Europe, North America and the Philippines. He is married with two young children.

Chris Bunin
Chris Bunin recently returned to the classroom at Albemarle High School in Albemarle County Public Schools in Virginia. Previously, he worked as the Director of Teacher Scholars for the Virginia Experiment and America on the World Stage Teaching American History Projects (2006-2012). As director, he coordinated and implemented “hands-on” professional development opportunities for local history teachers. He is also Assistant Professor of Geography at Piedmont Virginia Community College.

Chris’ research and instructional interests include historical geography, geospatial technologies in K-12 classrooms, environmental education, and engaging active learners. Originally from Martinsville, Virginia, he currently resides in Afton, Virginia with his wife, Elizabeth, 1-year old son, Tucker, and newborn Eliza.

Teresa Goodin
Teresa Goodin is the gifted resource teacher at Henley Middle School in Albemarle County, Virginia. She has been working in gifted education for seven years and previously taught high school social studies, comparative religion, and AP U.S. history. As a gifted resource teacher, she works with all subjects and all grades to ensure Henley’s gifted and advanced population is receiving appropriately challenging instruction and extra curricular activities.

In addition to her work at Henley, Teresa has developed curriculum for historical sites such as Monticello and has presented at conferences and professional development workshops across the county. Her research and instructional interests include American history, problem-based learning, authentic curriculum, and inquiry based history. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Crozet, Virginia with her husband Logan and dogs Fry and Hermes.

Katie Gulledge
Katie Gulledge is currently a middle school history teacher at McDougle Middle School. She is a Tar Heel born and bred and has enjoyed her six years of teaching experience in both middle and high school classrooms.

Katie received a B.A. degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her M.Ed from Wake Forest University. After getting her National Board Teaching Certification, she followed her dream and began an after-school art education program at McDougle which grew into a summer day camp. Her instructional interests include history, art education, and inquiry-based learning. Katie is originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and currently resides in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Kate Harris
Kate Harris has taught history at Jordan High School in Durham Public Schools for the past nine years. In addition to teaching United States history and world religions, she advises the Habitat for Humanity club and coaches women’s varsity field hockey. She has recently spent time developing curriculum units and presenting resources to colleagues within Durham Public Schools in preparation for the transition to a new United States history curriculum. In addition, she mentors teaching interns for the Duke University MAT Program. Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, she now lives in Durham, North Carolina.
David Hicks
David Hicks, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at Virginia Tech, where he specializes in History and Social Science Education. Dr. Hicks’s research interests include examining the nature and purpose of the teaching of history in a standards based setting; the integration of multi-media and digital technologies to support the teaching and learning of history and social science; citizenship education; and disability studies and parental advocacy. To date he has authored or coauthored more than 50 journal articles, book chapters and conference proceedings. His publications also include a co-edited book with E. Thomas Ewing entitled Education and the Great Depression: Lessons from a Global History. He has served as PI or co-PI on a number of grants including FIPSE, NEH, VFH, Teaching American History Grants and Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources Grants.

Dr. Hicks has also served as co-editor of the social studies current issues section of the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education (SITE) online journal, Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education and was Chair and on the executive board of the College and University Faculty Assembly of the National Council of the Social Studies. Dr. Hicks earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction from Virginia Tech and an M.A. in history from the State University of New York College. He received his B.A. in social history from Lancaster University in the United Kingdom.

Jamie Lathan
Jamie Lathan is a secondary social studies teacher who received his Ph.D. in Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A National Board Certified teacher, he has worked with high school students of diverse abilities and backgrounds. For his mentoring work with teenage African American males in a low-income housing community in Durham, North Carolina, he received the U. S. Presidential “Call to Service” award. His leadership and involvement in state and national social studies and distance education organizations mirrors his research interests — racial equity in social studies curriculum and teaching, both in online and face-to-face school environments.

A strong advocate for technology integration and blended learning, he serves as the Dean of Distance Education and External Programs at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, North Carolina. Jamie resides in Durham with his wife, Lucinda.

Scott Mace
For more than twenty years, Scott Mace has taught high school students in both traditional and non-traditional academic settings. Within the school system, Scott has taught AP U.S. history, AP government, AP economics, United States/Virginia history and world civilization in both Fairfax County and in Charlottesville City Schools, where he currently teaches U.S. history exclusively. Prior to becoming a classroom teacher, Scott worked in Washington, D.C. for the Close Up Foundation, a non-profit civic education program that brings high school students to the nation’s capitol for one-week intensive experiential programs. Initially a program instructor, Scott quickly rose to program administrator, overseeing 300 students and the professional development of fifteen instructors weekly. It is during these years that much of his teaching philosophy — driven by hands-on experiential learning and critical thinking — was formed.

Teaching, however, was not his first career. Upon graduating from Furman University, Scott worked for ABC News in Washington, DC for eight years. Having grown up with a passion for current events, it seemed an ideal fit. With time, however, he realized that his true inspiration came from an understanding of how history impacts our current and future course. He left ABC News, and pursued his education degree at the University of Maryland.

In addition to his classroom teaching, Scott actively pursues his own professional development, most notably through the Teaching American History Grant Program. He has been a teacher scholar, teaching fellow and master teaching fellow, and program facilitator within that prestigious program. During “The Virginia Experiment” (2007-2009), he researched and created acclaimed lesson plans on Jim Crow Laws using Global Information Systems technology. His most recent participation was the Transatlantic Scholar Program (2010-2011), during which he collaborated with teachers from the United Kingdom to uncover meaningful classroom connections on the transatlantic slave trade. The program culminated in a week-long on-site experiential learning opportunity in Barbados, and again, curriculum Scott developed is being used nationally.

In 2010, Scott received the award for Teacher of the Year from the Virginia Council for Social Studies. In 2012, Scott was the recipient of the Tom and Betty Lawrence History Teacher of the Year Award from the Sons of the American Revolution. In 2013, Scott received a Golden Apple Award in recognition of his teaching students at Charlottesville High School.

Scott lives in North Garden, Virginia, just south of Charlottesville, with his wife and two sons. When not in the classroom, he is either cycling or reading historical novels.

Bill Melega
Bill Melega is an 18-year veteran teacher at Chapel Hill High School in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He was named as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) National Educator of the Year in 2010 for his dedication to bringing world history to life in the classroom. A strong believer in “teaching through travel,” Bill has led his students on numerous learning adventures in Europe and the United States, focusing on World War II and the Civil War. He also developed a proprietary writing program for classroom instructors and students, teaching them to use primary resources effectively in order to increase critical thinking skills. He presented this program at the National Advanced Placement College Board conference in 2011, as well as leading in-service sessions with the Durham Public Schools. Originally from Ohio, Bill lives in Hillsborough, NC with his wife, Laura, and their three children, Bethany (13), Hannah (11), and William (8).
Jaren Morris
Jared Morris teaches American History I at William Wetsel Middle School in Madison County, Virginia. He has been at this position now for six years and is currently department chair and team leader. Over the past three years he has participated in numerous Teaching American History (TAH) programs and events, including selection to the Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program in 2010 in which he collaborated with a cohort of British teachers to research and study the transatlantic slave trade, as well as, in 2012 where the focus was the Great Wars. The two transatlantic programs led to field research in Barbados, Belgium, and France. Also in 2012, he was fortunate enough to take part in the Liberty Today initiative through the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, in which, he consulted on the design of a new educational website launching in the Fall of 2013. In July of 2013 he researched as a Barringer Fellow at Monticello, which was also through the Thomas Jefferson Foundation.
Todd Ogle
Dr. Todd Ogle holds a Ph.D. in Instructional Design and Technology from Virginia Tech. He is the Senior Associate Director for Applied Research and Planning in the Institute for Distance and Distributed Learning at Virginia Tech. He has co-authored presentations, reports, and articles, including a paper sponsored by the Federal Department of Education, and has worked in areas such as virtual environments, career and technical education, distance learning, and most recently, augmented reality. His current areas of interest include making use of existing data for decision making at the program level and to provide student feedback on performance, seeking innovative assessment methods for online learning, providing support to the online learner, and connecting learners with extant information in real contexts via augmented reality.
Lynn Rainville
Dr. Rainville is a research professor in the humanities at Sweet Briar College where she directs the Tusculum Institute for historic preservation. She studies African American cemeteries and antebellum communities in Virginia. In addition to numerous articles on American mortuary practices, she has recently completed a book titled Hidden History: African-American Cemeteries in Central Virginia due out in January 2014. She has also created over a dozen websites to disseminate local history to the public.
Karen Rectanus
Karen Rectanus currently teaches seventh grade language arts and social studies at Exploris Middle School, a charter school in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina, focusing on global issues and integrated learning. Although born in Texas, Karen has lived in Tripoli, Libya, attended schools in Vienna, Austria and Istanbul, Turkey, and taught in Saudi Arabia, Spain, and England. She has a Bachelors Degree in Literature from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters in Arts and Teaching from the University of Kentucky.

Karen’s work at Exploris involving curriculum design and implementation has led to collaboration with educators in the Republic of Ireland working to integrate interdisciplinary curriculum and project-based learning into the Irish educational system. She presented at the Re-Imagining Learning conference in Limerick in May, 2011 and is currently working with educators at Limerick University.

Michael Schafer
Michael Schafer teaches world history and human geography at Monticello High School in Albemarle County, Virginia. After a brief career in investment management, he decided to follow his passion: teaching, coaching, and mentoring young people. In his three years at Monticello, he has enjoyed developing a digital curriculum and incorporating technology into the classroom to improve students’ spatial analytical skills and historical writing. Outside of the classroom, Michael is an active member of the Charlottesville community, serving on the Board of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville and coaching youth basketball.
Jennifer Sublette-Williamson
Jennifer Sublette-Williamson serves as a lead coach and facilitator of social studies for Albemarle County Public Schools in Charlottesville, Virginia. In this capacity, she works with six other lead coaches to coordinate curriculum, instruction, and assessment at the division level and to oversee the county’s Instructional Coaching Model. Specifically, she facilitates curricular resources and provides instructional support for social studies teachers, gifted resource teachers, and school librarians. In addition, she supports novice instructional coaches and co-facilitates the novice teacher induction program for the county.

Prior to joining the Office of Instruction, Jennifer taught world history and European history at Western Albemarle High School. Jennifer also taught world and European history in Montgomery County, Maryland. While in Maryland, she served as a division level facilitator of instruction as well as Teaching American History grant project director. Jennifer lives in Crozet, Virginia with her husband and two daughters.

Patrick Touart
Patrick Touart is currently the Social Studies Department Chairman at Tunstall High School in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. He has been teaching social studies for the last fifteen years at Tunstall and is currently teaching advanced world history, AP United States history and AP United States government. Patrick is currently active in the Liberty Today multimedia project at Monticello and the Understanding Lincoln multimedia project through the Gilder Lehrman Institute and Dickinson College.

Patrick also taught at the Governor’s School for Humanities in Richmond, Danville Community College, and the GED at the Pittsylvania County jail. Patrick was the Virginia Lottery Teacher of the Year in 2003. He has been an active participant in Southside Virginia Teaching American History (TAH) grants since 2007. Patrick received his Bachelor of Arts in History and his Masters in Curriculum from Virginia Tech. Patrick has been married for fourteen years and is the father of two sons, John-David and Gabriel.