2018 Athena Summer Fellows Announced!

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Athena Summer Fellows.

This summer's cohort brings backgrounds in English, History, Humanities, Religion & Philosophy, and Classics.  Teachers come from 45 schools and 18 states, and they range in experience from 2 years to 48 years. 

"Athena aims to to build a global department office by connecting teachers across schools and experience levels," said Peter Nilsson, Executive Director, "and the breadth of this summer's cohort greatly expands the colleagues each teacher can draw from and collaborate with."

Over the course of the summer, the Fellows will participate in a vibrant exchange of practices, feedback, and questions -- and in so doing, not only improve and inspire their own practice, but also contribute to a growing and dynamic shared knowledge base. 

"After the extraordinary feedback from last year's pilot fellowship," continued Nilsson, "we're thrilled to expand our capacity for supporting teachers, and are grateful to the Edward E. Ford Foundation and our matching sponsors for making this fellowship a possibility."

With a present focus on independent schools, the 2018 Summer Fellowship brings teachers together from New Hampshire to Florida to Texas and California:

Rika Drea, Crossroads School
Toby Elmore, Stevenson School
Dale Hinckley, Stevenson School

Caitlin Charette, Cheshire Academy
Amy Foster, Choate Rosemary Hall
Beth Krasemann, Suffield Academy
Eric LaForest, The Loomis Chaffee School
Maureen Lamb, Kingswood Oxford School
Edrik Lopez, Choate Rosemary Hall
Laura Rochette, The Loomis Chaffee School
Sierra Thomsen, Kent School

Mia Franz, Tampa Preparatory School
John Peruggia, The Benjamin School

Jennifer Sikes, Darlington School

Bettina Morrish, Sayre School

Rachael Abernethy, Northfield Mount Hermon
Richard DaSilva, Tabor Academy
Joshua Emmott, Milton Academy
Elizabeth Falco, The Academy at Charlemont
Meghan Gayton, Dana Hall School
Dan Houston, Deerfield Academy
Tom Kane, Phillips Academy
Katharine Millet, St. Mark's School
Dan Mirsky, Prospect Hill Academy
Olivia Robbins, Milton Academy

Samuel Keyes, Saint James School

New Hampshire
Jennifer Blue, Kimball Union Academy
Travis Glennon, Proctor Academy
Darren Redman, Tilton School

New Jersey
Lisa Durkee, Blair Academy
Rebecca Findlay, The Lawrenceville School
Matthew Roach, Peddie School

New York
Cotter Donnell, CITYterm at the Masters School
Emily Haug, Convent of the Sacred Heart
Michael Ingrisani, The Browning School
Moira Murphy, Celia Cruz Bronx High School of Music
Trinity Thompson, CITYterm at the Masters School
Susannah Wales, Spence School

Kevin O’Brien, University School

Eric Fulmer, Church Farm School
Rachel Kamm, Delaware County Christian School

Rhode Island
Cory Cramer, St. George’s School

South Carolina
Sara Burrows, Heathwood Hall Episcopal School

Bryan Hunt, Allen Academy
Amanda Lucas, The Emery/Weiner School

Katie Ryan Kantz, Episcopal High School
Alex Northrup, Foxcroft School

Washington, DC
Ben Labaree, St. Albans School
Krystle Merchant, The Maret School

Sarah Odell, University of Wisconsin-Madison


What do Fellows most look forward to this summer?  Here is a selection of responses from the opening online orientations, grouped by theme:

Professional Development

"Most excited about participating in a community of learners (I have nine-month-old twins, and so this is my PD for the summer!)"

"Usually I spend the summer scouring Twitter for PD throughout the summer, so I’m really excited to have a set community of people to share ideas with before the next school year begins!"

"As self-motivated as I often am, I am thankful for this creative kick in the tail during the summer months!  Having a specific focus toward the year ahead is a gift."

Collaboration across differences

"I am excited to collaborate on this platform with other passionate educators with different experiences than my own."

"I’m excited about being more organized- now that I know I want to be a teacher and am growing as a professional, I am eager to [share] my work and let it grow with the help of others."

Fellow Experience.png

Specific pedagogical goals

"I just got back from an AP exam reading, and I'm looking forward to discovering and exploring some new teachable texts and strategies on approaching them."

"I’m psyched to get some ideas and inspiration for my Modern World History class, which I look forward to revising for greater relevance and immediacy."

"I’m going to be teaching Othello for the first time this upcoming school year. I’m excited to get ideas from colleagues all around the country!"

"Hoping to pick up a lot of short writing assignments that are attached to various texts that I can use for our developing workshop model."

Bringing learning back to colleagues and students

"I'm excited to learn and gain new ideas from my peers and to bring new ideas back to my colleagues as we continue to improve and grow."

"I am also excited to receive feedback from and collaborate with switched-on educators so that the learning experience for students will improve."


To learn more about future fellowships and opportunities with Athena, sign up here:

Applications open for 2018 Athena Summer Fellowship

With funding supported in part by an Edward E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant, applications for the 2018 Summer Fellowship are open!

Are you hungry to join a community of educators around the country?  Are you eager to share your best and favorite assignments, classroom activities and discussion questions? Are you excited to offer feedback to others?  We're looking for high school English, History, Humanities, or Religion/Philosophy teachers like you! 

Athena Summer Fellowships are not geographically restricted; you can participate from any location with internet access. The summer has a flexible weekly schedule (5-7 hours per week) and includes a $500 stipend. 

Here’s what teachers said about their experience during our pilot last summer:

“Athena is the best experience I have had in terms of connecting with other teachers online.”

“This experience was a great example of how truly constructive criticism can build community and encourage even better work to take place. I felt validated by my fellow teachers.”

“It felt like the big, collaborative English department I've always wanted to have. Maybe even better, because some of the teachers I was collaborating with came from history and religion departments.”

“This was one of the finest asynchronous professional development experiences I have participated in.”

The structure of the fellowship follows a flexible weekly timeline:

Between June 15 and June 30: Join an online introduction to Athena and to other summer fellows. Learn about shared areas of interest, best practices for sharing online, and details of the summer.  Set personal goals.

Between July 1 and July 21: Share your best and favorite work (assignments, questions, activities, etc) on topics you love. Browse the work of others, offer and gather feedback, start conversations and grow. 

Between July 22 and August 15: Inspired and shaped by collaboration with other teachers, begin a second round of sharing. Discuss and learn once again, then complete an exit survey about your experience.

Build a professional network, draw inspiration from dozens of other teachers, improve your best work.  The Athena Summer Fellowship is an opportunity to find and grow your community.  Applications are open until May 24, and the cohort will be decided by May 31.

Applications are now closed.  To hear about future opportunities, tell us about yourself below:

2017 Summer Fellows who said...

  • ...they would do this fellowship again: 100%
  • ...colleagues at their school would find Athena useful: 100%
  • ...the fellowship was a valuable professional development experience: 100%

Athena earns an Edward E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant

We're thrilled to announce that Athena has been awarded a 2018 Edward E. Ford Foundation Leadership Grant. 

The second grant awarded to Athena by the Edward E. Ford Foundation, the Leadership Grant will match funds raised up to $250,000.  A significant catalyst to Athena's growth, this grant enables the expansion of Athena's teacher community, the deepening of Athena's technical infrastructure, and the necessary context within which we can explore models of organizational sustainability.  Keep an eye open for announcements in the coming weeks!

In the past, Athena has been supported by the Edward E. Ford Foundation through a $50,000 Traditional Grant and by the Robertson Foundation.  In both cases, grants were made in partnership with Deerfield Academy, and the Edward E. Ford Foundation Traditional Grant was supported by Choate Rosemary Hall, Deerfield Academy, the Lawrenceville School, and Phillips Academy.

If you are interested in supporting a match to the Leadership Grant, please reach out to peter@teachathena.org or donate directly below.  Thank you!