Saltonstall Teacher Residency Recipient Gets Another Honor

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Ithaca High School Teacher Awarded Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Fellowship

Ithaca, N.Y., September 25, 2018 - Ithaca High School social studies teacher Keith Thompson is one of 38 highly accomplished U.S. teachers awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching fellowship for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). It is an intensive international exchange and professional development program designed to build teachers’ and students’ global competence and to share educational best practices internationally. A highly competitive award, Mr. Thompson was selected based on his teaching experience, academic training, inquiry project proposal, and professional experience.

Mr. Thompson will be in Belfast, Northern Ireland from January to June 2019 investigating how students develop and navigate their own political identities. Specifically, he will concentrate on the ways by which schools in the United Kingdom help young people have challenging and meaningful conversations across race, socio-economic, and ideological divides.

As part of the program Mr. Thompson will take courses at Queen’s University Belfast, as well as work with local schools, governments, and organizations to explore how different communities and institutions work to support democracy and dialogue.

“I am really fortunate to be able to work with the Centre for Shared Education at Queen’s University Belfast,” Thompson said. “They have been working for decades to build bridges between communities after religious, social, and economic divisions highlighted in ‘The Troubles’ of the 1970s-90s. While the conflicts we have in our communities may not be as dramatic, they in many ways run just as deep. It’s an amazing opportunity for me to learn first-hand how educators can help build communities and have the difficult conversations so necessary in our democracy today.”

Once he returns to Ithaca, Mr. Thompson will complete an inquiry project summarizing some of the lessons from Belfast, as well as develop academic curriculum and share insights with the school and community.

“The supportive environment of Ithaca and the ICSD has been crucial to my development as an educator,” Thompson shared. “I’m very excited to be able to bring back new insights to share with such an amazing community of learners.”