2018 Summer Institute for Classroom Teachers: Facilitator Bios
Siva Sankrithi: MATH DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Siva Sankrithi returned to Lakeside School (Seattle) at nineteen to teach high school math, with his BS Math/Music and MS Applied Math from University of Washington. Throughout his life, he has learned experientially both in the classroom and out, gleaning wisdom from whatever he was doing, whether it was travelling the world with family, cooking with his family, playing his flute or competing over a chessboard, tennis court, or table tennis table. Now he enjoys his time with his wife Aarti and four year old son Sarang. He spent ten years teaching at Lakeside, integrating innovative experiential curriculum into traditional math courses (algebra through multivariable calculus). He’s developed many new courses at Lakeside such as linear optimization, geopolitics, election theory and game theory. He developed and for two years taught the Global Online Academy Game Theory course, honing his pedagogical practices as facilitator and way-finder in the online space. He is currently a full-time stay-at-home Dad and experiential homeschool educator for his son, a part-time educational consultant for students and teachers alike, a part-time analyst in the renewable energy and automotive engineering fields, as well as a flautist and director of promotions for Rainbow City Band. He is thrilled to be returning to facilitate the ISEEN math cohort at this conference for a third consecutive year.
Megan Hayes-Golding: SCIENCE DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Now entering her third summer as the science discipline facilitator at the Institute, Megan joins us from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, where she teaches physics and robotics. Megan’s students have learned through experience in diverse ways, including playing music on instruments they built, taking photos with pinhole cameras they designed, and analyzing the physics of popular viral videos. The key, she says, to making a classroom experiential is twofold: 1) adjust your traditional notions of “covering content” and 2) allow students the time and space to genuinely reflect on their experiences. Megan has blogged throughout her career in public and independent schools at http://kalamitykat.com and on Twitter from @mgolding. Before finding her way to the classroom, she worked in the factory automation and internet security industries. Megan holds a MAT in Secondary Mathematics Education from Georgia State University and a Bachelor of Engineering in Materials Engineering from Auburn University.
Lori Taylor: ARTS DISCIPLINE FACILITATOR
Lori Taylor is the Director of Learning at Silkroad, an organization founded in 1998 by Yo-Yo Ma to create new music, engage difference, and fuel passion-driven learning through the arts. Lori helps to design and administer The Arts and Passion-driven Learning Institute in collaboration with the Harvard Graduate School of Education that brings over 100 teachers and artists together every August. Prior to Silkroad, Lori served as Project Director for the Actors' Shakespeare Project in Boston. Lori helped forge ASP, one of the largest professional theater companies in New England, and directed and facilitated ASP's Incarcerated Youth at Play program, community programs, artist residence programs and summer teacher institute with Salem State University. Lori worked for nine years at the Cambridge School of Weston where she designed and taught history courses, integrated studies courses, was Dean of Faculty and founded The Shakespeare Ensemble. She was a teaching assistant to Ted Sizer at Brown University where she received her M.A.T. Lori is excited to return to the ISEEN institute for a third summer to collaborate with a new cohort of teachers committed to exploring the power of arts in the lives of young people.
Cris Harris: ENGLISH FACILITATOR
English and humanities teacher Cris Harris is the Upper School Coordinator of Experiential Education at Hawken School, directs the Lucier Family Writing Center, serves as faculty chair of Hawken’s Student/Faculty Senate and has also directed Hawken’s three season Outdoor Leadership program for the last 15 years. He regularly teaches classes on poetry, fiction, creative non-fiction, Southern Gothic Literature, and a humanities course with emphasis on ancient Mesopotamia, Palestine, India, China and Greece. As an evangelist for experiential programming, he’s had the opportunity to plan and execute a growing list of courses that rely on expeditionary learning, global immersion, service, and hands-on training, including adventures in northern India, Myanmar, Botswana, as well as more local explorations in Cleveland and the Allegheny National Forest. For two the last two years, he has worked in a problem based learning course on the contemporary Middle East designed to maximize student ownership, and is currently building an Integrated Service Learning program with some early success. In the classroom and in the field, he pushes students to take maximum responsibility for their own inquiry, and loves experimenting with different methods to challenge traditional assumptions about teaching and learning. Cris is looking forward to returning to the ISEEN summer institute and collaborating with another cohort of teachers dedicated to finding better ways to help kids discover themselves in literature, writing, and the world.
Meg Bailey: HISTORY/HUMANITIES CO-FACILITATOR
Meg Bailey's work with students is focused on empowering them to be at the center of the learning experience and to strive to be their best. Her practice is informed by over 25 years in Humanities classrooms, ranging from middle school history and English to high school history and senior electives in geography. Meg has also served as a coach, advisor, department head and grade level dean. As eighth grade team leader, she and her colleagues transformed the advisory program so that it was based on an Outward Bound experience. She was a founding teacher of the American School in London's course in Foundations in Character, Service and Leadership, a core part of its high school experiential education program. Before her twenty-four years in London, Meg taught at Princeton Day School in New Jersey, and she currently teaches at Chadwick School in California. Using techniques more familiar in outdoor education than in the history classroom, she creates activities and lessons for an academic setting: problem-solving activities where student agency is required and valued. Her U.S. history students reflect on regular progress toward their goals as peer-leaders in discussion; in her Western Civilization class, cryptic clues about the Black Death require students first to agree on their process before attempting the solution; geography students review for the AP exam by taking up and then changing positions within the classroom as they recreate and apply a model of industrial location theory. Meg believes that engagement and learning are fostered in environments where students feel safe to take intellectual risks – and where they have fun. The heart of Meg's teaching is applying the experiential learning cycle of plan, do, reflect, apply, and transfer, whether in a classroom, on the river coaching crew or creating opportunities for leadership with her advisees on environmental service trips. Meg loved working with the ISEEN participants and facilitators at two previous Summer Institutes and is thrilled to return this year!
Judy Kisor: HISTORY/HUMANITIES CO-FACILITATOR
Whether in the hills of Britain, in the classroom, in an art museum, or in the Chadwick canyon, Judy loves working with students to help them develop competence and build confidence in themselves. During her two decades at the American School in London Judy taught AP Art History, Major World Religions, Psychology, Western Civilization, and World Civilizations. A two-week wilderness expedition with students in South Africa inspired Judy to develop a course which would take students out of their urban classrooms into the green and damp British wilderness where they could learn about themselves, about collaboration, and how to lead. With two colleagues, Judy started, and then managed, the Outdoor Leadership program. As Experiential Education Department Head, she oversaw the development and implementation of a required ninth grade course, Foundations in Character, Service and Leadership, worked with the health teacher to integrate community partnerships in the 10th grade Health and Wellness curriculum, and mentored the Peer Leaders. Currently at Chadwick School in California, she is teaching AP Art History and the history component of a ninth and tenth grade Global Studies/Humanities sequence, is co-chairing a student-faculty initiative on leadership, and is working with over fifty students to maintain five acres of native plants in the school's canyon. Whether in the classroom or on the hills, Judy's pedagogical focus is on student ownership of their learning. Her classroom, she hopes, is like a trail group – a community of students facing challenges, working hard and working together to be their best academic and personal selves. While learning, practicing and fine-tuning the skills needed to be historians, Judy takes students through a sequence of experiential activities. These allow them to get to know and to trust one another, to take on leadership roles, and, in upper level courses, to take much of the responsibility for the production of knowledge in the classroom. Having participated in the ISEEN January Institutes as an outdoor program director, Judy is very excited to return this summer to teach again with Meg Bailey as the History/Humanities Co-Facilitator in the Summer Institute.
Nina DeSimone: GLOBAL LANGUAGES FACILITATOR
Nina currently teaches Spanish at the American School in London, where she has been working for the past twelve years. During her tenure at ASL, she has taught all levels of Spanish, including the AP Spanish Language course, and has served as an advisor to 9th and 10th graders for the past two years. In addition to teaching Spanish, Nina has held the roles of Grade 11 Dean and Global Programs Coordinator. As Global Programs Coordinator, she aided colleagues in designing and leading global partnership programs in South Africa, China and The Dominican Republic. Nina’s work in Experiential Education began in 2008 when she became involved with the Outdoor Leadership program. After participating in several expeditions, Nina was invited to co-teach Outdoor Leadership and co-taught the course for two years. Nina was also involved in the 9th grade flagship course called Foundations in Character and Leadership. Over the years, Nina has found new ways to incorporate Experiential Educational methodologies into her language classes in order to build a safe, comfortable learning environment for students. A firm believer in the inextricable link between language and culture, Nina has always sought opportunities to help students live the language they are studying, and makes it a priority to help students develop cultural competency, in addition to their language skills To that end, Nina has designed and led cultural immersion programs for students in Mexico, Spain, Argentina, Panama, Ecuador and The Dominican Republic, and spent five summers working for School Year Abroad’s Summer Language Immersion program in Zaragoza, Spain. In 2016, Nina completed a master’s degree in Latin American Studies and has found new ways to incorporate the diverse histories and cultures of the Spanish-speaking world into her language classes. Having thoroughly enjoyed her experience with the ISEEN Summer Institute, and having met and collaborated with so many wonderful teachers, Nina is thrilled to be returning this summer.