Thirteen Faculty Members To Take Sabbaticals ’06 -’07

The administration recently approved thirteen faculty members for year-long sabbaticals in the 2006-2007 academic year, and gave one a leave of absence. Several other faculty members will take sabbaticals during either the summer or Fall Term. Those who were approved for a sabbatical lasting the next full academic year include Instructor in Mathematics Andrew Cline, Chair of the Art Department Elaine Crivelli, Instructor in Mathematics Ellen Glover, Instructor in English Nina Scott, Instructor in Physics Fei Yao, and Instructor in English Mary Fulton. Ms. Fulton is taking a full-year partial sabbatical; she will remain at Phillips Academy but will teach a reduced course load. She plans to write a memoir tentatively titled “Losses Restored: My Ethiopian Children.” Mr. Cline will observe public school methods of teaching mathematics, explore ways to integrate math into other subjects, and help rebuild the Gulf Coast Region. Ms. Crivelli plans to study at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and become a Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, learn Italian, and travel. Ms. Glover will develop lessons for the standard AP Statistics curriculum for AP Statistics, practice physics, and study experimental design. Ms. Scott will spend the 2006-2007 school year writing a journalism text and studying modern issues in journalism. She said, “I want to study the current extremely complicated and very challenging issues in journalism, both print and broadcast and the web.” The work will help Ms. Scott teach her two senior elective courses, “News Writing and First Amendment Issues” in the fall and “Features and Investigations” in the spring. She said, “I’m going to write a journalism text because I’ve looked through hundreds and hundreds of journalism texts and none of them are even remotely what I need [for my work].” Ms. Scott believes it’s a reporter’s job to determine what’s important, but that news companies are being forced to base a lot of their news on celebrities and the entertainment world in to satisfy the public audience. She said, “Consumers want to be entertained and the companies that own the media want to give the consumers what they want, [but] lost in that is the ability to deliver news.” Ms. Yao will research modern physics and hopes to improve Physics 650 by integrating technology with current lesson plans. Instructor in History and Social Sciences Kathy Dalton will spend Fall Term of 2006 writing a book proposal for her forthcoming work, “The White Lilies and the Iron Boot,” researching Ambassador Joseph P. Kennedy at the JFK and Franklin Roosevelt Presidential libraries, and working on secondary literature on FDR, Winston Churchill, and Nazi Germany. Instructor in History and Social Sciences Derek Williams hopes to spend Spring Term of 2007 studying Spanish in Mexico. Chair of the Classics Department David Pottle and Instructor in Physics Peter Watt will spend their summers on sabbatical. Dr. Pottle will be reevaluating Latin and Greek 100-300 and Mr. Watt will investigate and implement new labs for Physics 600. Instructor in History and Social Sciences Marcelle Doheny and Chair of the Spanish Department Emilio Mozo will be taking their second consecutive summer sabbaticals. Mr. Mozo will write two books of poetry, and Mrs. Doheny will continue research she began last summer, creating a global context for her US history course. Mrs. Doheny said, “What I’m interested in is globalizing US history, putting US history into context.” She plans to accomplish this by investigating “the complex and profound connections between the history of the American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and events in Europe as England, France, and Spain competed for empires.” Mrs. Doheny has already experienced the benefits of her first summer sabbatical, which “is allowing [her] to develop the global themes that the History Department is committed to in the lower years and has greatly informed my teaching of United States history.” Mrs. Doheny’s second summer will allow her to further her research, with a focus on native history and its connection to her previous findings. Instructor in English Greg Wilkin is taking his third summer sabbatical to complete his novel, Two Imposters. Instructor in Mathematics William Scott has been approved for a leave of absence to spend the 2006-2007 school year teaching math at School Year Abroad in Spain Dean of Faculty Temba Maqubela was pleased to say that almost all faculty members who requested a sabbatical were granted one, although he could not disclose the number of requests. He did say “We were able to do more this year,” but that “we need more funding for sabbaticals.” Mr. Maqubela believes that the projects and research that faculty on sabbatical partake in have a “huge impact” on their teaching. He said, “When I went on sabbatical, I came back with another degree. I don’t teach organic chemistry the way I used to. Thanks to my sabbatical, I feel I’m bringing the modern way of teaching organic chemistry into the classroom.” Mr. Maqubela works with the Dean of Studies to decide which sabbaticals will be approved, although the Board of Trustees and Head of School Barbara Landis Chase have the final say. While sabbatical experiences lead to enhanced learning experiences at Phillips Academy, they are costly. It is also difficult to find someone to replace a teacher for just a single year. Instructor of History and Social Sciences Victor Henningsen said, “A sabbatical is a terrific gift and not many schools can offer them the way this place can. If you look at the variety of people who got them and the variety of ways we can fulfill the opportunity there’s kind of a breadth in the way we can go about it. I’m grateful for that.” Mr. Henningsen spent Fall Term 2005 on sabbatical in Vermont, where he caught up on his history reading, helped out with town flood control, worked with the Massachusetts Historical Society on a series of online lesson plans, and was a radio commentator for Vermont Public Radio. In addition to furthering his professional knowledge, Mr. Henningsen used his sabbatical as an opportunity to grow in a more individual way. Mr. Henningsen said “the whole notion [of a sabbatical] is do something different that stretches you and puts you in a vulnerable position so that your comfort zones are really stretched.”