Press Release


“True Learning, True Teaching” seminars provide

renewal, relaxation and revitalization

CHICAGO—After the tests are taken and grades assigned, how do Illinois’ best educators spend their summer break? In class, with the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC), of course. This summer the IHC will provide Illinois K-12 teachers, librarians, and counselors the opportunity to take part in an intellectual retreat. The educators—recently accepted into the IHC’s “True Learning, True Teaching Seminars” program— will participate in one of three all-expenses paid, residential seminars. The first seminar, “Creating the Illinois Landscape: How Designers Have Shaped Our Environment,”will be held at Pere Marquette State Park in Grafton, June 26-July 1.The two subsequent seminars, “America in Vietnam, Vietnam in America,” and “Time, Trees, Prehistory and the Planet,” will be held at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, July 24-29.

Created nine years ago by the IHC, the “True Learning, True Teaching” program rewards the state’s finest educators with opportunities for further learning and intellectual renewal. Each seminar contains a humanities focus, is interdisciplinary in scope, and is led by a prominent humanist scholar from a local college or university.

The following educators were selected for the “True Learning, True Teaching” program:

America in Vietnam, Vietnam in America:

  • Tagharid Ali, Hurley Elementary School (Chicago)
  • Debra Blunier, Eureka High School (Eureka)
  • Larry Gallagher, Lighthouse Educational Assistance Program (Maryville)
  • Janet Humphrey, St. Rose Elementary School (St. Rose)
  • Dierdre Kelleher, Percy Julian Middle School (Oak Park)
  • Randal Lee, Grant Community High School (Fox Lake)
  • Robert Martz, Prairie State College (Chicago Heights)
  • Deborah Pope, Gage Park High School (Chicago)
  • Karen Reid Kingsley, Elementary School (Evanston)
  • Melissa Roberts, Gemini Junior High School (Niles)
  • Jennifer Slosar, The Latin School of Chicago (Chicago)
  • Susan D. Stahl, North Lawndale College Prep HS (Chicago)

Time, Trees, Prehistory and the Planet:

  • Carol Hauswald, Karel Havlicek Elementary School (Berwyn)
  • Mary Lynn Hoffman, Provena St. Joseph Adolescent In Patient Unit (Joliet)
  • Trudy Irwin, Neil Armstrong Elementary School (Richton Park)
  • Regina Johnson-Cook, Sandburg Middle School (Elmhurst)
  • Deborah Koolbeck, Chicago Academy for the Arts (Chicago)
  • Kathleen Larson, Plano High School (Plano)
  • Monica MacKenzie, Sauganash Elementary School (Chicago)
  • Jacquelyn Meadows, Egyptian Community Unit School (Tamms)
  • Jennifer Nelson, Gwendolyn Brooks Middle School (Oak Park)
  • Darlene Noesen, St. Gregory High School (Chicago)
  • Karen Olson, St. Paul’s School (Danville)
  • Bradley Payne, Meadowview Elementary School (Woodridge)
  • Linda Phillips, Oak Grove East School (Bartonville)
  • Deborah Pruitt, Glen Crest Middle School (Glen Ellyn)
  • Lisa Richardson, Brentwood Elementary School (Des Plaines)
  • Kris Vasilo, Tilden Career Academy (Chicago)
  • Susan Visnyak, Neil A. Armstrong School (Richton Park)
  • Erin Wade, Holy Trinity High School(Chicago)
  • Catharine White, Woodland Primary School (Gages Lake)
  • Patricia Whitehouse, Stockton Elementary School (Chicago)
  • Mary Ziegler, Madison School (Hinsdale)

Creating the Illinois Landscape: How Designers Have Shaped Our Environment:

  • Jessica Amend McKenzie Elementary School (Wilmette)
  • Kim Brede, St. Rose School (St. Rose)
  • Laurel Casey, Palombi Middle School (St. Rose)
  • Rena Citrin, Bernard Zell Anshe Emet Day School (Chicago)
  • Kevin Cleary, Ottawa Township High School (Ottawa)
  • Katherine Hoyne, William H. Taft High School (Chicago)
  • Kathlyn Myers, St. Scholastica Academy (Chicago)
  • Barbara Neely, Deer Path School (Cary)
  • Roberta Neumann, Lester J. Stevens Middle School (Wilmington)
  • Ann Scates, Parkside Primary School (Bethalto)
  • Thelma Schwartz, Jungman Elementary School (Chicago)
  • Catherine Scott, Cairo Jr./Sr. High School (Cairo)
  • Josephine Sennet, Helen C. Peirce School (Chicago)
  • Shirley Swanson, Northlake Middle School (Northlake)
  • Kelly Wamser, O’Fallon High School (O’Fallon)
  • Rick Williams, Judah Christian High School (Champaign)

In addition to the Illinois educators, several German teachers will participate in the July seminars at Starved Rock in. The German educators are participants in the IHC’s teacher exchange program. Later in the summer, August 3-10, select teachers from Illinois will travel to Germany to take part in an IHC coordinated, cross-cultural seminar on German-American relations entitled “Jewish Life in Germany and the United States after World War II.”

Beyond providing intellectual renewal, the seminars provide a retreat atmosphere in which educators from diverse academic backgrounds and disciplines can gain deeper insight into their profession. Tuition, lodging, meals, and program materials are provided by the IHC. Though the seminars grow out of a belief in “learning for learning’s sake,” participants earn Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

For more information about the “True Learning, True Teaching” program, please contact Carole Cosimano or Clark Halker at 312.422.5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is a nonprofit educational organization [501 (c) 3] dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Organized in 1973 as the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the IHC creates programs and funds organizations that promote greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities. The IHC is supported by state, federal, and private funds.


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