Press Release


Illinois Humanities Council’s “True Learning, True Teaching” seminars provide renewal, rediscovery, and revitalization.

CHICAGO—The tests have been taken and the grades assigned, and some of Illinois’ best educators recently spent some of their summer break back in the “classroom” with the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC). The IHC has completed its series of True Learning, True Teaching Seminars, which provide Illinois K-12 teachers, librarians, and counselors the opportunity to take part in an intellectual retreat. The second and third seminars offered, “Post-Millennium Main Street: American Town Life in the 21st Century,” and “Framing Nature: the History of Outdoor Photography,” were held at Starved Rock State Park in Utica, July 23-28. The first seminar, “What Price Progress: the State and Fate of Our Species,” was held earlier this summer atUniversity of St. Mary of the Lake, June 25-30. Thirty-four educators from throughout the state of Illinois participated in the final two all-expenses paid, residential seminars .

Created ten 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 participated in the “Post-Millennium Main Street: American Town Life in the 21st Century” seminar:

  • Kathy Ruck, Washington-Melzer Schools (Arlington Heights)
  • Emily Clott, Morgan Park Academy (Chicago)
  • Jeannie Henry, Reed Custer High School (Coal City)
  • Cynthia Vaughn, Immaculate Conception School (Columbia)
  • Brian Mooberry, Abbott Middle School (Elgin)
  • Nancy Speaks, Frankfort Intermediate (Harrisburg)
  • Mary Barto, Frankfort Square Elementary (Joliet)
  • Margaret Stokes, Waubonsie Valley High School (Naperville)
  • Susan Kunz, St. John’s Lutheran School (Oak Brook)
  • Nicole Frommelt, Holy Trinity High School (Oak Park)
  • Jane Whalen, Sandwich High School (Sandwich)
  • Carolyn Lutgen, George Armstrong School (Park Ridge)
  • Jane Freehill, Meadowbrook School (Pontiac)
  • Traci Mason, Delia Turner School (Tinley Park)
  • Ruth Ann Perry, Argo Community High School (Tinley Park)
  • Deborah Hackman, Booth Central Elementary (Wilmington)

The following educators participated in the “Framing Nature: the History of Outdoor Photography” seminar:

  • Marilu Lowery, Holmes Jr. High School (Arlington Heights)
  • Mary Hauge, West Aurora High School (Aurora)
  • Lauren Geggus, Oakland Elementary School (Bloomington)
  • Susan Hummel, Pontiac Jr. High School (Bloomington)
  • Stephen Rayburn, University Laboratory High School(Champaign)
  • Sylvie Anglin, University of Chicago Laboratory Schools (Chicago)
  • Cathleen Hogan, Henry Clissold School (Chicago)
  • Edith Lange, Charles Darwin Elementary School (Chicago)
  • Margaret Pajakowski, St. Scholastica Academy (Chicago)
  • Jon Zarzycki, Plainfield Academy (Downers Grove)
  • Becky Flory, North Shore Country Day School (Glenview)
  • Chris Moore, Riley CCSO 18 (Lake in the Hills)
  • Betty Lark Ross, The Latin School of Chicago (Lincolnwood)
  • Amanda Genge, Morton East High School (North Riverside)
  • Gicel Mercado, Intercultural Montesorri School (North Riverside)
  • Marilyn Reed, Willow School (Tinley Park)
  • Cheri Baggett, Frankfort Intermediate (West Frankfort)
  • Patricia Orwig, (Winchester)

In addition to the Illinois educators, five German educators and five Polish educators participated in the seminars. From July 16-23 select teachers from Illinois also traveled to Boppard, Germany to take part in an IHC-coordinated, cross-cultural seminar entitled “The Impact of Media on Education.”

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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