USIP’s Peace Teachers Program is a year-long professional development opportunity for middle and high school educators in the United States. Launched in 2015, it offers a select group of educators the opportunity to work closely with USIP and with each other over the course of a school year as they incorporate global peacebuilding themes and skills into their classrooms.

Program Objectives:

Peace Teachers become global peacebuilders in their classrooms, schools, and communities as they:

  • Develop their understanding of international conflict management and peacebuilding
  • Discover new ways to teach about conflict and peace in their classrooms
  • Build connections with like-minded educators and with USIP
  • Serve as ambassadors for global peacebuilding in their schools and broader communities

Program Components:

  • A virtual Summer Introductory Program to teaching international conflict management and peacebuilding
  • Tailored professional development opportunities, including virtual monthly meetings and mentoring
  • Support for the development of new educator resources
  • Special closing program at USIP’s Washington, DC, headquarters

Background:

The Peace Teachers Program is rooted in the conviction that young people have the potential to change our world for the better. At USIP, we see and hear examples of it every day. We also believe that for them to do so, young people need to be equipped with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that enable them to envision a more peaceful world and their part in creating it. Teachers play a critical role in young people’s development and action as peacebuilders, and we support – and celebrate – them in that role. 

But we also recognize that it can be difficult to incorporate new ideas and curricula into the classroom. While educators may want to teach global peacebuilding themes and skills, many face a range of challenges to doing so. 

The Peace Teachers Program is designed to support a small group of educators individually and collectively as they teach global peacebuilding; to provide them with a platform to learn and share with teachers across the country as leaders in peacebuilding education; and to harness their own good ideas in the creation of new resources and initiatives that can enable other educators to teach global peacebuilding. 

Meet our Peace Teachers:

2017 Peace Teachers Cohort

Amy Cameron, Grandview High School, Grandview, MO

Amy Cameron Profile

Amy Cameron earned her B.S. Degree in Broadcast Journalism at Arizona State University and her Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction at Avila University in Kansas City. She taught ten years at an alternative high school for at-risk youth, where she introduced her school to community service; as a result, the Grandview Alternative High School in Grandview, Missouri, won the Presidential School of Service Award five years in a row, and they were the first high school to ever receive an award from the American Humanist Association. Ms. Cameron was a finalist for Missouri’s Teacher of the Year in 2000 and was recognized by the local CBS affiliate with the Crystal Apple Award. She has written and been awarded a multitude of grants – most of which have been dedicated to her passions – universal literacy, protection of the planet, and peace and empathy for all people. She currently teaches English Literature at Grandview High School, an urban high school which celebrates diversity, and has been an adjunct professor at Avila University in Education. She has one son and resides in Kansas.

Read more of Amy's reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, "A Teacher's Response to "Is World Peace Possible?""

Vince Facione, Will Rogers College High School, Tulsa, OK

Vince Facione Profile

Vince Facione teaches A.P. World History and World History Survey, as well as serves as the high school history department chair at Will Rogers College High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He strives to make history come alive by creating learning experiences that are integrated and related to the real world and students' life experiences. He challenges students not to view history as a relic to be studied and understood, but to study and understand history by being active participants in the historical narrative in their neighborhood, community, state, country and world. Mr. Facione desires to see students become civic minded citizens and change agents who will engage with people and issues affecting their world at home and beyond. He has been married to Vadean Elizabeth Facione for nineteen years. They have one child. His name is Vincent (Vinny) Paul Facione Jr.

Read Vince's reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, "Making History Come Alive Through Conflict and Peace" 

Ezra Shearer, Sentinel High School, Missoula, MT

Ezra Shearer

Ezra Shearer has been teaching social studies at Sentinel High School in Missoula, Montana, since January 2011. He earned a B.A. in History (2006) and M.Ed in Secondary Education (2010) at “The Harvard on the Hocking,” Ohio University. At Sentinel, Mr. Shearer has strived to promote global citizenship and critical analysis of complicated issues. Teaching assignments have included World History, Government, and Geography, and the introduction of AP Seminar, AP World History and AP Geography to Sentinel High School. Outside of the classroom, he has advised the Model UN program and Debate team. Recently, he has completed the National Geographic Certified Educator program and regularly leads professional development workshops focused on education technology and geographic literacy. He enjoys hiking and floating the rivers of western Montana with his family, Monica, Khloe, Vinny, Pia and Chesco.

Read Ezra's reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, "Making the Time to Change the World" 

María Eugenia Zelaya, Eastside High School, Gainesville, FL

Maria Zelaya

A first-generation immigrant in the United States, María Eugenia Zelaya has been teaching Spanish at Eastside High School since 2008 (both in the International Baccalaureate (IB) and regular program). She is one of the CAS Coordinators (Creative Active Service, a requirement of the IB program). She is the faculty advisor of Eastside Striders (Breast Cancer Awareness Club) and Children Beyond Our Borders (CBOB). She received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Florida in 2000, and two Master of Arts Degrees from the University of Florida (Latin American Studies 2002 and Political Science 2006). She took part in the 2015-2016 Teachers for Global Classroom Program Fellowship and participated in the International Field Experience in Colombia. In her classroom, she provides her students with opportunities to understand other’s perspectives thru video conferences with classrooms in Latin America.

Read Maria's reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, "Peacebuilding Curriculum is Not Only for Social Studies Classes" 

2016 Peace Teachers Cohort

Matthew Cone, Carrboro High School, Carrboro, NC

USIP Peace Teacher Matthew Cone

Matthew Cone is a social studies teacher at Carrboro High School in North Carolina. He became a teacher because he wanted to assist diverse groups of students in learning about international issues and in considering how they could use their talents to create a more humane world. Three years into his career, he recognized that his students performed at a higher level and became more animated when they opened up their classroom to experts with firsthand experience in connection with the issues that they studied. Since making this discovery, his students have engaged with a wide range (Laura Bush & Noam Chomsky talked to them in the same week!) of experts and channeled their knowledge into action. On a personal level, Matt has two sons and a terrific wife, he loves to read, and he has the misfortune of being a diehard fan of both UNC and the Golden State Warriors.

Read Matthew’s reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, "Using Joy to Motivate Critical Thinkers"

Latricia Davis, Lakehill Preparatory School, Dallas, TX

USIP Peace Teacher Latricia Davis

Latricia Davis recently completed her Master of Education with a specialization in Gifted and Talented at the University of North Texas. In 2006, she graduated from Texas Tech University with a Master of Arts in History. This was followed by a Master of Arts in Museum Studies, with a specialization in Education, from University of Oklahoma in 2009. After spending a year working on research for her PhD at the University of London and British Library, Latricia briefly worked in the corporate world before entering the classroom. Since 2013, she has been a High School History teacher at Lakehill Preparatory School. She teaches World Geography, World History, AP U.S. History, and AP Human Geography. Latricia believes it is important that students realize how much they are a part of a larger interconnected world and how their actions can affect change in it.

Read Latricia’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, "Embracing Teachable Moments" 

Lori Raybold, Hamburg High School, Hamburg, NY

USIP Peace Teacher Lori Raybold

An English teacher for 18 years, Lori currently teaches freshmen and sophomores at Hamburg High School and is an Associate Director of The Summer Institute for Human Rights and Genocide Studies (Buffalo, NY). A native of Reading, PA, she attended Penn State and earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education, and was a member of the Marching Blue Band. Upon moving to Western New York, Lori earned a Master of Arts in English from SUNY Fredonia. In 2009, she had the honor of traveling to Rwanda with humanitarian Carl Wilkens to study the 1994 genocide. She was recently named a National Teacher Fellow for the US Holocaust Memorial Museum (2016-2017). As a member of the New Generation Initiative of the Holocaust Resource Center of Buffalo, Lori is in charge of coordinating an annual teacher trip to Washington, DC. In her free time she enjoys reading and hiking.

Read Lori’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, "Tackling My Own Conflict to Teach Peace"

Rhonda Scullark, Perspectives Middle Academy, Chicago, IL

USIP Peace Teacher Rhonda Scullark

Rhonda Scullark is a teacher and Network Peace Ambassador at Perspectives Charter Schools, Chicago. She attended high school at Kenwood Academy, a Chicago public school, and went on to receive her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, on a full scholarship. She continued her education and earned her Master of Arts from Saint Xavier University, Chicago. Rhonda has been an educator in both the private and public sector for over fifteen years, and has taught students from preschool ages through high school. Her most recent accomplishments include the 2015-2016 Perspectives Charter Schools’ A Disciplined Life Award, and travelling to schools in Flint, Michigan with Perspectives students to deliver water and share the “I Am For Peace” documentary. She is a member of the first African American sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc, and as a breast cancer survivor serves as an advocate for awareness. In addition, Rhonda actively volunteers in her community and church. She currently resides in the Chicago area with her three daughters.

Read Rhonda’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, "And You Say Chi City"

 


Photos of our 2016 Peace Teachers in action.

Highlights of the 2016 Peace Teachers cohort. 

2015 Peace Teachers Cohort

Andy Blair, St. Mary’s Academy, Englewood, CO

USIP Peace Teacher Andrew Blair

Andy teaches 8th grade World Issues at St. Mary's Academy in Englewood, CO. Prior to teaching, Andy was an aide for the Governor of Colorado and taught in Franschhoek, South Africa. He first developed a desire to learn about the world after a service trip to Bangladesh in high school and now helps instill that passion in the classroom and on trips to Peru with World Leadership School and St. Mary's Academy. In his free time he manages a job search website, MajoredIn.com, discusses policy with his wife over coffee, and serves in his local church. Andy earned a B.A. in Political Science from U.C.L.A. ('09) and a M.A. in International Security from the Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver ('12). 

Read Andy’s reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, “Focusing on the End: Equipping Students to be Peacebuilders”

Laura Keldorf, Riverdale High School, Portland, OR

USIP Peace Teacher Laura Keldorf

Laura Keldorf has taught History, Government, Economics and English at both the high school and college levels for twenty three years. She began her career in California, teaching in both Humboldt and Marin counties and relocated to the Pacific Northwest in 2003. In 2005, while teaching at Clackamas High School, a large suburban public school outside of Portland, Oregon, Laura applied to participate in the USIP's Summer Institute. Laura has served as both a Contest Coordinator and First Round Judge for the Institute's National Essay Contest and has integrated the study of conflict resolution and peacebuilding into each of the classes she teaches. She is currently a full-time Humanities teacher at Riverdale High School, a small public high school in Portland, Oregon, where she teaches freshman English, and both History and Writing courses through Portland State University's concurrent enrollment program. When she isn't teaching, Laura enjoys exploring the natural world, reading and cooking for her family.

Read Laura’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, “Defining and Inculcating Empathy: A Professional Imperative”

Michael Martini, Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC

USIP Peace Teacher Michael Martini

Michael Martini has taught 6th grade World Geography and Cultures at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C. for four years. He received his Master’s Degree in social studies secondary education from Catholic University in 2011. Michael has worked closely with both the U.S. Institute of Peace and Global Classrooms DC to expand his globally inspired curriculum to include peace building strategies, conflict analysis, and a Model United Nations program. Each year his students have worked closely with diplomats from an international embassy in the DC area to explore world cultures and languages as part of the D.C. Public Schools Embassy Adoption Program. During the summer of 2015 he explored international organizations and NGO's in Western Europe as part of a Fund for Teachers Grant as well as participating in a workshop and seminar series at Ford's Theatre through the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read Michael’s reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, “Going Off-Script: Talking Peace in a Teachable Moment”

Timothy McMahon, Atlanta International School, Atlanta, GA

USIP Peace Teacher Timothy McMahon

Tim McMahon is an International Baccalaureate educator specializing in Economics, History, & Theory of Knowledge. He brings out the creative side of students through communication arts, visual technologies, and simulations to engage them in all subjects. He has worked with Facing History and Ourselves, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Model United Nations. His community outreach for students has included student design workshops at Ideo Munich, lost wax bronze sculpture workshops in Bangladesh, and meetings with the chief US scholar of the Holocaust, the chief of BMW design, two CEOs of Siemens, and the head of GE Global Research. His achievements include coaching the winning economics team in the International Forum in Spain and the top three prizes in the Gandhi Essay contest at the University of Rhode Island. He has a University of Virginia Master’s in Education and a Purdue MBA in International Management. 

Read Timothy’s reflection on his experience as a Peace Teacher, “From Debate to Dialogue: U.S. Independence Revisited in High School Classroom” 

Monica Shah, formerly Brightwood Education Campus, Washington, DC (currently Alice Deal Middle School, Washington, DC)

USIP Peace Teacher Monica Shah

Monica Shah teaches 8th grade U.S. History, 6th - 8th grade human rights, and 2nd - 5th grade peace classes at Brightwood Education Campus, a D.C. Public School. Monica serves a diverse ELL population and strives to empower her students to become social change agents in their community and abroad. Monica has been recognized for bringing creativity and passion into her classroom as the 2015 Mount Vernon History Teacher of the Year and the 2015 National History Day Behring D.C. Teacher of the Year. Monica is committed to growing professionally in the field of peace education and in the summer of 2015, as a Fund for Teachers Fellow, she participated in a peace and nonviolence education program in India, and explored global and peace education in Buenos Aires. Monica holds Bachelor’s degrees in International Studies and Hispanic Studies, and a Master’s in International Training and Education with a concentration in Global Education.

Read Monica’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, “Infusing Peace into an American History Class”

Amanda Terwillegar, Champlain Valley Union High School, Hinesburg, VT

USIP Peace Teacher Amanda Terwillegar

Amanda Terwillegar has been teaching at the high school level for 10 years. Although she is an English teacher, she collaborates closely with Social Studies teachers for most of her classes. Currently, she teaches 10th grade Making of the Modern World, an upper-level Holocaust and Human Behavior course, and Global Literature. In all of her work both in and outside of the classroom, she aims to cultivate a sense of personal investment in her students – she believes it is critical for teenagers to see themselves reflected in the stories, histories, and issues that teachers present to them. Outside of Amanda's academic work, she is using her Latin dance background to pilot a dance program for students; she is in a TESOL (Teaching English as a Second Language) Master’s Program; she writes history-based fiction; she runs; and she is the proud mother of two amazing kids, ages 6 and 9.       

Read Amanda’s reflection on her experience as a Peace Teacher, “Understanding Conflict Versus Envisioning Peace” 


Highlights of the 2015 USIP Peace Teacher Cohort

News about the Peace Teachers

For more information about the Peace Teachers Program, contact us at buildingpeace@usip.org

Learn more about USIP’s resources for students and educators.