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Faculty as Life-long Learners

One of the cherished traditions of the Friends’ Central faculty is the annual sharing by the Sabbatical and Clayton Farraday Mastership Stipend recipients of how they spent their time during the spring and summer. (VIDEO)

The presentations are always fascinating in detail and mesmerizing in their delivery, as faculty members offer their sincere thanks for their opportunities and their unbridled excitement at the prospect of bringing what they learned into their classrooms.

Lower, Middle, and Upper School faculty projects ranged from earning certification in a unique music education program to taking classes at a Spanish language school in Peru. This year’s sabbatical recipients had numerous rich and varied experiences that helped them recharge their intellectual batteries. Keep you eye out for a new section on the School website chronicling the learning adventures of our talented and passionate faculty.
Sabbatical Recipients
Jackie Gowen-Tolcott, Upper School Language Teacher, combined her passion for service, learning, and travel to spend time as both a teacher and a student. She taught three mornings a week at a Spanish immersion school in Philadelphia. “For the first time in my life I was an assistant 1st and 3rd grade teacher, and I witnessed first hand young children have remarkable gift for learning.” She also took a digital photography class, and, last but not least, visited Buenos Aires, Argentina, Madrid, and Northern Spain. “I grew professionally and personally on my sabbatical—an experience I will never forget. I Can’t wait to share with my students what I have learned.”
Rebecca Guenther, Middle School Language Arts Teacher, traveled to the Provence region in southern France. From the 14th-century house that was their home base, Rebecca and her husband, Eric, and her three daughters, Liesl ’16, Phebe ’19, and Frances ’24, explored the rich history, architecture, art, food, and geography of the region. “For this amazing opportunity and this challenge,” Rebecca said, “I will be forever thankful. Friends’ Central truly values all of the things we talk about—family, importance of the individual, curiosity, independent thinking. My sabbatical is the most precious gift I have ever been given—you cannot put a price on the gift of time.”
Clayton Farraday Mastership 2012 Summer Stipend Award Recipients

Caroline Maw-Deis
, Middle School Art Teacher, traveled to Spain, visited her cousins in Germany, traveled through the Pyrenees Mountains, visited the masterpieces of Anoni Gaudi and the gardens, fountains, and palaces of the Alhambra in Granada, and visited the Museo del Prado museum in Madrid.
Dottie Mazullo, Middle and Upper School Learning Specialist, attended the seminar, Neuroscience and the Classroom: Strategies for Maximizing Students’ Engagement, Memory and Potential.
Dawn Ovalle, Lower School Music Teacher, attended Villanova University for a two-week, Level I certification program in the Orff method of music education.
Chris Ramsey, Lower School Teacher, will take classes at a Spanish language school in Cuzco, Peru.
Doug Ross traveled to China for the China Annual Conference for International Education. “All of us are modeling being learners, and through understanding our own learning process we can appreciate the challenges our students face in our classes,” said Doug, who spoke about reforming secondary school education while in China. “Support through stipends is truly appreciated by the faculty, and we know FCS cares about our growth because they encourage us by supporting us.”

Josh Weisgrau attended the International Society of Technology in Education Conference in San Diego, Calif., to seek new ideas and best practices in Digital and Media Literacy.