Two members of Heathwood’s Upper School history department spent the summer honing their teaching skills through a prestigious fellowship program for faculty members at independent schools. John Adams and Sara Burrows were named 2018 Athena Summer Fellows. They joined a cohort of 50 humanities teachers at elite independent schools nationwide who worked together to share ideas, assignments, best practices, and more.
Athena Fellows spend 5-7 hours a week for two months over the summer immersed in thinking about and discussing teaching. The Athena organization was developed by teachers to connect teachers everywhere around a shared body of materials for any teacher to use.
The hours she invested in the Athena program were more than worthwhile, Dr. Burrows said: “I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to work on Athena this summer. I had the chance to see what teachers across the country do in their classrooms, while staying in the comfort of my own home. Because the fellows generally teach the same topics, Athena allowed us to share our favorite assignments and activities, while giving and receiving feedback on what we posted. I've already incorporated activities from other teachers in my classroom this year, and I hope some of the things we do at Heathwood will be implemented in schools outside of South Carolina.”
Mr. Adams, who joined the Heathwood faculty in 2010, is Chair of the Upper School history department and teaches World History and the American South. He was named South Carolina History Teacher of the Year in 2005 and was a finalist for National History Teacher of the Year.
Dr. Burrows began teaching at Heathwood in 2016, after 13 years on the faculty at the University of South Carolina, where she was honored with teaching awards from the USC Center for Teaching Excellence, Student Disabilities Services, and the USC Chapter of the Mortar Board National Honor Society. She teaches U.S. History and World History.