By Savannah Hanford ’15
Teaching American history sometimes requires more than one perspective.
For Jared Morris ’03, this means having his middle school students collaborate
with their peers overseas.
Morris, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary social
sciences education certification, has taught at William Wetsel Middle School
in Virginia since 2007. He developed a program called Project: U.K. in 2011
to link students from the middle school with the St. Roberts of Newminster
School in northern England after being a participant in the University of
Virginia’s Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program.
As part of the program, Morris worked with British teacher Lauren Winters
on a research project about the transatlantic slave trade in Barbados. The
two decided they could teach this project at a middle school level and use
technology to connect the students. The students also would be required to
publish a final project each year.
Project: U.K. is a team comprised of 15 to 20 students who are selected and
approved by teachers based on grades and disciplinary history and an essay
they write in which they describe the ways they will be a good addition to the
The program runs from March to May and culminates in a final physical
project, such as a film or mock newspaper. Meeting mostly during school-time
club periods, the students also come in on Saturdays to directly correspond via
video chat and blog sites with their English counterparts, whose team is titled
the America Project.
“The program is beneficial because students develop historical researching
skills and a deeper understanding of an important event or topic all while
collaborating with, and learning about, a different culture, that culture being
that of their British ‘cousins’,” stated Morris.
In 2011, the students’ project was an in-depth look at the Underground
Railroad. Project: U.K. members worked together to create fake “primary
sources” from various groups of people involved in the slave trade. These
sources were then sent to the America Project, where they created an
Last year, Project: U.K. and the America Project worked together to create
a news broadcast about the Boston Massacre. Morris took his students on a
field trip to the Library of Virginia to view documents and artifacts firsthand to
prepare for their research and final project.
This year, the students will research John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry in
1859. The final project will involve the creation of a documentary put together
by both teams.
In March, he presented his work with Project: U.K. at the National Council
for History Education conference in Richmond, Va.
was named the Williamsport (Pa.) Area
High School Teacher of the Year for
2012-13. The Odyssey of the Mind team
that she coached was Pennsylvania state
champions and advanced to the World
Finals at Michigan State University,
where they placed 12
out of 56 teams.
She teaches 12
grade British literature
and composition and is the Class of 2015
Charlene (Bartolotta) Sterphonecbartolotta123@yahoo.com
earned a master’s degree in nonprofit
management at Notre Dame of Maryland
University in 2012.
New York Times
visited Lycoming’s Streeter Campus Store
on April 5 with his sister,
sign copies of his second book,
. His first book,
A Higher Call:
An Incredible True Story of Combat and
Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World
, was published in December. Adam
also held two book-signings later that day
at Williamsport’s Otto Book Store.
Jessica (Heckman) Reed
communications) is the manager of digital
and social media for the enrollment
management department at Syracuse
University. She is responsible for the
planning and implementation of digital
and social media strategies for the
undergraduate admissions office, the
financial aid office and others. In addition,
she serves as the publicity and online
media chair for the Central New York
chapter of the Public Relations Society of
America; on the advisory board for Social
Media Breakfast Syracuse; and as the
social media manager of the Central New
York chapter of Girls in Tech.
Jared Morris ’03 with his students from William Wetsel Middle School in Virginia
Adam Makos ’03 with sister, Erica ’07