Civics for All!
Join the Illinois Democracy Schools Network for a day of learning about civic learning ACROSS the disciplines in grades K-12 using the Educating for American Democracy Roadmap. Join a wide range of experts to delve into how ALL educators can prepare students for college, career, and civic life. Registration includes parking, a light breakfast, and lunch. Members of the Illinois Democracy School Network can contact Sue Khalaieff for information on reduced registration fees.
Thursday, September 28th, 2023
- Doors open, and a light breakfast is available.
- Civic Learning Providers will have tables for participants to visit.
- Choose a book related to civic learning across disciplines as your gift from the DSI Team. Those here early will have the first choice!
- Welcome and Opening Remarks
- Keynote Address, Educating for a Diverse Democracy by Dr. Joseph Kahne, Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics and Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group (CERG) at the University of California, Riverside.
9:30 a.m. Recognition of New Schools by Illinois Civic Mission Coalition
- Cobden Junior-Senior High School
- Deerfield High School
- Niles West High School
- Olympia High School
- Wheeling High School
10:00 a.m. Breakout Session One
10:50 a.m. Morning Break
11:00 a.m. Breakout Session Two
12:00 p.m. Lunch
- Recognition of Renewal Schools
- Carolyn Pereria Civic Leadership Award
1:00 p.m. Dismissal for Breakout Session Three
1:10 p.m. Breakout Session Three
2:00 p.m. Final Reflection and Thank You
2:10 p.m. Dismissal
1A. Media Literacy 101: Navigating the Digital Age with Nicole Zumpano from the Learning Technology Center (K-12): Today’s students, on average, spend 5-8 hours daily engaging with media. Do they understand the intentionality behind what they see? This session will explore fundamental media literacy concepts. Participants will leave with the knowledge and resources needed to help students understand and navigate their digital world. Hickory Room
1B. Including Asian American History in Elementary Classrooms with Esther Hurh from Asian Americans Advancing Justice (K-5): With the recent passage of the 2021 TEAACH Act, many early elementary school teachers are eager to go beyond the cultural contribution approach and integrate Asian American history in meaningful ways. Based on Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago’s Teaching About the Asian American Experience: A Primer workshop, this session will model a lesson that spotlights eight-year old Chinese American Mamie Tape and her family’s efforts to challenge school segregation. Her story illustrates the important theme of Asian American agency, of standing up against racist attitudes and laws – a theme that is otherwise absent when teaching about Asian Americans. Attendees will also become familiar with available teaching tools – including our lesson/resource database – to help include Asian American history in their classrooms. Birch Room
1C. How to Create a School-Community Partnership With a Speaker Series: The Glenbard Parent Series (GPS) with Gilda Ross and Kristin Brandt (K-12): Navigating Healthy Families is a distinguished speaker series dedicated to presenting relevant, high-profile authors, educators and clinicians. These high-caliber speakers offer practical research-based knowledge, strategies, and personal experience to support students engaged learning, positive youth development and well-being. Founded in 1995, GPS is a weekly resource for parents/caregivers/guardians (for children of all ages) as well as students, school staff, professionals and community members. GPS is here to inform, connect, and inspire. All programs are free, virtual and open to the public. These events are presented at both noon CT and 7pm CT, and offered in multiple languages. Sponsorship for the more than 50 programs presented each year comes from organizations and foundations throughout the area. Join us and learn the basics of creating a speaker series in your school community. Topics to be discussed:: How to get started, secure funding/partnerships, how to find speakers, how to market/promote, manage the stumbling blocks, and learn the role of students, school staff, and caregivers. Willow Room
1D. Water Quality: A STEM and Society Issue with Susan Camasta and Deborah Scarano from the DuPage ROE S.T.E.M. Squad (K-12): Clean and fresh water is crucial to all human life, yet we hear frequent reports of its pollution and scarcity. We’ll discuss contemporary problems, and methods of testing water quality, and we will conduct some simple tests. World Water Day and Citizen Science efforts will be discussed as opportunities for student collaboration and activism, and we will also discuss personal responsibility and action. Aspen Room
1E. Civics with Stories with David Olson from the Retro Report (6-12): How do you engage students to examine the history of the Voting Rights, Environmental Disasters, or the fight for Racial Justice? By hearing the varied perspectives of those who lived it! Explore Retro Report’s library of over 275 short-form documentaries and the free classroom resources that accompany them. Through interviews, archival video, and photos, the Retro Report filmmakers craft captivating stories that explore the hidden histories of yesterday and connect them to our world today. This interactive session focuses on having educators engage with Retro Report materials across Social Studies, Science and English/ELA curricula. Oak Room
1F. SCOTUS Preview with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn from the University of Illinois- Chicago School of Law (K-12): SCOTUS Preview with Professor Steven D. Schwinn: Get a preview of the upcoming U.S. Supreme Court term with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn, a professor of law at the University of Illinois Chicago John Marshall Law School, where he teaches constitutional law, comparative constitutional law, and human rights. Redwood Room
1G. Cultivating a Civic Mindset in the Arts- Exemplars from the Democracy Schools Network with Melinda Wilson, Carol Bacskai, Mark Poulterer, Brandon Catt (9-12): Hear from some of our members who are instructors from across the disciplines and how they use Fine Arts to bring civic learning into their classrooms. These teachers will talk about how they encourage and support their students engaging in informed action/service learning projects and interacting with their community. Also featured will be their efforts to put student identity at the forefront, to elevate student voice, and to create a classroom climate that fosters collaboration, teamwork and inquiry. Rosewood Room
1H. Enhancing Civics through Games, Simulations and Contests with EdTech Teacher Shawn McCusker (6-12): This session explores practical ways that educators can enhance student engagement in civics education through the effective use of digital games, immersive simulations and authentic student competitions. Cypress Room
2A. Embracing SEL Across Curriculum with Sharon Frys and Maureen McAbee from the DuPage ROE and Area 1 SEL Hub (K-8): In this interactive session, we will explore how SEL concepts are naturally embedded across the curriculum, including content standards and an inquiry framework, and how we can capitalize on this opportunity. We will focus on integrating the SEL competencies and communicating with stakeholders about the role of SEL in the curriculum and classroom climate. Aspen Room
2B. How to Connect Your Classroom to Congress with Dr. Joseph Kahne, Jason Artman, and Lisa Allen (9-12): Learn about the Connecting Classrooms to Congress Project – an innovative curricular unit teachers can use that enables their students to study a controversial issue, deliberate with others from different communities, and participate in an online town hall with their sitting member of Congress. Willow Room
2C. Let Them BE Citizens: Informed Action in Civics Education with EdTech Teacher Shawn McCusker (K-12): This session explores the benefits of students taking Informed Action, with an emphasis on the research behind the practice, effective models of engaging students in informed action and resources that can help teachers to guide their students in becoming Active Citizens. Cypress Room
2D. Use the Internet to Check the Internet: Media Literacy Tools with David Olson from Retro Report (6-12): False headlines. Exaggerated claims. Fishy-looking photos. If you’re not careful, the internet can serve up a tangle of misinformation. This collection of videos and resources from Retro Report will engage students in learning to sort fact from fiction, think and research like a historian, and stop the spread of misinformation. Oak Room
2E. Connecting The Complexities of the Past with Issues of Today with Uzma Siddiqui from Faicing History and Ourselves (6-12): This interactive session will include readings and strategies designed to help you develop a meaningful civic education experience in your classroom. Facing History understands that effective civic education depends on creating learner-centered classrooms that value and incorporate students’ identities. Together, we will explore resources to nurture a classroom community that fosters civil discourse by teaching students to engage across differences. We will invite participants to learn how to reconnect with Facing History and opportunities to learn more about our resources to discuss current events in the context of history and nurture students’ voice and agency through both reflection and action. Rosewood Room
2F. Constitutional Rights and the Classroom: Q and A with Dr. Steven D. Schwinn from the Universtiy of Illinois- Chiacgo School of Law (K-12): Bring your questions around the constituiton and the classroom for Dr. Schwinn to respond to. Collaborate with others as we navigate book bans, social media policies, academic freedom and other issues. Redwood Room
2G. Project Soapbox with Ken Porter from Mikva Challenge (K-12): Using Mikva’s Project Soapbox curriculum, educators will learn how to encourage students to be active and engaged citizens by speaking out on an issue that they care about. Project Soapbox provides an avenue for students to identify a passion and learn effective public speaking, listening, and empathy skills. Independent evaluations of Soapbox have demonstrated strong, positive impacts on students’ civic attitudes and on social emotional skills. This workshop walks participants through the Project Soapbox process and explores options for hosting both virtual and in person Soapbox events. Hickory Room
2H. Investigating Social Justice Issues in the Mathematics Classroom with Stephen Miller from the DSN Math Cohort (6-12): Mathematics can be used to explore a variety of social justice issues. Often, the mathematics needed to examine a complex issue is surprisingly simple. In this session, we will look at sample lessons involving real-world policies and other topics with social justice implications. Most of the sample lessons will be at the pre-algebra level (e.g., percentages, area formulas) and algebra level (e.g., linear systems). Birch Room
3A. Youth Resistance in Nazi Germany with Leah Rauch from Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center (6-12): Learning about youth and student-led resistance counters misperceptions that the Nazi regime brainwashed German young people who had no choice but to conform, and instead demonstrates the agency and power they truly had. This workshop will provide historical background on the resistance of young people in Nazi Germany, examine primary source documents to use in classrooms, and feature Illinois Holocaust Museum’s Take a Stand Center resources to empower students to resist hatred, prejudice, and indifference today. Birch Room
3B. Unveiling Hidden Narratives: Exploring Constributions of LGBTQ Community with Dee Runaas from the Constitutional Democracy Project (6-12): This session delves into the historical contributions of the LGBTQ + community, while exploring innovative ways to integrate civic learning across various academic disciplines. Participants will examine lessons developed to help support the Illinois Inclusive Curriculum Law, that acknowledge and celebrate LGBTQ voices, foster an inclusive and diverse learning environment, and nurture a deeper understanding of our shared past and promote active citizenship. Rosewood Room
3C. Using SCOTUS to Teach Inclusive History with Catherine Hawke and Tiffany Middleton from the Division of Public Education of the American Bar Association (6-12): Explore how courts are venues for many individuals and groups—often the only venue—to challenge actions that prevent them from fulfilling their American dreams. Challenges to federal law, state law, local ordinances, are part of our shared history, with implications for today. There will be a focus on religious, LGBTQ, and AAPI communities. Redwood Room
3D. Analyzing Disaster Recovery: Case Study, Chicago, 1871 with Heidi Moisan and Megan Clark from the Chicago History Museum (6-12): Disasters, environmental or manmade, are an enduring challenge as is how to equitably recover from them. Using the Great Chicago Fire as a case study, discover how government policies, social status, decisions, and chance played a role in the rebuilding of Chicago through our board game “Rubble to Recovery”. Then, investigate primary sources related to the Chicago Relief and Aid Society to understand their nuanced and debated influence during the immediate aftermath of the fire. Leave with classroom resources around this topic. Oak Room
3E. What’s in Store for 2024 with Dr. Shawn P. Healy, Adjunct Professor of Public Policy at the University of Illinois-Chicago (6-12): Join Shawn Healy for a preview of the 2024 election year. What impacts will redistricting, state election laws, new primary and caucus calendars have on the race to the White House? How are the races for the House and Senate shaping up? Come with your questions for an engaging session. Willow Room
3F. Learning to Teach with AI One Small Bite at a Time with EdTech Teacher Shawn McCusker (K-12): We will explore a model for preparing teachers to get their feet in the area of AI use in the classroom. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore tools, create media and see a framework for promoting critical thinking around the ethics of AI ethics with students. Cypress Room
3G. Creating Space for Student Voice (and Action) with Billson Rasavongxay from Maine East High School and Ayesha Truman from Hinsdale South High School (9-12): In this session, the focus is on empowering students to use their voice and promote equity in their school community. The session includes strategies for advocating to administrators and providing support to feeder schools. Planning and preparation for implementing these strategies is also a key component of the session. How did we plan and execute the different Student Voice Summits at our schools? What did we learn from them? Students were encouraged to share their experiences and perspectives, and to identify areas where they would like to see change. The session also explores advocacy strategies for students to effectively communicate their concerns and ideas to administrators. This includes developing clear and concise messages, identifying key student leaders, and building relationships with stakeholders. In addition to advocating for change within their own school, students were encouraged to support feeder schools by sharing resources and best practices. Hickory Room
Lisa Allen: Lisa is in her 26th year teaching Social Studies at Deerfield High School, and my 5th year as an instructional coach. Lisa’s passion is all things civics She is proud to have led the Deerfield team in getting recognized as an Illinois Democracy School for the first time this year.
Jason Artman: Jason is in his 24th year of teaching, the last 22 at Mendota High School. He served as an Illinois Civics Mentor and Instructional Coach for 6 years, helping schools navigate the requirements of Illinois’ civics mandates and the growing interest area of media literacy. He’s been a guest on WNIJ’s “Teacher’s Lounge” and a presenter for the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, University of Missouri School of Journalism’s “Friends of the Facts” and numerous events throughout Illinois.
Carol Bacskai: Carol Bacskai is starting her 26th year in District #204; with the majority of those years at Neuqua Valley High School. She has her Masters in Art Education, and has taught: ceramics, jewelry, drawing, sculpture, photography, and 3D Printing. Carol also has experience sponsoring groups outside of the school day like: Odyssey of the Mind, Tech Crew, and Art Club. When Carol is not working she can be found in the garden hybridizing irises, teaching glass classes at Ed Hoy’s, and working on her own art.
Kristin Brandt: Kristin is the Social Studies Department Chair at Glenbard West High School, in Glen Ellyn, IL. She currently teaches AP Human Geography and AP Seminar. Kristin has presented at several conferences including the National Council for Social Studies, AP Annual Conference in 2012 and 2016 and several College Board Regional Forums. Kristin has worked as a Consultant and Reader for AP Seminar and has helped to develop training materials for AP Seminar. She has also provided instruction for students through AP Daily and AP Live. Kristin is a National Board Certified Teacher, a member of National Council for Social Studies, League of Women Voters and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.
Susan F. Camasta PhD: A strong advocate for STEM education and the Next Generation Science Standards. Susan has taught 1st graders through adults over 45 years, with 32 years’ experience at the high school level. Subjects included biology, chemistry, contemporary science issues and environmental science. During that phase of her career she led professional development for teachers in writing across the curriculum, classroom use of technology and more. She has also served as a teacher mentor. At IIT after retirement, she taught Methods in Science and Mathematics Education, and in the Interprofessional Projects Program (IPRO) there, with STEM education initiatives. Susan is presently employed with the DuPage County Regional Office of Education STEM Team. The team organizes professional development for teachers as well as STEM events for young people and families. Currently, the team is working on building a STEM network for middle school teachers. Susan is the content manager for their website: www.stemdupage.com. In addition to science education, environmental sustainability and social justice are issues for which she has passion for. Her hobbies include photography, crafting, gardening and volunteering in the community. She is a huge fan of nature, audio books, local libraries and discovering new places to eat breakfast with friends.
Brandon Catt: Brandon Catt serves as Fine Arts Department Chairman and Director of Vocal Music at Glenbard East High School. His teaching responsibilities include choir and hip hop production. In addition to his Masters degree in Educational Leadership from Concordia University Chicago, Mr. Catt is a proud alumnus of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) with Bachelors & Masters degrees in Music Education.
In 2019, Glenbard recognized Mr. Catt with their Inspire…Empower…Succeed Award, and the Illinois American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) presented him with their inaugural Outstanding Young Choral Director Award. He has twice been named a quarterfinalist for the Grammy Foundation’s Music Educator Award. He regularly serves as a clinician and guest conductor for school and Illinois Music Education Association (ILMEA) district choral festivals. His choirs have performed at two Illinois ACDA Fall Conventions. Mr. Catt and his hip hop students have presented at the Illinois Music Education Conference and the National Association for Music Education National Conference. He was also invited to be the commencement speaker for the 2019 UIUC School of Music Convocation. Alongside his brilliant colleagues and students, Brandon works to cultivate relevant and impactful art demonstrating the beauty, wonder, and creativity of humanity. He believes that every individual deserves to create, consume, and participate in the arts.
Megan Clark: Megan is the School Programs Coordinator at the Chicago History Museum. She has a BA in Anthropology from Luther College and an MA in Museum and Artifact Studies from the University of Durham, England. Clark has collaborated on developing the student workshop program, teacher professional development opportunities, and curricular resources to connect students and teachers with CHM’s collections. Clark also serves as a member of exhibition teams and other cross-departmental projects like Chicago 0.0. She has co-authored articles and chapters for various publications, most recently a chapter for the book Creating Meaningful Experiences for K-12 Audiences, 2021.
Sharon Frys, Ed.D.- Sharon is an experienced professional specializing in day-to-day school administration and initiatives to support students, community, and educator development. Her career includes teaching special education and serving as coordinator, director, and assistant superintendent at the administrative level. Sharon’s responsibilities included instruction, student services, special education, and continuous improvement as assistant superintendent. During her tenure, Sharon initiated, developed, and supported instruction and an ongoing improvement plan to drive the professional development of educators in all departments and educational sectors. She facilitated quality improvement within her district, is a trained examiner for the Baldrige/Illinois Performance Excellence Program, and participated in system assessments in various districts and schools. Frys was a district coach for the Illinois Center for School Improvement at American Institute for Research. She coordinated the Statewide System of Support to ensure that districts received expert, timely, and relevant assistance, focusing on closing the achievement gaps and raising achievement. Sharon is a consultant for Hazard, Young, Attea, and Associates. She works with various schools and districts on strategic planning, social-emotional learning, and school climate and culture and systems assessments. Frys has been an adjunct professor at Roosevelt University.
Catherine Hawke: Cathie is the Deputy Director of the ABA’s Division for Public Education, where she helps facilitate teacher professional development programs on constitutional law, the Supreme Court, and the rule of law.
Shawn P. Healy, PhD : Shawn, Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, leads iCivics’ state and federal policy and advocacy work through the CivXNow Coalition and oversees civic education campaigns in several key states. He plays an active role in recruiting supporters to fund policy, advocacy, and implementation efforts nationwide to ensure impact. Healy chaired the Illinois Task Force on Civic Education in 2014 and later led separate, successful legislative campaigns for a required civics course in Illinois in middle and high school, respectively. He also led the Illinois Social Science Standards Task Force. Its recommendations were adopted by the Illinois State Board of Education in 2015. Healy also serves as an adjunct professor in Public Policy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is a Serve Illinois Commissioner, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Legislative Semester, Inc. and the Student Press Law Center. Before joining iCivics, Healy worked for fifteen years at the Robert R. McCormick Foundation in various capacities, most recently serving as Democracy Program Director. He began his career as a social studies teacher at West Chicago Community High School (IL) and Sheboygan North and South High Schools (WI). A 2001 James Madison Fellow from the State of Wisconsin, he holds a MA and PhD from the University of Illinois at Chicago in political science and earned a bachelor’s degree with distinction in Political Science, History and Secondary Education from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
Esther K. Hurh: Esther K. Hurh is the Education Professional Development Consultant for Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Chicago. She is responsible for the development and delivery of the professional development model Teaching about the Asian American Experience: A Primer to educators and community members across Illinois following the passage of the TEAACH Act in 2021. In general, Esther is a highly seasoned education consultant with 26 years of experience in facilitation, training, program management, and strategic planning. Her content areas of expertise include Asian American history and racial identity, Holocaust education, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI). Esther received her Ed.M. in Human Development and Psychology at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her B.A. in Political Science at Northwestern University. She lives in Chicago, Illinois.
Joseph Kahne: Joseph Kahne is the Ted and Jo Dutton Presidential Professor for Education Policy and Politics and Co-Director of the Civic Engagement Research Group at the University of California, Riverside. Professor Kahne’s research and school reform work focuses on ways that educational practices, policies, and contexts impact equitable outcomes and access to support for youth civic and political development. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, and his work is available at http://www.civicsurvey.org/.
Maureen McAbee: Maureen has been working in the field of education for over 35 years. Her teaching career focused on bilingual education and English learner instruction at the elementary level in northwest suburbs of Chicago. Maureen later transitioned to working in administration where she served as a grant coordinator, assistant principal, principal, English Learner Director, and then Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. Some specific areas of focus during her career have included dual language programming, English learner programming, teacher mentoring, curriculum development, school improvement, and instructional coaching. Upon retirement in 2021, Maureen began working for the DuPage ROE. In this role, she focuses primarily on supporting schools with SEL-related planning and programming and also facilitates the Curriculum and EL leadership networks.
Shawn McCusker: Shawn is an author and Senior Director of Professional Learning at EdTechTeacher. He has 25 years of experience as a teacher and leader in public, private and alternative schools. Shawn is the author of Becoming Active Citizens, winner of the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Gold Award for Education. As an expert in technology integration his lessons and student products have been featured in the Journal, Educational Leadership and the Huffington Post. In 2006, he was recognized as a finalist for the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching. In 2016 he was named a Top Trailblazing Educator on Twitter by eSchoolNews. He regularly appears as a keynote and featured speaker at conferences across the US.
Tiffany Middleton: Tiffany is a manager of program and research in the American Bar Association Division for Public Education. She manages various programs, including Law Day and the Gavel Awards for Media & the Arts, and publications, including the emagazine Insights on Law & Society and “Lessons on the Law” in Social Education. Tiffany is a historian with degrees from Capital and Case Western Reserve Universities.
Stephen Miller: Stephen has taught high school math at Morton West High School in Berwyn, Illinois for over 20 years. Most of that time involved teaching algebra and geometry to freshmen. Prior to teaching, Stephen spent seven years as a patent attorney, and he attempts (with varying degrees of success) to incorporate his private sector experience into his math instruction.
Heidi Moisan: Heidi is the school programs manager at the Chicago History Museum. She has worked at the museum for almost 28 years. Her work has focused on serving the school audience through student and teacher programs and the development of print and digital classroom resources. She also serves on exhibition teams. Her favorite thing about her job is that she gets to collaborate with amazing educators, experience history through children’s eyes, and always has the opportunity to learn new content and skills. Outside the museum, Heidi loves cooking and baking and is a proud aunt to 14 nieces and nephews.
David Olson: David serves as the Director of Education at Retro Report, a non-profit media company dedicated to connecting history to today’s news. In his capacity, David designs Retro Report’s free curriculum and professional development. Before joining Retro Report, David taught at Memorial High School in Madison, WI, for over a decade. Besides his previous role teaching AP Government, Criminal Justice, and other Social Studies courses, David spreads his passion for civic education by serving on the iCivics Educator Network, the Teacher Advisory Board for the National Constitution Center, and the Wisconsin Council for the Social Studies.
Ken Porter: Ken is a site director at Mikva Challenge where he works with school district officials in Rochester, NY and Jefferson County, KY to provide strategy support to achieve district wide adoption of curriculum and programming. Prior to his time with Mikva, Ken served 8 years in the Navy as a logistics specialist providing procurement support throughout southeast Asia. During this time he pursued his undergraduate & graduate degrees as a non-traditional student and worked as an education organizer when not mobilized with the military.
Mark Poulterer: Mark Poulterer is originally from Media, PA and attended a small, private high school. After high school he attended Wheaton College where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. He spent four years in Mexico, working with street kids and other children living in poverty. His life would never feel quite so middle class, generic again. He has been an ESL teacher at West Chicago Community High School since 2001. He teaches refugee and immigrant students from Asia, Africa, Europe, North America and South America. He conducts impromptu parent/teacher conferences at the local grocery store, park, swimming pool, and anywhere else he may bump into students and their families. He lives with his wife and two daughters across the street from the high school where he teaches, and would have it no other way.
Billson Rasavongxay: Billson, 2022 Illinois Democracy School Educator of the Year, has taught for 18 years in the suburbs of Chicago, IL. He is the Social Science Department Chair at Maine East High School and has also chaired at both Hinsdale Central High School and Glenbard East High School. Throughout this career, he has advocated for Student Voice in curricular and institutional changes, having sponsored and worked closely with Black Student Unions, Student Organized Against Racism groups, and AAPI groups. Billson has been a part of Equity Leadership teams in all of the schools that he has worked and has also worked in the task force to redesign the Illinois Social Studies Standards.
Leah Rauch (she/her): Leah is the Director of Education at Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, whose mission is to preserve the legacy of the Holocaust by teaching universal lessons that combat hatred, prejudice, and indifference. A graduate of Illinois State University and the University of Haifa, she worked as a Holocaust educator in Israel and Germany before joining the museum in 2021.
Gilda Ross: Gilda is the Glenbard Student and Community Projects Coordinator and the creator of the Glenbard Parent Series: GPS Navigating Healthy Families GPS, which is celebrating its 28th year, is an educational consortium dedicated to presenting distinguished high-profile authors, clinicians, and educators who share their research -based knowledge and personal experiences. Gilda is the advisor of Reality Illinois which is the Teen Advisor Board to the DuPage County Health Dept, and she serves as a long standing member of the Prevention Leadership Team of the DuPage County Health Department. She is a founding member of the One Community Organization, and in her spare time she is a certified group fitness instructor at the BR Ryall YMCA in Glen Ellyn. She has presented at national conferences on facilitating a speaker series. For her contributions to the community she was recognized as the Glen Ellyn Citizen of the Year.
Dee Runaas: Dee has dedicated her career to inspiring civic engagement in students and educators. Formerly the Program Director at the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, she orchestrated initiatives that imparted vital knowledge about democracy and the Constitution. Now the Project Director for the Constitutional Democracy Project, she continues to champion informed and participatory citizenship, molding a generation of empowered contributors to society.
Deborah K. Scarano MEd, MBA: Deborah (Deb) earned a BA in Chemistry from Miami University, Oxford Ohio, an MEd from University of Illinois, Chicago and an MBA from Loyola University, Chicago. She worked in the private sector for eleven years in the personal care and chemical industries, including her work in the Water Division of NALCO Chemical Company, headquartered in Naperville Illinois. In 1990 Deb decided to pursue her passion for education and began teaching at the high school level after earning her MEd in Science Education. She taught all levels of Chemistry at Hinsdale South High School and finished her last 13 years of teaching at the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA) in Aurora Illinois. Deb is presently employed with the DuPage County Regional Office of Education STEM Team. The STEM Team organizes professional development for teachers as well as STEM events for young people and families. Deb’s current professional interests lie in STEM education and social justice issues. She is an avid reader and enjoys walking and spending time with friends and family.
Steven D. Schwinn: Professor Schwinn earned his B.A. from Michigan State University and his J.D. from the American University Washington College of Law. He taught at the University of Maryland School of Law and George Washington University Law School. He practiced full-time in the Office of the General Counsel at the Peace Corps. Professor Schwinn is a frequent commenter on constitutional law and human rights issues. He is a co-founder and co-editor of the Constitutional Law Prof Blog and an occasional contributor to other blogs and publications. Professor Schwinn is the Editor of the American Constitution Society Supreme Court Review, an annual publication reviewing cases and issues at the Supreme Court. He regularly writes for the ABA Preview of United States Supreme Court Cases. His scholarship has appeared in a variety of law journals.
Uzma Siddiqui: Uzma is a Program Associate with Facing History in Chicago. Prior to joining Facing History she was a high school social studies educator and facilitator for cultural competency at public schools in Lexington, MA and Plano, TX. She earned her B.A. in Historical Studies from the University of Texas at Dallas and her M.Ed. from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education.
Ayesha Truman: Ayesha Truman is currently the Student Support Coordinator at Hinsdale South High School. She has worked for over 20 years as an educator, beginning her career in Special Education. For the last 8 years or more, her passions in education have evolved into amplifying student voices, advocating for more inclusive practices in education, and supporting the school community by connecting families with resources and services.
Melinda Wilson: Melinda Wilson holds a M.Ed. from DePaul University and an M.A. from the University of Illinois with additional coursework at Northwestern University. She has trained at Batsheva Dance Company (Tel-Aviv), Pineapples (London), and Centre de Danse du Marias (Paris) and has been a pick-up dancer with American Ballet Theatre, David Dorfman Dance and Urban Bush Women to name a few. Awards include Top 50 Global Teacher Award, Golden Apple Award, Dance Chicago Outstanding Choreographer (New Voice) Award, IAHPERD Teacher of the Year, SHAPE National Dance Teacher of the Year, first place choreographic awards from Livorno in Danza International Competition and Barcelona Dance Grand Prix. Wilson has been featured in Tes Education Magazine (United Kingdom), Dance Magazine and various national and international webinars. Wilson is a teacher of Ballet, and Jazz at Chicago Movement Collective, resident choreographer for Her Story Theater and Dance Artistic Director at Curie Metropolitan High School for the Performing and Technical Arts. She is also the founder of Per4mers4Change promoting positive active citizenship through the power of performance and youth and a proud member of the DSN Taskforcel.
Nicole Zumpano: Nicole Zumpano has over 25 years of experience as a classroom teacher and instructional technology coach. Currently, she serves as a Director of Instructional Technology Coaching for the Learning Technology Center of Illinois. A National Board Certified Teacher and Google Certified Trainer and Coach, Nicole teaches graduate-level instructional technology courses for three universities. She is passionate about the intersection of technology and education and is currently pursuing ISTE certification.
- DuPage Regional Office of Education SEL Hub
- American Bar Association Division for Public Education
- Retro Report
- Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center
- The Jack Miller Center
- The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) at the Jonathan M. Tisch College for Civic Life at Tufts University
- Our American Voice
- Chicago Metro History Fair
- Mobile Museum of Tolerance
- Glenbard Parent Series