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Eleven Olathe teachers set to receive master’s degree in history

Fri, 05/16/2014

LAWRENCE — For the past four year years, Olathe Public Schools and University of Kansas Department of History have partnered in a $814,000 U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History grant.

The program, titled Connecting Learning and Instruction in Olathe (CLIO): We the People  – In Search of a More Perfect Union, comes to a successful completion this spring when 11 Olathe teachers receive their master’s degrees in history. 

The degree recipients are Thea Britton, Karen Davis, Kathy Falen, Andrew Fine, Holly Laflen, Kathryn Leo, Melissa Lunney, Kim McKissick, Anthony Ruiz, Mathew Stephenson and Jennifer Yoksh. They completed major research projects on American history topics that ranged from the Salem Witchcraft Trials to the origins of American Indian Casinos in Kansas.

Nine other teachers participated in the program for continuing education hours. 

Maureen Donegan, social studies coordinator for Olathe, teamed with KU Professors Paul Kelton and Kim Warren to direct the program, which included fall and spring semester colloquia in Olathe and summer onsite learning seminars at such places as the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder, Colo.; the Freedom Trail in Boston; and Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

“The CLIO Program has had an amazing impact on the teaching of American history in Olathe,” Professor Kelton said.  “I am tremendously proud of the teachers for all of the hard work and dedication that they put into improving their skills as historians.  Their students are the most important beneficiaries of this wonderful program.” 

Kathryn Leo, who will graduate with honors, lauded the program as an opportunity of a lifetime.

“We have had the benefit of learning from outstanding professors,” she said. “Because of the trips we’ve taken, books we’ve read, and the fascinating classroom lectures and discussions, we are better students, teachers, writers and historians.” 



KU in the news
Discovery NewsTue, 12/16/2014
The Huffington PostTue, 12/16/2014
Jaclyn Carpenter, a junior studying American Studies, took a moment after finishing her finals to wander around Marvin Grove — know the feeling? But Jaclyn told us her semester was a good one. Her favorite class this year? Jewish American Literature, "because professor Cheryl Lester really knows how to engage with her classes." This made us want to know: What was your favorite class and why? Jaclyn added some advice: “You're only on this campus for four years, so take any free time you have to explore all the unique wonders it has." We love that idea, Jaclyn. #exploreKU

With finals complete & just before work, @carpenterjaclyn took an opportunity to #exploreKU . http://t.co/803saKLN3t http://t.co/BHPRI3FAOI
Curiosity sparks KU paleontologist Chris Beard’s quest for man’s ancient cousins When he’s not scrutinizing ancient primate fossils in his KU lab, world-renowned paleontologist Chris Beard (http://bit.ly/1w3TQSj) is out stalking human evolutionary ancestors in remote corners of Libya, Turkey, China, Myanmar, Kazakhstan, Cambodia, Egypt, Tunisia, or Kenya. Beard, who came to KU as a Foundation Distinguished Professor, has a passion for being out in the middle of nowhere and making a discovery — “There’s nothing better than that. It’s fabulous.”


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