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Education

Downers Grove North teachers attend summer workshops

Downers Grove North High School social studies teachers Amy Wlodek-Holland (left), Dennis Rogala and Melissa Wostratzky participated in national workshops over the summer that focused on various aspects of the school's social studies curriculum.
Downers Grove North High School social studies teachers Amy Wlodek-Holland (left), Dennis Rogala and Melissa Wostratzky participated in national workshops over the summer that focused on various aspects of the school's social studies curriculum.

DOWNERS GROVE - Downers Grove North High School social studies teachers Amy Wlodek-Holland, Dennis Rogala and Melissa Wostratzky each won a competitive scholarship to attend national institute programs over the summer, according to a school news release.

Wlodek-Holland attended the 2017 Colonial Williamsburg Teacher Institute in Virginia. During her six-day session led by a master teacher, she and 25 teachers from across the country explored Colonial Williamsburg, engaged in interactive activities and debated how historical events shaped the American identity, the release said.

“I walked away with so many new ideas to incorporate into the classroom, in particular for fostering civic awareness among our students,” Wlodek-Holland said. “The experience renewed my enthusiasm for topics I’ve been teaching for 15 years.”

Rogala traveled to Philadelphia, where he attended the National Constitution Center’s Interactive Constitution, a week-long program with teachers from across the country. The program included lectures, demonstrations and historic site visits, as well as workshops to make content nonpartisan and relevant to learners. He also studied the history of the Supreme Court and mock argued in front of a federal appellate judge, the release said.

Wostratzky attended the Chicago Architecture Foundation workshop, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Teachers from across the country attended the workshop, The American Skyscraper: Transforming Chicago and the Nation, the release stated.

“I learned that many architectural firms in Chicago pursue business in China and incorporate bamboo and dragons into their designs, which delights the Chinese people,” Wostratzky said. “This reinforced to me how math and science are of course important in the workforce, but so is having cultural awareness and competency.”

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