King Faculty share their summer experiences and studies during the Sabbatical Presentations

At King, we strongly believe that a top quality Professional Growth and Development (PG&D) program is the cornerstone of our success. Our faculty are talented, committed, knowledgeable, energetic, and passionate about their work. They understand that in order to be the very best, they must be lifelong learners as well as professional educators, and they know that the two are intimately linked.

King's Summer Sabbatical grants were established to provide funding to support teachers who wish to explore topics and ideas and to develop their knowledge and expertise in a manner that will positively impact the work that they do with students. Each year, King awards four one-time Summer Sabbatical grants in late May or early June, to be used for work that summer. The Sabbaticals can consist of a wide variety of activities but not limited to: traveling, quietly studying and reflecting at a remote location, reading books connected to a new course, participating in volunteer work, developing a web site to manage an entire course, interviewing experts, and conducting research.

Last summer, the grants were awarded to four Faculty. They shared their experiences during the Sabbatical Presentations in January. Read about their travels and studies below:


Daniel Block, English Faculty: "The title for my sabbatical project was "Reading comprehension today: Digital challenges & practical interventions." My goal was to understand the root cause of our students' growing struggles with reading comprehension and generate ideas  about how King School can address those deficits. 

 The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that an emerging attention economy deliberately degrades our students' capacity for the kind of   sustained attention deep reading requires. Moreover, we have wrongly abdicated our prerogative as parents and educators out of a misplaced   deference to technology companies that do not share the goals and aspirations we have for our young people. In response, King can teach   students how to engage with print culture, separate from digital culture, and practice cognitive code switching as three strategies for challenging   the screen-reading norms that enrich corporations but not our student's reading comprehension skills."


  Cara Grimaldi, Performing Arts Faculty:"I traveled to Peru last summer, hiking the Lares Lodge trail from Cusco to Machu Picchu. This trip opened my eyes to the incredible history of the Incan people and to what present day life is like in the Andean highlands. I came away with a deep appreciation for early people and the complex civilizations they built. Even more, I now have openness and even a hunger to explore other parts of the world where people live incredibly different lives than we live here in America, relying on natural resources and their own hard work for sustainability."
  Tricia Manganello, English Faculty: "I spent two weeks in England doing research at the Bronte Parsonage Library and The Chawton House library. My goal was to look at what the Bronte sisters and Jane Austen were reading during their lifetimes. Immersing myself in these primary materials deepened my understanding of the historical context in which they wrote and re-energized my teaching of these texts. I also visited the town of Hay-on-Wye in Wales, famous for its numerous bookstores, and was reaffirmed in my belief  in the importance of developing communities of readers."
  Elizabeth Messinger, English Faculty: "I spent a year preparing for a journey that took me 3500 miles along the Civil Rights Trail over two weeks last July. Mobilized to understand how we have arrived at this divisive point in American political culture when groups of people are seeing their rights threatened, I traced the legal accomplishments of the past and discovered (1) the waves of reaction that followed every achievement, and (2) the inspiring persistence of people who continue to work toward making "equality for all" a reality in our country. What strikes me repeatedly is how schools have been the battleground for progress, since education is where the proverbial "playing field" gets leveled."


The grants for Summer 2020 will be announced this spring and we look forward to hearing where King Faculty will go next.