Ann Stock: The Former Elementary Teacher Who Became the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs

Ann+Stock+FORTUNE+Most+Powerful+Women+Dinner+j3lZxmHyF5gl[1]Often successful educators gain recognition in professions other than education. When this happens, the professions are very often related to their former careers as teachers. Such is the case for former elementary school teacher Ann Stock, an Indiana native who served as the Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs between 2010 and 2013.

Ann Stock graduated from Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana, in 1964, and then earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Purdue University. After she graduated form college, she worked as an elementary school teacher, and then as a flight attendant for Pan American Airlines, where she was based in Washington D C. During the 1980 presidential elections,  the ambitious educator served as deputy press secretary for Vice President Walter Mondale. She then became Vice President of Corporate Communications and Public Relations for Bloomingdale’s Department Stores, where she worked for ten years. In 1993, President Bill Clinton selected Ann to be his White House Social Secretary, a position she held until 1997. From September 1997 to June 2010, she served as the Vice President of Institutional Affairs at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

In 2010, President Barack Obama named Ann Stock as his Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). After a Senate confirmation hearing, she was sworn in on June 23, 2010. Ann once explained that the primary goal of the ECA is to bring together students and professionals from around the country and throughout the globe in the hope of building stronger relationships between the countries. The organization sponsors many programs for international education exchanges which promote cultural learning and mutual understanding. Its best-known program is the Fulbright Scholar Program. Since the organization was established, more than one million people have participated in ECA exchange programs, including more than fifty Nobel Laureates and over three-hundred-fifty current or former heads of state and government.

The former teacher retired from her position last summer.

Ann Stock: A true chalkboard champion.

Nantucket Coach Beau Almodobar Used to Play for the NFL

footballequipment25-01[1]Many talented athletes go on to become coaches after their careers as professional players are complete. Such is the case with Beau Almodobar, a junior high school physical education teacher who once played for the National Football League. He is pictured here, in the center, with two of his players.

Beau was born born October 25, 1962, in San Francisco, California. He played college football for the Norwich University Cadets. Norwich, also known as The Military College of Vermont, is a private university located in Northfield, Vermont. It is the oldest private military college in the United States. At 5’9″ and 180 pounds, Beau played the position of wide receiver for the Cadets. After he graduated from the university, he played one season with the New York Giants as a replacement player. That was in 1987.

Beau currently teaches physical education and health at Cyrus Pierce Middle School in Nantucket, Massachusetts. He has served as the Head Varsity Coach for basketball in the Nantucket Public School system, and also coaches football for the Nantucket High School Whalers. A well-rounded athlete, Beau also runs ACKventure summer camps for baseball and basketball for Nantucket youth.

Well done, Beau!

Some Resources for Your Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Classroom Instruction


img_mlk_portrait[1]The celebration of the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on Monday, January 20, offers educators a really great opportunity to share the story of this great historical figure. Dr. King was much more than a civil rights leader. Among his many interests, he was also a passionate advocate of education and life-long learning, and an avid student of history who urged his fellow citizens to appreciate and gain a thorough understanding of history to avoid repeating it. He once said, “We are not makers of history. We are made by history.”

To aid classroom teachers with their MLK Day presentations, here are some instructional resources to consider for your use:

Scholastic. Biographical information, plays, memorable quotes, interactive timeline, book lists, lesson plans, reproducibles. Grade levels K-12.

Teacher Vision. Biographical information, educational videos, printables, lesson plans, activities, art projects, quizzes, references. Also, many resources for African American history and Black History Month. Grade levels K-12.

PBS. Resources to teach the life and impact of Martin Luther King. Videos, lesson plans, Civil Rights glossary, interactive timeline, personal narratives. Grades 7-12.

NEA. Background resources, videos, printables, lesson plans, activities, crossword puzzles, quizzes. Grades K-12.


High School English Teacher Susan Dryden Whitson Served as Press Secretary for First Lady Laura Bush

whitson[1]Many talented educators pursue successful careers outside the profession of teaching. One example of this is Susan Dryden Whitson, a high school English teacher from Birmingham, Alabama, who also served as the press secretary to First Lady Laura Bush. “Mrs. Bush and I are both educators, so we share the common belief that education and literacy are the foundation of opportunity,” Susan once said. “Working for Mrs. Bush has afforded me the chance to talk about the issues important to her, but which are also important to me.”

Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in secondary education language arts from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama, in 1991. As a young co-ed, she was a member of the War Eagle Girls and Plainsmen and the Student Government Association. After graduating from Auburn, Susan accepted a position in her native Birmingham to teach ninth and tenth grade English at Hoover High School. She was employed there for six years. While there, Susan was the ninth-grade English teacher to 2006 American Idol winner Taylor Hicks.

In 1997, at the end of a temporary summer appointment with then Representative Bob Riley, she was offered a position as his press secretary. She considered the offer “an opportunity too good to pass up.” In the eight years that followed, she served as a press secretary on Capitol Hill for numerous government officials, including two US representatives, a deputy director of the Office of Public Affairs at the US Department of Justice, a chief of the FBI’s National Press Office, and a deputy communications director for the Bush-Cheney 2004 campaign.  She was appointed by Mrs. Bush as the First Lady’s press secretary in 2005, and worked in that capacity until 2007.

The former English teacher currently serves on the Auburn Campaign Committee for the Washington metro area. Susan and her husband, Keir Whitson, live in Rappahannock County, Virginia.

“I’ve held a lot of titles over the years,” Susan once declared, “but the one I am most proud of is teacher.”

The Teacher in Space Program Lives On, In Science Teacher Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger

When Christa McAuliffe was selected to be the first Teacher in Space, the educational community was very excited and immensely proud. It was truly a sad day on January 28, 1986, when this gifted and talented educator perished, along with six other astronauts, in the Challenger disaster. But the Teacher in Space program lives on, and other remarkable teachers have been fortunate enough to be a part of it. One such teacher is Dorothy Metcalf-Lindenburger.

metcalf-dm-thumbnail[1]Dorothy, who prefers to be called Dottie, was born May 2, 1975, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, the daughter of two teachers. She graduated from Fort Collins High School in Fort Collins, Colorado. After her high school graduation, she earned her bachelor’s degree in geology from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, in 1997, and her teaching certificate from Central Washington University at Ellensburg, Washington, in 1999. That year, she was named the Outstanding Teacher Preparation Candidate at the university.

Dottie was employed for five years as a science teacher at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver, Washington, where she instructed courses in earth science and astronomy, and also coached the Science Olympiad. An accomplished athlete, Dottie also coached cross country for three years.

It was through her teaching that Dottie became involved in the NASA astronaut program. One day, while educating her students about the Hubble Space Telescope, one of her students asked her how astronauts go to the bathroom in space. To find the answer, Dottie consulted the NASA website, where she found not only the answer, but also an application to become an educator astronaut. Just over a year later, in May, 2004, the gifted educator was selected to be an Astronaut Candidate. To complete the program, Dottie underwent rigorous training that included orientations, briefings, tours, scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in space shuttle and international space station systems, physiological training, flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Successful completion of this training in February, 2006, qualified her as a NASA astronaut. Dottie then served as a Mission Specialist in April, 2010, on STS-131, a space shuttle mission to the international space station.

In addition to her other skills, Dottie is a talented singer as well. She has been a long-time lead singer with the all-astronaut rock band, “Max Q,” and she sang the National Anthem at the Houston Astros game against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 20, 2009, in celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing.

thumb_SGB_0244E[1]On April 16, 2012, NASA announced that Dottie would command the NEEMO 16 undersea exploration mission aboard the Aquarius underwater laboratory, scheduled to begin on June 11, 2012, and last twelve days.The NEEMO 16 crew successfully “splashed down” at 11:05 am on June 11. On the morning of June 12, the former teacher and her crewmates officially became aquanauts, having spent over 24 hours underwater.The crew safely returned to the surface on June 22.

Dottie Metcalf-Lindenburger. The Teacher in Space program lives on in her.