School teachers receive national recognition

June 01, 2018

Why Literature Matters Summer Scholars

  • Hillairy Brown, Charleston Charter School for Math and Science, Charleston, SC
  • Daniel Charlton, Billings Career Center, Billings MT
  • Gillian Drutchas, Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, MI
  • Jeffrey Fetters, Clayton High School, Clayton, NC
  • Courtney Fuson, Powell High School, Powell, TN
  • Héctor Huertas Chalecki, Norwalk High School, Norwalk, CT
  • Sara Lott, Fort Lauderdale High School, Fort Lauderdale, FL
  • Candace Moore, KIPP Atlanta Collegiate, Atlanta, GA
  • Jeannette Morrisett, Fort Yukon School, Fort Yukon, AK
  • Robert Rogers, De La Salle High School, Concord, CA
  • Erica Smith, Clear Lake High School, Houston, TX
  • Jaclyn Thyfault, Dundee-Crown High School, Carpentersville, IL
  • Tiffany Touma, Uncommon Leadership Charter High School, Brooklyn, NY
  • Joanna Walker, Inglemoore High School, Kenmore, WA
  • Claire Walter, The Wolcott School, Chicago, IL
  • Katherine Watkins, Millington Central High School, Millington, TN
"The Poor Teacher" by painting Richard Redgrave
"The Poor Teacher," painting by Richard Redgrave (1840)


Sixteen school teachers have been selected as NEH Summer Scholars from a national applicant pool to attend "Why Literature Matters: Voices from Nineteenth-Century America and Britain," a summer seminar supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Endowment is a federal agency that, each summer, supports these enrichment opportunities at colleges, universities, and cultural institutions so that teachers can study with experts in humanities disciplines.

The four-week program, The Dickens Project's twelfth NEH seminar, will be held at UC Santa Cruz and directed by Janice Carlisle, Yale University Professor of English. Focusing the first three weeks on a variety of nineteenth-century British and American texts and introducing diverse approaches to reading literature, school teachers will spend the final week attending The Dickens Project’s annual conference, Dickens Universe, where Summer Scholars will participate in numerous lectures and workshops. 

The Summer Scholars who participate in the "Why Literature Matters" seminar will teach approximately 1,800 students next year.

For more information about "Why Literature Matters," please visit

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