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Educator heads to D.C. for workshop
Library of Congress picks BI media aide
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This week, one Bradwell Institute educator was selected to participate in a national honor in Washington, D.C., and is the only one from Liberty County chosen along with 175 other educators from across the nation.

Nicole Lukkarinen, the high school’s media specialist, was selected to participate in a Library of Congress education Summer Teacher Institute.

“Nicole is the only educator from Liberty County,” said Kathleen McGuigan, education resource specialist for the Library of Congress. “Teachers apply and are recommended with a letter from their principal. We have a number of criteria to use to choose a class of diverse educators from around the country including grade level, school location (urban, suburban, rural), subject(s) taught, ability to bring pieces of the program back to the educators in the local community.”

Participants are taught how to access primary sources from the Library of Congress; become skilled at analyzing sources in various formats; discover new teaching strategies for using the sources in the classroom, facilitate primary source-based activities with students and gain knowledge of using the primary sources to engage students and develop a plan to be implemented in an instructional setting, according to the institute’s website.

BI Principal Scott Carrier said he worked with Lukkarinen when she was a teacher at Frank Long Elementary and she always has been an innovative, creative educator, which is why he had no problem writing her recommendation.

“It means a lot to us (that she was selected),” Carrier said. “We’re always looking for good, quality, innovative people. It shows she wants to improve upon herself …we’re anxious to see what she gets from the program.”

Lukkarinen will participate with 16 other educators throughout this week for the event and was chosen from a pool of hundreds of applicants to be a part of the 175 participants total. The Institutes have been in place for more than 10 years and this is the first year that the training is worth three graduate credits, McGuigan said.

“Each year, the Library of Congress provides the opportunity for a carefully chosen group of K-12 educators to attend one of its seven Teacher Institutes in Washington, D.C. During the five-day program, participants work with Library education specialists and subject matter experts to learn effective practices for using primary sources in the classroom, while exploring some of the millions of digitized historical artifacts and documents available on the Library’s website,” according to a news release.

Liberty County Superintendent Dr. Judy Scherer said she believes the media specialist is the first in Liberty County to attend the Library of Congress conference.

“Obviously, the system is proud of her accomplishment. She has been employed in Liberty County since 2000,” Scherer said. “The skills will help her relate to her students and assist them in doing research.”

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