Posted by: Stefan Anderson | August 26, 2012

Conserve School Teacher Named NAIS “Teacher of the Future”

Dr. Kathleen O’Connor, Conserve School Spanish Teacher and Academic Dean

We’re proud to announce that Conserve School Spanish Teacher and Academic Dean Kathleen O’Connor has been selected by the National Association of Independent Schools as a “Teacher of the Future,” an honor accorded to only twenty independent school teachers in the nation each year.

Below you can see the associated press release, which describes the award.

Conserve School Teacher Kathleen O’Connor Named “Teacher of the Future”

(Land O’ Lakes, Wisconsin – 8/13/12) – Kathleen O’Connor, a teacher of Spanish language and literature at Conserve School, was selected by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) as part of the annual Teachers of the Future program. The NAIS Teachers of the Future were selected from a large pool of nominees who inspire academic excellence in students and who serve as opinion leaders among their colleagues and peers. The Teachers of the Future were also chosen for their expertise in particular areas – environmentalism, globalism, technology, and equity and justice – which NAIS believes are hallmarks of a high-quality education for the 21st Century. As one of only 20 teachers nationwide chosen for the program, Dr. O’Connor will lead an online discussion forum designed to share innovative ideas and teaching techniques and she will create a demonstration video to inspire others.

In addition to her work at Conserve School, Dr. O’Connor has been a lecturer at Yale, the University of Wisconsin, and abroad. A highly accomplished scholar, she has taught both Spanish and English at the high school and college level and is proficient in French, German, and Latin as well as Spanish. While studying Latin American literature and culture as a graduate student, Dr. O’Connor lived and worked in South America. She has served as a Faculty Consultant for the Advanced Placement Spanish Examination with the College Board and is also Conserve School’s Academic Dean. In addition to two bachelor’s degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Dr. O’Connor holds a Ph.D. and two master’s degrees from Yale University. Mary Anna Thornton, Assistant Head of School at Conserve School, stated, “I can’t imagine any high school educator more deserving of the NAIS Teacher of the Future award than Kathleen. It’s rare for such an exemplary scholar to dedicate her career to teaching at the high school level. Conserve School students are fortunate to benefit from her outstanding academic background and teaching expertise.”

Dr. O’Connor balances her scholarly pursuits with leadership in extracurricular activities, frequently joining Conserve School students on wilderness trips and in cross-country running. She also enjoys teaching students how to prepare the traditional cuisine of Spanish-speaking countries. Dr. O’Connor leads the college and career preparation program at Conserve School and coaches students on the completion of their college applications.

Dr. O’Connor’s diverse talents and interests fit in well with Conserve School’s program. Conserve School’s mission is to inspire young people to environmental stewardship through academics and engagement with the forests, lakes, and wildlife of the school’s wilderness campus. Each semester the school brings sixty high school students from across the country to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to live and learn for sixteen weeks. Thanks to the generosity of the school’s founder, tuition for all students is covered by the Lowenstine Honors Scholarship Program. Conserve School is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA-CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED.

The National Association of Independent Schools, based in Washington, DC, is a voluntary membership organization for over 1,700 independent schools and associations in the United States and abroad. Independent schools are distinct from other private schools in that they are independently governed by boards of trustees and they are funded primarily through tuition, charitable contribution, and endowment income. To be eligible for membership in NAIS, schools must be accredited, nondiscriminatory, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations.

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