Monday, July 11, 2022
Fellowship provides opportunities for vice-principal, students
Cheryl Sheffield, vice-principal at Parry Sound High School, is about to embark on the “opportunity of a lifetime” working with naturalists, scientists, explorers and National Geographic photographers during a 10-day expedition to the Galapagos Islands.
Sheffield is one of 50 educators, and one of only six Canadians who are finally able to participate in the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship for which she was selected two years ago; the pandemic put the expedition on hold. The fellowship is a professional development opportunity for pre-K-Grade 12 educators and is supported by Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society.
The fellowship will provide a unique learning opportunity for classes in the Near North District School Board (NNDSB), as Sheffield is hoping to be able to connect live with classrooms and other learners through live feeds and other online applications. “I would love student enquiry to guide my exploration of Galapagos, and I look forward to interacting with classrooms in our board to answer student questions and respond to wonderings they may have about this unique part of the world,” she says.
Sheffield is committed to returning home with an experience that will translate into reimagined curricula that will inspire students, colleagues and communities to care more deeply about the planet and act on global issues.
She will travel aboard National Geographic Endeavour II, a Lindblad Expeditions ship. Sheffield says, “I’m hoping to follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin and come to know more about his theory of evolution, by exploring the incredible archipelago famed for its unique flora and fauna.” She is looking forward to encountering giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, playful penguins, and curious sea lions in their natural habitats among the Galapagos Islands.
The vice-principal is also hoping to better understand the conservation efforts in place within Galapagos to protect its wild spaces and wildlife, and how they might be similar to or align with that of the Georgian Bay Biosphere and other environmental efforts in our area.
Applicants were able to select their top five options for their expedition, and Galapagos was Sheffield’s top pick. Her fellowship shipmate is a teacher from Hawaii, and they are already working together to plan deliverables for their expedition.
Upon her return, she takes on a two-year leadership commitment to support National Geographic’s education initiatives. As a Fellow, she may be asked to conduct webinars, participate in meetups and mentor other educators, and she hopes to bring learning to life for students and educators here in our community.
Interested class teachers and individuals can connect with Sheffield on her expedition and learning journey via this Google form. She will reach out in late August with details about the learning connections, and with specifics about the online platforms that will be used during her expedition. She will also be available following her expedition to offer presentations and act as a resource to share her knowledge of the numerous resources and opportunities available through National Geographic.
For more information, please contact:
Near North District School Board
P: (705) 472-8170, extension 5010