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Deborah Somerville

English Instructor

I grew up on a small hobby farm in Massachusetts, the values of which I am now returning to with my recent move to a rural setting in Ladysmith to commence at North Cedar Academy as an English instructor. I greet this position with great enthusiasm as it allows me to continue working with an international student population, yet be closer to my family who lives in southern Wisconsin. With over thirty years of teaching experience, the majority of it has been at American schools abroad.

Having taught in El Salvador, China, Eritrea, Turkey, Qatar, Venezuela, and Nepal, I am well-versed in the benefits of a multicultural classroom that celebrates the diversity of traditions, beliefs, and attitudes. This diversity cultivates the inquiry-based, problem-solving, and individualized learning approaches that my pedagogy is based upon. The rigorous English language arts curriculum that I am known for is also made assessible to all learners by scaffolding lessons and allowing a variety of ways for learners to demonstrate their new knowledge and understandings. I believe that all students can learn to love reading as a lifestyle choice, and that all students have the ability to create poetry, compositions and critical insights from the content being studied. Each student voice and perspective hold merit in the democratic style of seminar workshops and literature circles that are trademarks of my classroom learning experience.

My own educational background includes the privilege of attending high school at Lawrence Academy (Groton, MA), earning a B.A. from Bucknell University (Lewisburg, PA) with double majors in English and Cultural Anthropology, M.F.A. studies in creative writing (University of Arizona), secondary teachers’ certification from Sonoma State University (CA), and current M.Ed. studies at Valparaiso University (IL). My on-going thesis work is to write a secondary curriculum guide on how to teach humane education through literature. Humane education is a field that focuses on teaching the interrelated topics of environmental ethics, animal protection, human rights, and culture and change as a way to empower a generation of global citizens who are problem-solvers and critical thinkers, skilled to face the challenges of the 21st century and beyond.

I am thrilled to be joining North Cedar Academy this 2018-2019 academic year! Off campus, you will find me walking in the woods, paddling on a river, practicing yoga, reading, writing, playing with my dog, Jasper, and (of course) assessing student essays to discover their daily gems of wisdom and inspiration.