Many of you on campus may recognize Brett Mills as a St. Thomas High School U.S. History teacher, Dean of Social Studies, or Rugby coach. Although, what you might not know about Mr. Mills is his how he spends his summers.
Each summer, Mr. Mills spends time in locations throughout the U.S. or abroad – attending fellowships and/or history teaching workshops. Mills researches these opportunities throughout the year, applies to ones of interest, and prepares all specific reading and writing requirements for each. If accepted, the fellowships include airfare and housing. Moreover, the program grants participants continuous learning hours or graduate credit hours upon request.
Over the last few summers, Mills has had the opportunity to travel to sites where several wars occurred. Some of these sites include Monticello, Mount Vernon, Gettysburg, and Hermitage. The fellowships he has completed focused on professional development in his specific field of study. The workshops included several 3-hour sessions followed by tours of the battlefields in the afternoons.
Teachers of various disciplines, from high school level to college level to PhD level experts, travel from all over the world to attend. Being surrounded by different groups of people, stimulates and challenges the teachers intellectually. “It is important to spend time with specialists in our field and seeing how each group brings something different to the table,” said Mills.
Mills’ aims to challenge the Social Studies department, continues to encourage all teachers to be excited to engage with new students. Mills adds, “These kinds of opportunities are a great reminder of the importance of being a student. By combining education with entertainment we are able to touch different parts of our students’ brains.”