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Master Teachers

Both to help make SALEM in History self-sustaining, and to draw upon the rich professional resources of the Salem Public Schools, this project employs Master Teachers as part of the SALEM in History team. Master Teachers are selected from among project participants for both their commitment to SALEM in History and their demonstrated excellence and experience in effectively using primary sources to teach critical historical content. They provide in-house guidance and support for fellow teachers during the grant period, they help plan and facilitate follow-up sessions and teacher workshops during Cycles 2 and 3, and they offer insight and advise to project staff as SALEM in History moves forward, thereby helping ensure not only that the project meets the needs of teacher-participants, but also that the project's goals, materials and methods will be shared with district teachers beyond the end of the grant cycle. Master Teachers are critical to the long-term success of SALEM in History.

Meet our Master Teachers:


Elizabeth Beaulieu [email]
Collins Middle School
Master Teacher 2004-2006

As an 8th grade teacher in Salem, Massachusetts, I have spent a significant amount of time observing early adolescents. Their ability to question the world that they inhabit seems endless. The challenge for me as a teacher is to focus and refine their questioning. Teaching with primary sources is one way to help students to narrow and target their questions and use the answers to draw conclusions and ask further questions. In the last year I have asked my students to look at artifacts and documents from our city. The exercise of learning from primary sources has helped them to see that the history of Salem is all around them and accessible to everyone.

Teaching U.S. History and geography has been my career for the last 8 years. I have also spent many years working with young adults at a summer camp in western Massachusetts. My other interests include cycling, yoga and cooking.

David Buckhoff [email]
Danvers High School
Master Teacher 2004-2006

David Buckhoff teaches Local History and Western Civilizations at Danvers High School. Over the past few years he has worked hard to implement the use of primary sources into the curriculum. In 1999, David presented a primary source based unit on the Philosophies of China at the Northeast Regional Conference on the Social Studies. He also participated in Primary Source's 2000 Spring Study Tour in China. David has recently created a yearlong curriculum on the History of Essex County with a focus on the town of Danvers. This course includes site visits, document based research, and a comprehensive oral history project.

Mary Cura [email]
Horace Mann Elementary School
Master Teacher 2005-2006

Mary Cura teaches fourth grade at the Horace Mann Lab School in Salem,
Massachusetts.  Over the past few years she has been working toward
implementing primary sources into the fourth grade social studies
curriculum.  She has found that using primary sources for both teaching and
assessing has made the curriculum come alive for her students.  Mary¹s
classroom is an inclusive one, where there are children with many different
abilities.  Using primary sources, all children have the opportunity to
participate in the curriculum. Primary sources allow Mary to scaffold and
modify curriculum in a meaningful way so that children of all abilities can
succeed and feel confident about what they are learning. Mary has been
trained in Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) and uses these strategies to
help children become more observant learners.  Each month the children study a different artist and his/her artwork.  They practice VTS when viewing the paintings from the different artists.  Mary has found that by using these
strategies, the children in her class have developed keen observation
skills. These sharpened observation skills have proven quite valuable when
studying primary sources.

Alayne Fix [email]
Saltonstall School
Master Teacher 2004-2005

Alayne is a veteran educator. Early in her career, she taught high school students world history, economics and geography. However, for the past ten years she has been at Saltonstall School as a second and third grade teacher. In 1998, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts awarded Alayne the title of Global Educator of the Year for her work with Salem State College and her many workshop presentations. In that same year, Alayne penned a weekly family geography column for Essex County Newspapers to accompany the book series Orphan Journey Home. Primary sources make regular appearances in Alayne's classroom-from Paul Revere's letters, to fans from the collections of the Peabody Essex Museum. Alayne and husband, David, love to hike, boat and travel. They reside in Boxford.

"I have [always] enjoyed being a mentor teacher...to share ideas and help [other teachers] expand their own repertoire of teaching skills."

Diane Morey [email]
Danvers High School
Master Teacher 2005-2006

Diane offers a creative approach, rich with a wide variety of primary sources, in her classroom. She teaches an elective course on women's history.

Rebecca Zimmerman [email]
Collins Middle School
Master Teacher 2004-2006

Hi, I'm Rebecca Zimmerman! I have been teaching language arts and social studies at Collins Middle School in Salem, Mass. for the past seven years. Previously I taught fifth grade in Connecticut. I enjoy exploring American history in my classroom by bringing in both primary sources and artifacts for students to examine. I frequently have students try their hand at journal writing, production of advertisements for historical events, or letters from a particular point of view. I believe that students' academic experiences are enriched by using a variety of materials to teach history and social studies.

My teaching philosophies have been influenced by my former career as a museum interpreter and educator at Old Sturbridge Village. I worked at the museum during the 80s and 90s, and have seen how powerful the use of activities and artifacts can be for children.

I have lived in Salem for the past five years and enjoy traveling, visiting museums, contra dancing and knitting. I am originally from Maryland and grew up right outside Washington, D.C. In fact I had a summer job at the Smithsonian (in the gift shop) in high school. I am thrilled to be a part of Salem in History, and look forward to working with the great variety of educators and historians in the program.