HIDOE educators named 2021 Nat Geo Grosvenor Teacher Fellows

18-Mar-2021

Two Hawai‘i public school teachers have been chosen to participate in the National Geographic's Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship, a two-year professional development opportunity for pre-K-12 educators supported by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society.

Two Hawai‘i public school teachers have been chosen to participate in the National Geographic's Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship (GTF), a two-year professional development opportunity for pre-K-12 educators supported by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society. Fifty exemplary educators are chosen annually to participate in this program. 

Selected educators are hosted aboard Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages and have the opportunity to transfer their onboard experience on geographic knowledge and global awareness into their classroom and through mentorship of other educators. 

The 2021 cohort is the largest and most diverse in the program’s history, reflecting a range of teaching environments, subject expertise, geographies and ethnicities, according to the National Geographic Society. Fellows were selected from a competitive applicant pool “for their impactful work to further students’ understanding of the planet and its people, empowering them to generate solutions for a healthier and more sustainable future.”

Hear from the two selected HIDOE educators about how they will use their experiences to further enhance their teaching and give back to their communities.

Laura Cummings

Sunset Beach Elementary

As the coordinator and teacher of the gifted and talented science and math programs for grades 4 through 6 at Sunset Beach Elementary School, I strive to find interesting and relevant learning opportunities to keep students engaged, motivated and curious. I value building partnerships and working alongside organizations such as the Kokua Hawai‘i Foundation, Hawai‘i Energy, the Blue Planet Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the National Energy Education Development project (NEED), who have so much to offer students. 

Through my search for continued learning, I came across the National Geographic Educator Certification program. This professional development course was a powerful way to connect with educators around the world and try out different ways of teaching essential content aligned with standards. It was during this course that I learned about the Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship program. I was intrigued and excited by this hands-on, field-based expedition to a fascinating location in the world. 

This professional development opportunity will allow me to discover, explore, connect with experts, and fine-tune my photography and storytelling skills to be able to create unique learning experiences that are customized to students’ interests and needs. I am very fortunate to be able to work with 49 other amazing educators in the cohort this year, two of whom are located on Oahu. I feel lucky to have the support and enthusiasm of my students and school community in this endeavor and hope to use this experience to give back to them in a way that is impactful, relevant and meaningful.

Ellie Kantar

Farrington High School

I am honored to count myself among the group of educators chosen for the 2021 Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship. 

As an English Language Learners (ELL) teacher, my classes are multilingual, often with six, seven, or eight home languages in one classroom. My students bring a wide variety of personal and academic experiences with them when they step into my classroom. They are navigating a new country, city, community and school, all in a new language. I hope to use what I learn as a Grosvenor Teacher Fellow to help show my students that the knowledge, skills and history they walk into my classroom with are not only assets, but can also make a direct impact on the world around us.

The National Geographic Society and Lindblad Expeditions have a wide-reaching influence. I am excited to make Farrington High School a part of the global community of educators, explorers, and storytellers they have created. Although I don’t yet know what expedition I will be participating in, my goal is to use this experience to design projects and create opportunities that bring the far-reaching places on our planet closer to my students and help them understand how our actions are connected not only to ourselves, but to our community and to our planet.



Contact Information

Communications Branch

Phone: 808-784-6200

Email: doeinfo@k12.hi.us

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