Fort Vancouver site chosen for teacher development program

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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Fort Vancouver National Historic Site is one of 13 national parks in the Pacific West Region chosen to take part in a teacher development program this summer.

One K-12 teacher, likely from the Portland-Vancouver area, will be chosen for the opportunity at Fort Vancouver, said Greg Shine, chief ranger and historian.

At Fort Vancouver, the objective is to get someone from the local area who is familiar with the school standards that apply to Washington or Oregon, Shine said.

The program will help an educator from an urban school district whose students have fewer opportunities for classroom enrichment.

It will consist of 230 hours of work. Activities include developing at least one classroom lesson plan.

The teacher will help Fort Vancouver review its two most popular elementary education programs, “Beyond the Columbia Department: The Global Reach of Fort Vancouver” and “Dawn to Dusk: The Work Day at Fort Vancouver.”

The teacher will have a chance to suggest changes “that make these programs more supportive of classroom goals and more responsive to student needs,” Shine said.

The teacher outreach program started in 2004.

Each teacher will receive a $3,000 stipend paid for by the National Park Service.

Ninety-four positions have been funded nationwide; other slots will depend on other funding sources.

Participating sites were chosen through an application and evaluation process.

“We feel so honored to have been one of the national parks selected for this important program,” Fort Vancouver Superintendent Tracy Fortmann said in a news release.

The teacher will have an opportunity to see STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education from a Park Service perspective; will develop relationships with park staff and volunteers; and will learn how external programs can be crafted to meet curriculum goals, Fortmann said.

Teacher application information is at go.usa.gov/k9SJ.