Teachers tour Turkey in educational exchange
TEACHERS AS STUDENTS: Three local teachers recently returned from a two-week visit to Turkey arranged through a Washington, D.C.-based organization, the Turkish Cultural Foundation. Its Teacher Study Tour program is organized in collaboration with the World Affairs Councils of America and its nationwide chapters.
Kim Young of Weston High School, David Byron of Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, and Sotirios Pintzopoulos of North Reading High School were among 57 teachers selected nationwide for two trips supported by the international study grant.
As a followup to their trip, the Massachusetts teachers will work with WorldBoston, a nonprofit, nonpartisan affiliate of the World Affairs Councils of America, to develop lessons plans for their classrooms and events for the public.
In Turkey, they met with fellow teachers and students in order to learn about the Turkish educational system. Their stops included Darussafaka, a school for orphaned children, and Atakoy Ilkogretim Okulu, in the Turkish village of Karacasu, which is currently being supported by American teachers from previous study tours.
In Istanbul, the group toured Hagia Sophia, the Spice Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, and the Istanbul Archeological Museum. They also visited Bursa, the first capital city of the Ottoman Empire; Ephesus, where they toured the site of the Celsus Library built in 117 AD; the archeological excavation of Catalhoyuk, a 7,000-year-old Neolithic settlement that has been nominated for UNESCO’s World Heritage List; and the Cappadocia region, known for its landscapes and cave churches.
Since 2007, the foundation has introduced 348 American educators to the history, culture, and landmarks of Turkey. As part of the same program, nearly 2,500 teachers nationwide have attended educational workshops on Turkey held by local World Affairs Council chapters.
UPDATING HISTORY: While the celebrated pasts of Concord and Lexington haven’t changed, commonly held notions of historical significance have evolved. The task of compiling both long recognized and newly relevant events recently fell to Leslie Perrin Wilson, curator of the William Munroe Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library, and author of a new edition of “Historic Concord and the Lexington Fight.’’
The comprehensive guidebook was originally written by Concord historian Allen French for visitors to the area, and was published by the Concord Free Public Library in 1942. The task of updating the guide fell to Concord resident David Little, who produced its second and third editions under the auspices of the Friends of the Concord Free Public Library in 1978 and 1992, respectively.
In writing the fourth edition, Wilson added details about Concord’s Nine Acre Corner farming community; the Damon Mill building in West Concord; and antislavery and Underground Railroad sites near the library in Concord Center.
Book designer Christine Reynolds of Waltham incorporated historic images from the library’s collection. Leslie Evans of Sea Dog Press in Watertown designed two fold-out maps: one of Concord, and one showing Lexington and the Battle Road.
Wilson said the project enabled her to become reacquainted with the breadth of the area’s patriotic, cultural, agricultural, industrial, and literary legacies.
“History is complex, and there is a true interconnection between different periods,’’ she said. “I hope readers walk away with a more nuanced understanding of Concord and Lexington than your typical tourist publication might promote.’’
“Historic Concord and the Lexington Fight’’ is available at the Concord Free Public Library, the Concord Bookshop, and local historic sites. For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LIFETME OF GIVING: Arthur G. Koumantzelis (above) of Lincoln was recently presented with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Alpha Omega Council in Boston for his achievements in business and philanthropy.
Koumantzelis has been a senior partner at the Ernst & Young financial services firm, chief financial officer at Cumberland Farms Inc., and chief executive officer of Gainesborough Investments. He served as trustee of Bentley University in Waltham and is a life member of the board of overseers of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. He is on the board of directors of Hellenic College in Brookline, the Boy’s & Girl’s Club of Greater Lowell, and the Immigrant Learning Center of Malden.
More than 300 people attended the ceremony at the Boston Marriott Copley Place, where Alpha Omega Council president Nicholas F. Kourtis presented the award. Masters of ceremonies were former governor Michael S. Dukakis and Anna Christopher Bross, director of media relations at National Public Radio.
The Alpha Omega Council is comprised of Americans of Hellenic ancestry who promote and support religious, charitable, scientific, literary, and educational activities. Since its founding in 1976, the organization has raised more than $1.5 million for charity.
NEW ROLE: Needham resident Daphna Fields has been promoted to regional vice president of the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage Boston Metro Region.
In her new position, Fields oversees the company’s 16 branch offices in and around Boston, including downtown Boston, Cambridge, Brookline, Newton, Weston, and Wellesley.
People items may be submitted to Cindy Cantrell at cantrell@ globe.com.