The Robert H. Jackson Center of Jamestown, New York is pleased to announce that it has awarded the prestigious Robert H. Jackson Center Fellowship to three deserving area educators. Commencing their collaboration with the Center on July 21 were Melissa Lynn Becker, Warren Area High School; Caroline F. Hayes, Youngsville Elementary Middle School; and Daiman Doolittle Parinella, Washington Middle School.

The Robert H. Jackson Teacher Fellowship program was designed to develop a community of skilled educators who collaborate with the Center to create quality educational materials that meet common core standards and can be easily incorporated into classroom curriculum. To be accepted into the program, educators must demonstrate excellence in the classroom, and participation in community and professional organizations, as well as knowledge of the importance of Justice Jackson and his contributions to history. In turn, the participants will share his legacy with their students, colleagues, and communities.

After participating in four days of training at the Center, the participants began designing projects that will be piloted in their respective schools early next year.

Melissa Becker, Warren Area High School

Melissa Becker is a 12th grade social studies teacher and Department Chair at Warren Area High School in Warren, PA. Ms. Becker gears her instruction toward the “21st century student, surpassing a “bricks and mortar” curriculum; she and her students venture outside the classroom to attend Government Outreach, Law Day, and volunteer as election workers in the county. Her passion, encouragement, and dedication fosters her students’ interest in the world around them, and prepares them for life-long learning. In her Fellowship project, “Jackson: Roots, Memory, and Legacy,” Ms. Becker’s 12th grade students will study Jackson’s biography and create projects that will be used to teach 5th and 7th grade students about his life and achievements. In so doing, her hope is that Warren County will not only be known as the birthplace of Justice Jackson, but where the study of his life will be reborn each year. It is estimated that throughout the rest of her career, her practice will have a direct influence on the lives of approximately 3,000 students.

Caroline Hayes Youngsville Elementary Middle School

Caroline Hayes is a 6th grade Social Studies and English Language Arts educator at Youngsville Elementary Middle School in Warren County, PA. An active member of Delta Kappa Gamma, an international teaching sorority for key women educators, Ms. Hayes is passionate about service work and endeavors that focus on human rights issues. Promoting literacy and empowering her students to become exceptional writers is one of her paramount initiatives as a professional. Her Fellowship project for the Center will link the past to the present by having her students write, produce, perform and publish speeches affectionately nicknamed “Bob Talks” that will be shared with the global internet community to further Jackson’s legacy and mission. In so doing, Ms. Hayes hopes to inspire students who grow up in the same region as Jackson did to follow in his footsteps and help change the world. It is estimated that she will directly influence over 2,000 students throughout the remainder of her career.

Daiman Parinella Washington Middle School

Daiman Parinella is a 7th and 8th grade social studies teacher at Washington Middle School in Jamestown. He has served as Student Council Advisor for several years, helping students form petitions, write and present speeches, and count ballots in a hands-on effort to teach students about the process of government and history. In addition, Mr. Parinella spends numerous hours working with fellow colleagues across the district to create lesson plans, units, and formative/summative assessments. For his Fellowship project, Mr. Parinella is creating a “Youth Leadership Summit,” which is expected to launch at the Robert H. Jackson Center in February 2015. In so doing, his hope is to inspire local students to dream big and continue to stretch themselves as leaders throughout their lives. It is expected that he will influence over 2,000 students over the rest of his career.

The Teacher Fellowship Program has been funded by the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation.