Public PK-12 School District in Dalton, Georgia

Dalton Public Schools News

Two DPS Teachers Awarded Prestigious Fellowships
Amanda Triplett with two of her podcast student winners

Dalton Junior High School teacher Amanda Triplett and Hammond Creek Middle School Theatre Arts teacher Courtenay Cholovich were both recently awarded prestigious fellowships to support their educational research and training.

Triplett was selected as one of four Teacher Development awardees for the McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation, sponsoring her proposal that will enhance student learning and educational quality. For several years, students in Triplett’s classes have been creating student podcasts for competitions locally and nationally. This fellowship will help expand the podcast program beyond the classroom and into the community.

The foundation partners with individuals to expand educational opportunities for America’s youth that inspire students by nurturing their curiosity about the world and their place in it. 

Triplett will receive $10,000 each year for the next three years. She will also partner with a mentor from the University of Texas to gain insight on and expand upon her proposal.

In hopes of helping other teachers use student-created podcasting in the classroom, Triplett will work towards publishing curriculum while meeting with community members to introduce podcasting labs in neighboring schools and community centers.

“I am excited to collaborate with community agencies and other teachers in our region to continue to build podcasting,” Triplett said. “Our students here in Dalton will be able to lead a number of audio development projects. Being able to speak well and intelligently on any topic can really change the world.”

Cholovich presenting on the cultural approach

Through Columbus State University's Ivey Center, Cholovich was awarded a prestigious doctoral fellowship that will allow her to work with other educational professionals to outline the framework for a new approach to teaching history as she completes her Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction program.

“This fellowship will support me and my students as I begin my Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction program this fall, and I will be working to help develop a framework for instruction called, ‘History: A Cultural Approach,’” Cholovich said.

The Cultural Approach transforms history from boring, rote memorization into an active and exciting exploration by applying anthropological methods to the study of history. In this framework, students look at subjects through a variety of perspectives including political, social, aesthetic and more. While the framework originated in history instruction, part of Cholovich’s work will be to expand the practice into other disciplines, including theatre arts. 

Cholovich’s first example of an application of the Cultural Approach framework was a simple exercise at the beginning of the school year. Students were instructed to approach their own names through the framework’s lenses. 

“They will do a little research on their own name,” Cholovich said. “First they can go home and talk to their parents about it, and then look up their own name and see what the etymology of the name is. If their name is Mary for instance, is there a religious connection to the name? Socially, is there a connection to a family member? Aesthetically, are they named after a favorite artist or athlete? Teaching them to really view everything in the world through all these different lenses and how our culture impacts who we are.” 

Cholovich, who came to the teaching profession later after studying theatre in college, said she hopes that this doctoral program will help to strengthen her teaching abilities even further. 

“My hope is that it deepens my abilities as an educator and helps me advance in the field,” Cholovich said.