ABMC Announces New Education Partnership with University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and Virginia Tech

The American Battle Monuments Commission announces a new partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC) and Virginia Tech (VT) to create a World War I-focused, education program developed by teachers that will help students better understand the service, experience and sacrifice of Americans that served and died during the Great War.

With the approach of the World War I centennial in 2014, this partnership, a first-of-its-kind for ABMC, creates a teacher-scholar program that helps teachers create and develop lesson plans for fellow teachers. “The ABMC was created because of World War I, a war that changed not only the history of our country, but the history of the world,” said ABMC Secretary Max Cleland. “This is a great opportunity to introduce American children to all those we honor at our World War I overseas cemeteries.”

The team of education experts from three universities and colleges, and twelve middle and high schools will lead the effort to create a hands-on curriculum using the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery in Verdun, France. “The Transatlantic Teacher Scholars Program: Change Over Time and Place in the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery and Memorial” is a very exciting and innovative collaboration that will serve as a powerful educational portal into America’s forgotten war,” said Carol Mullen, Director of the School of Education and Associate Dean for Professional Education in the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech.  “The program reflects the School of Education’s commitment to facilitating inquiry-based digital history/humanities professional development initiatives that are designed to ultimately maximize students’ opportunities for authentic learning.  I am also thrilled to see two of our School of Education alumni – Chris Bunin and Patrick Touart – involved in the leadership team and transatlantic teacher-scholars program respectively.”

This experiential professional development program will provide the resources, support and opportunities for teachers across the country to craft inquiry-based units and lessons that are grounded in best practices as well as Common Core and state standards.   This curriculum will also be supported by emerging instructional technologies, including geospatial and augmented reality tools.

 “This partnership between universities and K-12 educators demonstrates the power of bringing together teacher-scholars, higher education faculty, and digital technologies to produce opportunities for students to develop a deeper understanding of key historical events – in this case, World War I,” said Dr. Bill McDiarmid, Dean of the School of Education at UNC – Chapel Hill.  “We are grateful to the American Battle Monuments Commission for providing the resources to support teachers in creating the kind of powerful learning experiences that we want for all our students.”

By the fall of 2014, lessons plans and teaching materials created during this teacher-scholar program will be publicly available online and free to download.  The education experts and the teacher-scholars who have been selected to develop these materials are:

University Education Team:

  • Nicole Bauer, Graduate Assistant, LEARN NC/Department of History, UNC
  • Chris Bunin, Assistant Professor of Geography, Piedmont Virginia Community College-Albemarle
  • High School, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • David Hicks, Associate Professor of History and Social Science Education, School of Education, Virginia Tech
  • Joseph Hooper, Graduate Assistant, LEARN NC/School of Education
  • Andy Mink, Executive Director, LEARN NC – Principal Investigator
  • Todd Ogle, Senior Director, Networked Knowledge Environments Technology-Enhanced Learning & Online Strategies, Virginia Tech
  • Danielle Parker, Graduate Assistant, LEARN NC/School of Education
  • Lisa Pennington, Graduate Assistant, School of Education - Virginia Tech
  • Lynn Rainville, Research Professor in the Humanities, Sweet Briar College

Teacher Scholars:

  • Zhenya Arutyunyan, Chair – History Department, Charlotte Country Day School
  • Teresa Goodin, Henley Middle School, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Katie Gulledge, McDougal Middle School, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
  • Kate Harris, Jordan High School, Durham City Schools
  • Jamie Lathan, Dean of Distance Education and External Programs, North Carolina School of Science & Math
  • Scott Mace, Charlottesville High School, Charlottesville City Schools
  • Bill Melega, Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools
  • Jared Morris, Wetzel Middle School, Madison County Public Schools
  • Karen Rectanus, Exploris Middle School, Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Mike Schafer, Monticello High School, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Jenn Sublette-Williamson, Lead Coach and Facilitator of Social Studies, Albemarle County Public Schools
  • Patrick Touart, Tunstall High School, Pittsylvania County Public Schools

Established in 1923, ABMC commemorates the service, achievements and sacrifice of the U.S. Armed forces. ABMC administers 24 cemeteries and 25 monuments, memorials and markers overseas. For more information visit or find us on Facebook at\abmcpage.

LEARN NC serves as the primary professional development center for the School of Education at UNC-CH.  Since 1997, LEARN NC has worked with schools and educators on a variety of projects meant to extend professional learning for in-service practitioners. On the surface, our two primary forms of outreach involve a deep repository of digital collections and materials as well as a strong portfolio of interactive online courses.  More than a website, LEARN NC also supports a strong element of face-to-face work in an effort to achieve the goal of creating a community of teachers who are exploring and sharing best practices and hands-on teaching approaches. Today we receive nearly 20,000 hits daily, and as geography blurs in the digital age, our reach and impact extends across the region and the nation.

The College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences at Virginia Tech includes programs in the arts, humanities, social and human sciences, and education. The college seeks to illuminate human experience and expression by creating works of lasting scholarly, cultural, and aesthetic value; empower individuals to engage critically with the complexities of a diverse, global society; and foster the inquiry, innovation, and growth that produce individual and social transformation.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech <>  takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 215 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 30,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $450 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.