The Adam Russell Gelfand Fellowship is a specially named teacher grant program administered by the BEF. Funding for the program was provided with the generous support of Gelfand friends and family and the Adam Russell Gelfand Family Trust, to commemorate the life of Adam Russell Gelfand and his love of education, and to create a lasting tribute to his memory. Brookline Public School teachers are considered for the fellowship as part of the BEF Teacher Grant program. Recipients whose grant proposal represents all or many of the goals of the Gelfand Fellow Program are selected on an annual basis. These goals include: to honor an outstanding Brookline Public School teacher each year, to provide financial resources to support professional development through travel and training, and to recognize the importance of geography, mathematics, and poetry as part of the elementary curriculum and to encourage innovation in their teaching.

FY2024 – Carlie Espinosa and Michaela Dodge, 4th grade teachers at the Baker School, will travel to the American Southwest to gain firsthand experiences in national parks and landmarks which will enhance their science and social studies curricula.

FY2023 – Dominique Gonyer, Baker School librarian, traveled to Mexico to study pre-Hispanic civilizations’ use of geometry, astronomy, technology, and engineering.

FY2021 – Megan Burdy Kaufman – Trip to Costa Rica postponed due to COVID-19

FY2020 –  The Gelfand Fellowship is awarded to Priscilla Kwok, K-8 Visual Arts teacher at Coolidge Corner School, who traveled to Merida Mexico to attend Seen/Unseen: 2019 Habla Institute. She participated in a number of hands-on, multidisciplinary activities, that explored connections between arts and literacy, which she brought back to her students.

FY2019 – The Gelfand Fellowship was awarded to Brookline High School Dance teacher Mayra Hernandez and K-12 Performing Arts Curriculum Coordinator and Drumming and World Music BHS teacher Kenny Kozol. They traveled to Cuba to study traditional Afro-Cuban music and dance in a customized intensive program that deepened their knowledge and understanding of the art form and the culture, in order to teach with more authenticity and stylistic accuracy in their classes.

FY2018 – The Adam Russell Gelfand Fellowship was awarded to Devotion School 5th grade teacher Elisabeth Wolfson, who explored the habitats of birds on the Maine Coast during a 3-day Audubon Society trip, directly tied to the 5th grade unit of study on birds.

FY2017 – The Adam Russell Gelfand Fellowship was awarded to Baker School 4th grade teacher Alyssa Henry, who traveled to Costa Rica with other educators to learn about the diverse ecosystems of the rainforest and its impact on history, culture, and traditions of the people.

 FY2016 – In the summer of 2015, Gelfand Fellow Maggie Russell traveled to Kyoto, Hiroshima, and Tokyo with a Lawrence School colleague whose trip was funded by the Lawrence PTO.  The two gained a greater understanding of Japanese history, culture, and language to enrich their teaching of the second-grade social studies unit on Japan. Read Ms. Russell’s blog here.

FY2015 – The Adam Russell Gelfand Fellowship was awarded to Lincoln School teacher Elizabeth Trach, who studied advanced Spanish language at the AEC Spanish Institute in Costa Rica.

FY2014 – Melissa London, a Pierce School teacher, to support her study of how various Tanzanian communities and biological ecosystems have been impacted by global climate change.

FY2013 – The Fellowship was awarded to Lincoln School teacher Kathleen Conti, who studied the history and geography of the Eastern Front during World War II and traveled to key Holocaust historical sites in Germany, Poland, and Hungary with the Study/Travel Institute of Salem State University.

FY2012 – Spanish teachers, Zoe Kern from Lawrence School, Colleen Boyle from Runkle School, and Lindsay Davis from Heath School, traveled to Nicaragua to build global awareness in their classrooms through a cross-cultural exchange with Brookline’s sister city, Quezalguaque, Nicaragua.

FY2011 – Jeff Denman, a Baker School teacher, used his grant to travel to South Carolina to research the Southern Campaign and its connection to the British surrender during the Revolutionary War.

FY2010 – Alicia Hsu, a third-grade teacher at Lawrence School, and 25 additional Brookline educators who formed a literature study group focusing on issues relevant to Brookline’s Asian American student population.

FY2009 – Lawrence School’s Sharon Kiernan toured Barcelona, Spain, documenting the city’s numerous architectural styles, including that of Antoni Gaudi and the Spanish Art Nouveau movement. Through her photographs and observations, she takes her third-grade structures classes on a virtual tour of Barcelona that illustrates the role of imagination, form, function, and design in the building process.

FY2008 -Amy Neale, the librarian at Driscoll School, participated in a two-week Primary Source study tour of Ghana. Her goal is to enhance grades 2, 6, and 7 units about West Africa.

FY2007 – Justin Brown, a 4th-grade teacher at the Lawrence School, attended a 4-week intensive Japanese language summer program at the Boston Language Institute. Through this program, Mr. Brown hopes to increase his ability to communicate with the many Japanese-speaking students, parents, and teachers at Lawrence, which is the home of Brookline’s Japanese ELL Program.

FY2006 – Patricia Rigley, a 7/8 grade English teacher at the Lincoln School, traveled to key locations featured in the literature of John Steinbeck, including Salinas, Monterey, and Soledad, California. She also visited the National Steinbeck Center in Salinas and the Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose University.

FY2005 – Elizabeth Cook, Lincoln School’s literacy specialist, spent a week at Harvard University at the Teachers as Scholars Summer Writing Institute. Participants completed one poem, one non-fiction piece, and one fiction piece.

FY2004 – Roger Grande, a BHS Social Studies teacher, traveled to Spain to study the “Convivencia” – the period from the 8th to the 15th centuries when Jews, Muslims, and Christians lived together throughout the region, sometimes peacefully and other times at war.

FY2003 – Suzanne Zobel, a Lincoln School 7/8 grade science teacher, traveled to Churchill, Manitoba to participate in the Earthwatch Institute’s research expedition “Climate Change in the Arctic.” The expedition focused on the impact of global warming on the arctic ecosystem.