Teaching American History - The Enduring Legacy of the American Revolution: Liberty Freedom and Equality


Project Leaders


It is with great pleasure, on behalf of the consortium of the nine local educational agencies represented by the Southwest Vermont Superintendents' Association in conjunction with Castleton State College and Christ the King School, that we welcome and encourage you to apply for our second three-year Teaching American History Project.

You may not be aware that, in the fall of 2001, Castleton State College was chosen by the Vermont State Colleges (VSC) Board of Trustees to be the VSC's "lead institution" for all the state colleges in teacher preparation and professional development for K-12 educators. 

We are pleased that you, as a teacher, are taking the initiative to be part of this model that can help reform-minded teachers in our region.

We hope you will join us to make this program successful. 

Cordially yours,

Project Director
Mike Austin, Ph.D.
History Dept. 
Castleton State College

Mike is the director for the American History Project and has written, directed, and participated in over 25 grants. He is a member of the Castleton History Department and received his Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire. His dissertation dealt with the marble workers of Vermont. He is a member of the Organization of American Historians and was editor of the Rutland Historical Quarterly for ten years. He serves as Vice President of the Vermont Alliance for Social Studies as well as the Vermont State Coordinator for the Gilder-Lehrman Institute for American History. Previously, he earned a Masters Degree in English from Southern Illinois University where he was nominated for the Modern Language Association Excellency in Teaching Award. He is the recipient of the prestigious Charles Swain Thomas Award from the New England Association of Teachers of English. He was also a former president of the New England Association of Teachers of English and president of the Vermont Council of Teachers of English.

Assistant Project Director
Mary Giordano
Castleton State College

Mary has worked at Castleton State College for 26 years and has her Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Castleton. In her role as Staff Assistant to the faculty, she has worked with and for the faculty in that role for most of her tenure there. She received the first Outstanding Staff Award for exemplary assistance and support to the faculty and for her willingness to go the extra mile. She has been on a wide variety of search committees while at Castleton and also serves on the Board of Directors for the Homestead Center in Castleton. Mary loves to garden and enjoys her job with her extended family at Castleton.



Ron Ryan, Superintendent 
Addison-Rutland Supervisory Union

Ron is a former elementary teacher, building Principal, Assistant Superintendent and Associate Superintendent.  He is the current Superintendent of Schools and former President of the Southwest Vermont Superintendents Association. He has been a part of the regional education community since 1980.


Peter Mello
Castleton Center for Schools

Peter has worked in the educational field for 36 years in a variety of roles such as 12 years of instructional leadership as principal of one of Vermont's largest elementary schools, which has continually been recognized for its excellence, and efforts in educational reform. He has ten years of central office experience with a focus on curriculum development for grades K-12. He is currently the director of the Castleton Center for Schools at Castleton State College. Peter has won several awards including Challenge Grant School, a grant for professional development and the Governor's Comprehensive Award for School with Exemplary Prevention Programs. He has a Masters degree in Elementary Administration from Rhode Island College

Copyright 2007, Teaching American History