Great Lakes Educators to Sail in Duluth Tall Ships Festival’s Parade of Sail

NEWS EDITORS: The teachers and cruise organizers will be available for interviews about their experience on Thursday, August 18, 4-7 p.m. in a tent next to the Denis Sullivan along Harbor Drive near the Great Lakes Aquarium.

Educators from Wisconsin and Minnesota will be sailing aboard the S/V Denis Sullivanas part of a unique professional development workshop offered by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network’s Center for Great Lakes Literacy with financial support from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

The six-day, five-night workshop from August 13-18 begins in Milwaukee and ends in Duluth when the Sullivan sails into the harbor as part of the Duluth Tall Ships Festival’s Parade of Sail.

Five educators will be instructed by seven peers who have experience using Great Lakes science concepts and lessons in their classrooms, and by scientists and Sea Grant staff. The scientific theme of the voyage is water quality, food webs and zooplankton community composition in the Upper Great Lakes. Aboard ship, the educators will gain firsthand experience in freshwater ecology, Great Lakes maritime history and sailing, and how the Great Lakes function.

Participants will work alongside Denis Sullivan crew members on a four- to five-hour watch and will share in every component of the voyage, including raising and lowering sails, dropping and pulling up the anchor, swabbing the decks and even cleaning the bathrooms (heads).

To be chosen for the cruise, the teachers needed to provide a compelling statement about how the workshop could improve their ability to teach scientific concepts and use them in their classroom. They also had to be willing to share sleeping quarters and be able to climb and descend stairs with a 60-degree incline.

The five educators are: Anthony Rosero (Trowbridge School of Discovery and Technology, Milwaukee), Shelly Rudnick-Peterson (Menasha High School, Menasha, Wis.), Karla Schuessler (White Lake Elementary School, White Lake, Wis.), Robin Reckinger (Superior Middle School, Superior), and Kurt Drengler (Myers-Wilkins Elementary, Duluth).

The seven mentors are: Lynn Kurth (Prairie River Middle School, Merrill, Wis.), Cindy Byers (Rosholt Middle School, Rosholt, Wis.), Michele Huppert (Menomonie High School, Menomonie, Wis.), Lori Wester (Cromwell-Wright High School, Cromwell, Minn.), Janet Huewe (Red Lake High School, Red Lake, Minn.), John Weimholt(Hazel Park Preparatory Academy, St. Paul, Minn.), and James Olson (Myers-Wilkins Elementary School, Duluth).

The S/V Denis Sullivan is the world’s only recreation of a 19th century three-masted Great Lakes schooner and it serves as a modern educational sailing vessel.

The cruise is organized by staff members from the Minnesota and Wisconsin Sea Grant programs and the Denis Sullivan.