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Veteran N.H. teacher to get paid leave for project

A veteran high school teacher is being awarded a paid leave of absence to develop a curriculum for teaching students about the global community since the end of the Cold War.

Lebanon High School English and social studies teacher Deborah Springhorn was chosen to receive the annual Christa McAuliffe Sabbatical from the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. She has taught at the school for 21 years.

In her proposal, Springhorn said she has been successful in engaging students in discussions about contemporary and historic issues through the use of art. She plans to use the works of award-winning freelance photographer James Nachtwey to introduce each study unit.

Nachtwey, 65, is a Dartmouth College graduate who has photographed the civil rights movement, 9/11 and conflicts worldwide.

“Highly interdisciplinary in nature, the curriculum will provoke inquiry, engender compassion and inspire change,” Springhorn wrote. “A resource such as this will encourage teachers to attempt the very difficult task of teaching about current global conflicts.”

Springhorn, who lives in West Lebanon, received her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Colgate University.

The sabbatical award will be presented to Springhorn on Saturday at the annual New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards.

The sabbatical fund was established in 1986, the year Concord teacher McAuliffe died when the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded after launch, killing all seven astronauts on board. Then-Gov. John Sununu and the Legislature permanently endowed a fund to underwrite one paid leave each year.

The fund is administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

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