Achievement House BLOG

Achievement House Cyber Charter School Social Studies teacher Christina Strellec traveled to George Washington’s Mount Vernon to participate in a four-day, residential professional development program November 10 to 13, 2016. The George Washington Teacher Institute program entitled, George Washington at War: From Soldier to Commander in Chief, included an intensive study led by noted 18th century scholar Dr. Christopher Pearl of Lycoming College. Participants collaborated with Mount Vernon’s knowledgeable historians, curators, and educators while on site.

In addition to studying Washington’s role in the French and Indian War and the American Revolution, participants explored the broader context of these conflicts on 18th-century life including exploration of primary sources to see how the decisions of individual men and women contributed to the complexity and significance of the war on the creation of the United States. 

Institute participants from around the country included K-12 teachers, librarians, and media specialists selected by the GWTI in a competitive application process.

While at the Institute, Ms. Strellec lived on George Washington’s estate, within view of his mansion, and attended daily sessions in the 45,000-square foot Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington which opened in 2013. Now that she is back home at AHCCS, she will develop and conduct a professional development workshop to share what she learned with our other teachers and staff! 

Gw Ahccs

“Staying at Mount Vernon and working with the Teacher Institute was an honor and privilege. We immersed ourselves in the world of George Washington by exploring his estate and learning about his life from many gifted scholars and educators,” said Ms. Strellec. “George Washington’s life and legacy are timeless. Through his story, we learn more about ourselves and our country.  I am excited to share his story with my students and colleagues!” 

“Christina Strellec is an outstanding social studies educator and we are so very excited that she had this unique opportunity. The experiences she had through this prestigious institute will benefit the learning of our students, as well as the professional development of her colleagues,” said AHCCS Principal Mark Slider. “We are proud of her and honored to have Ms. Strellec imparting her knowledge and passion for Social Studies into the lives of our students.”

The George Washington Teacher Institute, founded in 1999, provides K-12 educators with professional development opportunities throughout the year through residential, online, and regional programming, as well as Teacher Fellowships. Private funding supports full-scholarships for residential program participants, including a transportation stipend, to qualified educators from select states. In 2016, 160 educators from across the nation will benefit from the George Washington Teacher Institute Residential Programs. For more information about the George Washington Teacher Institute, visit