Chaparral teacher takes part in workshops in Moscow
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Chaparral teacher takes part in workshops in Moscow

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  • Becky Kelbaugh/Scottsdale Unified School District

Dr. Mary Harrah, an Orchestra and Russian teacher at Chaparral High School, was selected to participate in the Fulbright-Hays Workshops in Moscow in June.

“I am most excited about being immersed in the Russian language and culture again,” said Dr. Harrah who is one of 12 participants selected for the program. The Russian Teachers for the 21st Century: Maximizing Teaching Effectiveness by Immersing into Language, Culture and Standards-based Teaching workshop will focus on teaching methodology, Russian culture and language skills.

The program will start online at the end of March. The pre-program activities include online meetings once a week and will continue until the end of May. Dr. Harrah will be in Russia from June 5th through July 3rd. The post-program activities include online meetings and working on the teaching materials resulting from the trip.

“I teach some of my students in a Distance Learning environment, and it would be very helpful to me to learn the same way for a period of time, so as to experience what my students are experiencing,” said Dr. Harrah. “I will be bringing real life experience into the classroom.”

Dr. Harrah previously lived in St. Petersburg for three years. “This is a chance of a lifetime and a great honor to be chosen. I am excited to add to my teaching abilities and bring back first-hand experience for my students,” added Ms. Harrah.

“Mary Harrah seamlessly weaves cultural, geo-political, linguistic and artistic elements into her Russian language classroom on a daily basis. The Fulbright experience will uniquely complement and enhance her impact on students’ personal, academic and professional lives, now and for decades to come,” said Jill Newburg Campos, World Language coordinator.

According to the U.S. Department of Education’s website, the program provides short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. For more information about Fulbright-Hays workshops, please visit

Scottsdale Unified School District, where we Engage, Educate and Empower Every Student, Every Day. The District and 15 schools have earned the state’s highest A-F Achievement Profile grade – A. All Scottsdale schools are graded as A, B, or C by the Arizona Department of Education. For more information about Scottsdale Unified schools, please visit