Education Advisory Committee

The Education Advisory Committee helps DPLA staff build and review primary source sets for education users and plan education projects. This effort has been funded by the Whiting Foundation and the Teagle Foundation. To learn more about our approach, read about our educational use research findings.

The Education Advisory Committee was selected from a highly qualified pool of applicants, including educators in many fields and institutions across the US. In March 2017, we are recruiting additional members of the Education Advisory Committee.

If you’d like to follow along with our education work, please sign up for our education news list or email us at

Education Advisory Committee

Barnette, Adena '11 WV -lgAdena Barnette has taught social studies and specifically American History at Ripley High School in Ripley, West Virginia since 2004. After being selected as a James Madison Fellow in 2011, she earned her Master’s degree in American History and Government from Ashland University. Her master’s thesis: “A Republican Form of Government: Constitutional Crisis and the Creation of West Virginia,” earned the Chairman’s Award for Outstanding Thesis. In 2016, Barnette was named the West Virginia DAR Outstanding Teacher of American History and placed third in the national contest. Barnette is active in her teacher’s union, the West Virginia Education Association; she has been elected to serve as local union president, and as an at-large member of the WVEA Executive and PAC Steering Committees.


Kerry_DunneKerry Dunne has been a history teacher and department head in Massachusetts for the past twenty years. She currently teaches and serves as the 6-12 History/Social Studies department head for the Weston Public Schools, and previously was the Director of History and Social Studies for the Boston Public Schools. Kerry teaches the Pedagogy of Teaching History class at Brandeis University and is the President-elect of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies (MCSS). She has led a number of professional development courses for teachers on topics including Place Based Education, Japanese geography and culture, and teaching about international conflicts.


Howard Headshot FountainElla Howard is an Associate Professor of History at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, Massachusetts, where she teaches digital history, design history, and the history of technology. Her research focuses on urban history, poverty, and segregation. Her book Homeless: Poverty and Place was published by University of Pennsylvania Press in 2013.




MelissaJacobsHeadShotMelissa Jacobs is a Coordinator for Library Services in the New York City Department of Education. She is the founder and former chair of the American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Best Apps for Teaching and Learning, former committee member of AASL Information Technology Pathfinder Award and AASL Best Websites for Teaching and Learning, and a past President of the School Library Systems Association of New York State. Melissa contributes regularly to a column in School Library Connection and has been published in School Library Journal, Teacher Librarian, and Knowledge Quest.


SusanKetchamSusan Ketcham has been teaching English since 2000. She graduated from Purdue University with a BA in English Education and has recently added School Library to her teaching license. This year will be her 14th at East Central High School in St. Leon, Indiana. While she has taught every grade level from 6th-12th, this year she will teach English 9, Honors English 11, and Genres of Literature.



lathan@2xJamie Lathan is a 16-year social studies teacher at a residential high school (North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics) in Durham, North Carolina. He received his BA in History and MAT in Social Studies teaching from the University of Virginia and his Ph.D. in Curriculum, Culture, and Change from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as dean of distance education and extended programs at his high school.



Lakisha_OdlumLakisha Odlum has been an educator for 12 years, and is currently a secondary Humanities teacher in New York City. She is also an adjunct instructor in the department of English Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Lakisha has been the recipient of the Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad award, and has participated in myriad professional learning and curriculum development programs through the New York Public Library, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


Robertson_Albert_03 (1)Albert Robertson is the K-12 Social Studies Coordinator for Lexington School District One in Lexington, SC. He taught 6th and 7th grade social studies for ten years before moving into district-level administration. He was recently honored as his district’s teacher of the year and one of the five finalists for state teacher of the year in SC. He was also recognized as the Daughters of the American Revolution Outstanding Teacher of American History and the Gilder Lehrman SC History Teacher of the Year. In addition to his work, Albert serves as an adjunct professor through Newberry College and College of Charleston and serves as the Vice-President of the SC Social Studies Supervisors Association and on the board of the SC Council for the Social Studies.


Melissa_StrongMelissa Strong is an assistant professor of English at Community College of Philadelphia. She has taught courses from the freshman to the graduate level in traditional, blended, and online formats. Her essay on teaching with images appears in MLA Options for Teaching the Literatures of the American Civil War. She is an AP reader for English Literature.



James_WalshJames Walsh serves as Department Chair for Social Studies at Scott County High School in the Bluegrass of Kentucky. Additionally, he’s worked closely with to implement the C3 Framework and the Inquiry Design Model. While teaching, James is working towards his doctorate at the University of Kentucky in Curriculum and Instruction.