Mercersburg Academy invites you
to attend this year’s Summer Faculty Institute, an intensive weeklong workshop bringing educators together with thought leaders in a residential, immersive, and collaborative environment to examine topics of critical relevance to those working with adolescents.


Using Social Emotional Learing

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  • Dr. Christopher Thurber

    Dr. Thurber has taught and learned at schools and camps for more than 45 years. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from UCLA before completing an internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington School of Medicine and Seattle Children’s Hospital. Since 1999, Dr. Thurber has served on the faculty of Phillips Exeter Academy as a clinician, teacher, and researcher. Promoting growth in our adolescent students requires finesse. How do you cultivate a closeness with a cohort that is socially and emotionally unpredictable? How do you establish a mentoring relationship with clear professional parameters? And how do you challenge teen students without jeopardizing their mental health? These and other essential questions become less vexing and more valuable over the five-day arc of this SEL track. Participants will have the opportunity to explore and apply key principles of identity, stereotype, implicit, bias, positive psychology, professional boundaries, adolescent mental health, and learning from failure.

Restorative Justice

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  • Lee Rush

    Lee Rush has worked extensively in schools and communities. He is executive director of justCommunity Inc., based in Quakertown, Pa., and is on the board of directors of the International Bullying Prevention Association. He has been an educator and administrator in alternative education, a substance-abuse counselor in a day-treatment program, and director of human resources for a 600-person corporation. This workshop introduces six essential conversations that create possibilities for personal transformation and organizational change. Each of these conversations grows out of thought-provoking questions. Key points will address: the power of invitation and why choice always trumps mandates; the power of possibility; the power of refusal and how to grasp the fact that if we cannot say no to something, our yes means nothing; and finally, the power of gifts and why when we start to focus on gifts rather than deficiencies, everything changes.

The Rassias Method® for Language Instruction

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  • Rassias Method

    Designed for foreign-language instructors, The Rassias Method   attempts to channel your energy, enthusiasm, and activities so that they will be more productive to you and your students in the classroom and for communication skills in general. The goal of The Rassias Method is to make the participant feel comfortable and natural with the language in a short period of time, which is accomplished through a specific series of teaching procedures and dramatic techniques that seek to eliminate inhibitions and create an atmosphere of free expression from the very first day of class. The Rassias Method places the participant at center stage and seeks to replicate the relevant, life-like situations encountered in the target language. The emphasis throughout is spoken language and familiarity with the culture of the country whose language is being studied. The classroom techniques involved are rapid paced, theatrical, highly creative, imaginative, and necessitate great enthusiasm.

Maximizing the Google Suite

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  • Greg Kulowiec

    An early adopter of mobile devices, Greg Kuloweic first integrated cell phones, and then iPads, into his high school history curricula. As an EdTechTeacher instructor, he works with schools across the country, presents at national conferences, and blogs regularly about the creative capabilities afforded by mobile devices. Google Suite for Education not only facilitates creative and collaborative learning opportunities for your students but also provides amazing tools for curating and publishing student work. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore best practices. From innovative uses of the core Google tools to creating multimedia with new apps and extensions, we will explore powerful and innovative ways to empower students to demonstrate and share their learning.

A Great Leap for Pedagogy

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  • John David Bennett and Jennifer Smith ’97

    Join us as we turn our full attention toward the current research and emergent wisdom about impactful teaching and deeper learning. We will consider ways to make process a more potent active ingredient in our courses, while promoting a desired level of challenge and joy. We will imagine a more deliberate pacing of a school year; encourage patient, purposeful iterative work; and design class days where instruction, collaboration, and independent learning are woven together to build student efficacy—and we’ll devise the structures necessary to hold it all together. In these sessions, we’ll approach each of these possibilities practically, perusing models of successful practices seen in classrooms around the world and right here in Mercersburg—and there’ll be significant time to work on our own individual and/or collaborative designs. Led by John David Bennett, dean of curricular innovation and English faculty, and Jennifer Smith ’97, science department head and incoming dean of academics at Mercersburg Academy.

Choose Your Learning Path

Your registration fee of $750 before July 1 ($1,200 after July 1) includes all workshops and keynotes, meals from Monday breakfast through Friday lunch (including some events catered by selected area restaurants), social activities, and more.

Choose from a five-night stay at the Mercersburg Inn (within walking distance of Mercersburg Academy) or choose to stay five nights on campus in one of our modern dormitories.

Questions? Contact the Office of Summer and External Programs at 717-328-6225 or

Getting Here

Mercersburg is approximately 90 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, 150 miles east of Pittsburgh, 180 miles west of Philadelphia, and 240 miles southwest of New York City. The campus is just 10 miles from Interstate 81 and within an easy drive of three major airports (Baltimore/BWI, Washington Dulles/IAD, and Washington Reagan/DCA).

Questions? Contact the Office of Summer and External Programs at
Mercersburg Academy
300 East Seminary Street, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania 17236