Who We Are

Originally funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the KCAC program has brought together a group of teachers dedicated to building strong links between classrooms and the larger community. Click here to examine the original documentation for the KCAC project.

We are kindergarten-through-university educators from a variety of disciplines working to develop a humanities-based, writing-centered model for studying how local/regional communities in the United States are formed through such shared texts as literature, language, architecture, social events, geography, literacy practices, and governmental action. With our students acting as co-explorers, we produce and evaluate humanities content for classrooms by studying local culture actively and collaboratively, using our model's organizational structure as a guide.

Our program structure includes a director, a teacher co-director, teacher-leaders coordinating our theme-based study, four dissemination leaders, numerous additional participants, and several university student interns.

We also have three pilot teachers who are field-testing our model in several areas across the United States: in Berkeley, California; Henderson, Nebraska; and Bethany, Oklahoma. Supported by a pilot teacher coordinator, they communicate with the Georgia teachers via an email listserv and periodic visits back and forth between our start-up group in the Atlanta area and their regional communities, which are all affiliated with the National Writing Project.


Keeping and Creating American Communities
Project Director and Georgia Teacher Leaders

Position/Project Leadership Responsibility Name Institutional Affiliation
Project Director/Principal Investigator Sarah Robbins Kennesaw State University
Project Co-Director and Lead Teacher Mimi Dyer Kennesw Mountain High School
Webmaster Traci Blanchard Lassiter High School
Print Publications Coordinator Dave Winter Grady High School
Performances Coordinator Bernadette Lambert Cobb Schools Literary Specialist
Pilot Teachers Coordinator Linda Stewart Kennesaw State University
Workshops Coordinator Diane Shearer Chamblee High School
Team Leader, Reclaiming Displaced Heritages Leslie Walker Campbell High School
Team Leaders, Educating for Citizenship Ed Hullender and Deborah Mitchell Wheeler High School and Slater Elementary School
Team Leader, Cultivating Homelands Peggy Corbett Cherokee County schools
Team Leader, Building Cities Bonnie Webb Cooper Middle School
Team Leader, Shifting Landscapes, Converging Peoples Gerri Hajduk Wheeler High School


Additional Teacher-Participants in Georgia

Name School Affiliation
Oreather Bostick-Morgan Slater Elementary School
Landon Brown Lindley Middle School
Anna Burdett Cobb County Schools
Patsy Hamby Hiram High School
Steve Jones Sprayberry High School
LeeAnn Lands Kennesaw State University
Sylvia Martinez Campbell High School
Kiran Narker Stevenson High School
W. Scott Smoot Walker School
Linda Templeton Paulding County Schools
Rozlyn Truss Riverside Elementary School

Kennesaw State University Support Staff

Jim Cope KSU English Department Webmaster
Stacie Janecki KCAC newsletter, KMWP Program Co-ordinator
Marty Lamers KCAC website content co-ordinator

Pilot Teachers and National Writing Project Affiliations

Teacher Affiliation
Barbara Howry Oklahoma Writing Project
Sharon Bishop Nebraska Writing Project
Judy Bebelaar Bay Area Writing Project

National Advisory Board

Teacher Affiliation
Randy Bass American Studies Program, Georgetown University
Thadious Davis Program in American Studies, Vanderbilt University
Paul Lauter Trinity College
Cristine Levenduski Emory University
Diana Mitchell Red Cedar Writing Project of the NWP
David Scobey Program in American Culture, University of Michigan


KCAC Participants


Judy Bebelaar has been a teacher in public schools in San Francisco since 1967. She is a Bay Area Writing Project fellow, a member of the NEH and National Writing Project-sponsored program, Making American Literatures, and former president of the board of California Poets in the Schools. She has published student work for many years, in anthologies of poetry and the multicultural calendar, Hear Our Voices. Her most recent publication is "Kien: Learning to Write in a Second Language," in Meeting the Challenges: Stories from Today's Classrooms, edited by Maureen Barbieri and Carol Tateishi (Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH,1996).



Sharon Bishop, a secondary English teacher from Henderson, Nebraska, is a pilot teacher for the KCAC program. A veteran teacher with 23 years' experience at the same small, rural school, she developed a sophomore English class called Nebraska Literature/Composition: A Sense of Place. Sharon is a teacher consultant for the Nebraska Writing Project and a member of Rural Voices, Country Schools, a project sponsored by the National Writing Project and the Annenberg Rural Challenge. In 2000, Sharon was one of 4 teachers in the nation to receive an Exemplary Classroom Award from Foxfire. Sharon's teaching and writing interests focus on the use of place, specifically the voices of the prairie of Nebraska, and the rich local stories of family and community.



Traci Blanchard is the webmaster and technology coordinator for KCAC. Currently teaching World Literature at Lassiter High School, she also serves as the yearbook sponsor, writing lab manager, and "technology guru" for her language arts department. She is a frequent presenter and facilitator of technology and writing workshops both locally and at the district level. Traci has been involved with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project since 1997. She obtained her Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in 1999. Traci is currently designing a language arts web site for the Cobb County School District. Other web sites she has designed include The Write Stuff, Lassiter's language arts web site, and The Writing Room, an online literary magazine.



Oreather Bostick-Morgan, a Speech Language Pathologist with the Atlanta Public Schools, received her Masters Degree from Tennessee State University. She is Co-Director of the Peachtree Urban Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project located at Georgia State University. This twenty-two year veteran educator, has been selected as 2001-2002 Teacher of the Year for Atlanta Public Schools and readily lends her expertise to regular and special education teachers, providing in-services for Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County, local, national and international conferences. She periodically serves as an Adjunct Professor at Clark Atlanta University and is currently involved in several ongoing initiatives.



Landon A. Brown, II, recently joined the KCAC project and will serve as a representative on the Building Cities committee. He presently teaches 7th grade Pre-Algebra and serves as the Mathematics Coordinator at Lindley Middle School. A native of Georgia, Landon graduated from Georgia State and Mercer Universities and has a Masters degree in Middle Grades Education. Landon has presented at conferences held by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Landon's thesis, Educators’ Attitudes Towards an Afrocentric Curriculum for African American Students, was published by Mercer University.



Anna Burdett has been an active member of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project since 1999. She works at the media specialist at C.J. Hicks Elementary in Conyers and is pursuing a Masters degree in Instructional Technology with certification in School Library Media at the University of Georgia, Athens. She participates in KCAC program by serving in the role of Lead Bibliographic Coordinator.



Jim Cope is an Associate Professor of English Education at Kennesaw State University where he teaches methods courses, freshman composition, and supervises student teachers. In addition he is the webmaster for the KMWP, KSU English Department, and Georgia Council of Teachers of English (GCTE) websites. Jim is also the First Vice President and Technology Director of GCTE, and a former high school English teacher at Oconee County High School and Cedar Shoals High School in Athens, GA.



Peggy Corbett is a 1998 National Writing Project Fellow and serves KCAC as the team leader of the Cultivating Homelands strand. A secondary English teacher in rural Cherokee County, Georgia, for thirteen years, she has presented community based learning workshops at the National Conference of Teachers of English, the Georgia Council of Teachers of English and at the NWP Rural Sites Conference. Peggy served on the Georgia Board of Education’s 1000 By 2000 SAT training team in 1998. Peggy is currently a Teacher on Special Assignment for her system working in the Professional Development Department.



Mimi Dyer is co-director of KCAC and English Department chair at Kennesaw Mountain High School, where she teachers AP Language/Composition and cross-curricular English/Technology classes. A graduate of Duke University, she received her Master of Arts in Professional Writing in 1996. Mimi is a teacher consultant with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, where she served for several years as webmaster. An active teacher-researcher, Mimi has presented at numerous conferences on the subject of community. Her article about anthologizing American literature with students appears in Making American Literatures, an NCTE publication.



Gerri Hajduk is team leader for KCAC's Shifting Landscapes, Converging Peoples group. She has taught Advanced Placement United States History and Honors World History for the past twenty years at Wheeler High School in Marietta, Ga. Gerri has participated in NEH-funded curriculum development projects such as Domesticating the Secondary Canon and Making American Literatures. She has worked on an NEH project selection committee and has presented at national conventions including the 19th Century Women’s Writers' Conference and the American Studies Association Convention.



Patsy Hamby, a teacher-participant in KCAC, is English Department chair at Hiram High School in Paulding County, Georgia. A graduate of Kennesaw State University, who also holds a Master of Arts in Professional Writing from KSU, Patsy recently completed her Reading Endorsement certification. A fellow of the 1994 Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, Patsy has presented at Writing Center and Writing Project conferences and at the University System of Georgia's Reading Consortium. She also works with the Georgia Department of Education's Research, Evaluation, and Testing program.



Barbara Howry serves KCAC as a pilot teacher, having found her way to the program as a teacher consultant with the Oklahoma State University Writing Project. She works at Putnam City West, a large suburban high school in Oklahoma City, where she teaches English, Creative Writing, and Advanced Composition. Barbara came to teaching 10 years ago after a career as a journalist. A lifelong writer, Barbara loves to put pen to paper and as a teenager spent her evenings writing to 32 pen pals. She is a member of a writing group working on all types of writing, which she loves to share with her students to show she struggles just as they do with their writing. Barbara will be working on her National Board Certification this next school year.



Ed Hullender is co-leader of the Educating for Citizenship Team for KCAC. A high school world history teacher for the past 23 years, Ed is active in improving the quality of social studies instruction in the Cobb County school system. A graduate of Jacksonville State University with an EDS degree in history, Ed has been involved in writing history curriculum for many years. Extremely enthusiastic about the use of historical materials to write about communities--past and present--in a rigorous and relevant way, Ed is excited about new and fresh approaches to multi-disciplinary studies.



Stacie Janecki serves as Program Coordinator for the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, a National Writing Project site, and as newsletter editor for KCAC. Stacie joined KCAC in 2000 as a student intern, developing a newsletter for KCAC to satisfy a contract for the KSU Honors program. Stacie is a junior undergraduate student at KSU majoring in English with a concentration in creative writing. Stacie also serves as newsletter editor for the KSU chapter of the Golden Key National Honor Society and secretary of the Sigma Tau Delta English Honor Society.



Steve Jones(B.S. Eng. Ed. Summa Cum Laude KSU, B.A. English, KSU) is the Drama Director and Boy's Varsity Soccer Coach at Sprayberry High School. His performing credits include work at KSU, UGA, Ga.Tech, and other regional orginizations in Comedy of Errors, Tartuffe, The Water Engine, and The Tempest among others. Directorial credits at SHS include: Scapino!, Music Man, Lil' Abner, Happy Journey, Noises Off,and The Matchmaker . The Drama program at SHS has been involved in partnerships with KSU and the Alliance Theatre. A former KSU Writing Center tutor, Steve has worked with KMWP as a Summer Institute Instructor and as a "Bridges" Project collaborator.



Bernadette Lambert is the performance coordinator for KCAC and project coordinator for Bridges: Moving to New American Communities, a writing/performance text contest sponsored by KCAC. Bernadette currently works as a middle school-based literacy specialist for Cobb County Schools. An active member of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project since 1996, Bernadette has worked with other grant-funded projects, including Project Outreach and Making American Literatures. She earned her Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in 1999. Her professional publications include a short story in Teaching Powerful Writing: 25 Short Read-Aloud Stories and Lessons That Motivate Students to Use Literary Elements in Their Writing by Bob Sizoo and articles in The NWP Quarterly.



Marty Lamers started working with KCAC in the fall of 2000 as a Kennesaw State University student intern. Beginning as a student in Dr. Sarah Robbins' Fall 2000 interdisciplinary honors course(linked here), Marty has since worked with most of the teachers involved in the project, developing and coordinating all web-related materials. Marty graduated Summa Cum Laude from KSU in 2002, and will continue in the Masters of Arts in Professional Writing program there, sharpening his technical writing focus. He currently works as a freelance corporate and technical writer, specializing in web-based materials and copywriting.



LeeAnn Lands is Assistant Professor of History at Kennesaw State University. As coordinator of the school's public history certificate program, LeeAnn teaches classes on public memory, cultural preservation, and community documentation. Her work on the class and racial divisions in cities and institutionalized segregation has appeared in popular and academic journals.



Sylvia A. Martinez is a teacher participant in the KCAC project in the Shifting Landscapes, Converging Peoples strand. She is a graduate of Agnes Scott College where she received her Bachelor’s degree in English and her Master of Arts in Teaching. She currently teaches tenth grade English and Pacesetter English at Campbell High School. She recently received Pacesetter training certification that gives her the opportunity to train other teachers across the country for Pacesetter. Sylvia has been teaching for 4 years and has presented at the local level to new English teachers for the Cobb County school system.



Deborah Mitchell is co-leader for the Educating for Citizenship team of KCAC. She is a teacher consultant with the Peachtree Urban Writing Project, a site of the National Writing Project housed at Georgia State University, and is co-director of the project’s Summer Institute. Deborah has conducted a variety of workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. She is a graduate of Spelman College and holds a Masters Degree in Special Education from Columbus State University. Deborah is a fourteen-year veteran of the Atlanta Public School System where she is a fifth grade teacher at T.H. Slater Elementary School.



Diana Mitchell is a member of the National Advisory Board for KCAC. She is co-director of the Red Cedar Writing Project, a National Writing Project site at Michigan State University. A member of NCTE's Secondary Section Steering Committee and chair of NCTE's Women in Literacy and Life Assembly (WILLA), she is past chair of the Assembly on Literature for the Adolescent of NCTE (ALAN), past president of the Michigan Council of Teachers of English, and past editor of the Language Arts Journal of Michigan. As an independent consultant, she works with teachers in workshop settings and writes books for teachers. A secondary teacher for 30 years (grades 7-12) teaching history, English, and journalism, she is currently completing a college textbook called Children's Literature: An Invitation.


Kiran Narker, a 1998 National Writing Project Fellow with KMWP, is the current Director of Theatre activities at Stephenson High School. Kiran's academic forays include an M.S. from the University of Bombay, India, an M.F.A. in Acting, and most recently, a PhD (in dissertation) at UGA. His directorial and performance credits include engagements with the Hattiesburg Civic Light Opera, The Academy Theatre, The DeKalb School for the Performing Arts, The Atlanta Shakespeare Tavern, The Stagedoor Players, and The Cobb County Players. Kiran has also designed Drama curricula for DeKalb schools and currently, in collaboration with KCAC and the English Department, he is working on a text-to-film project promoting creative writing.


Sarah Robbins is director of the KCAC program and director of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, a National Writing Project site. Previously, she co-directed two NEH-funded curriculum development projects: Domesticating the Secondary Canon and Making American Literatures. A graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill, Sarah taught Language Arts, communications, literature, journalism and interdisciplinary courses in K-12 schools in Georgia and Michigan for 15 years before earning her doctorate in English and English Education at the University of Michigan. At Kennesaw State, Sarah teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in American literature, women’s literature, writing, literacy studies, and interdisciplinary studies. Sarah’s writing about community cultures has appeared in academic journals, newspaper columns, and short story anthologies, as well as on websites associated with her teaching.




Diane Shearer, KCAC Workshops Coordinator, currently teaches Pre-AP American Literature/Composition, AP Language/Composition, and journalism at Chamblee High School. She holds a Masters degree from the University of Georgia and has been teaching for 27 years. Diane also serves as a teacher consultant for The College Board, training other teachers in Pacesetter English and the Pre-AP Model Curriculum. She has been involved in KMWP since 1998. Her articles and reviews have appeared in publications such as International Railway Traveler, English Journal, and Teaching Tolerance.



W. Scott Smoot received his Master of Arts in Professional Writing at Kennesaw State University in 2001. In recent years, he has been a fellow of the National Writing Project at the Kennesaw Mountain site, returning as an advanced fellow to write an article published in Voices from the Middle. With the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, he has served as creative-writer-in- residence, advisor on its board, and as consultant for the "Bridges" creative writing program for students across northern Georgia. His play Her Yankee Secret was performed under his direction at Walker School, Marietta, Georgia, where he teaches in the middle school.



Linda Stewart is the Pilot Teacher Coordinator for KCAC. She is presently a faculty member at Kennesaw State University where she teaches a sequence of composition courses grounded in research and participates in the Learning Communities Program. At the University of New Hampshire, she earned a Master of Arts in Teaching and a Master of Arts in English Literature, joined Phi Beta Kappa, and taught general and honors composition courses. She has secondary school experience teaching a varied curriculum to a student population ranging from at-risk to honors English. Conference experience includes GCTE, the Virginia Woolf Annual Conference, and Oklahoma State NWP.



Linda Templeton is a teacher participant for KCAC and worked originally with the Cultivating Homelands team. A graduate of Kennesaw State University, she began her National Writing Project participation in 1995 with the Making American Literatures project. During her six-year experience with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, Linda worked on a Rural Sites Network Project for two years. She has given workshops at NCTE, GCTE, and the RSNC, sharing her classroom projects with other teachers. Currently, she teaches ninth, tenth, and twelfth grade English at East Paulding High School in Dallas, Georgia.



Rozlyn T. Truss is a KCAC teacher participant on the Reclaiming Displaced Heritages team. She joined the KMWP family in 1998 as a teacher participant in the basic summer institute. A 1997 graduate of Clark Atlanta University, she taught four years in Atlanta Public Schools and is currently a Learner Support Strategist at Riverside Elementary School in Mableton, Georgia. Rozlyn is also a teacher consultant and has given several in-service workshops on writing assessment and professional portfolio development. Presently a candidate for National Board Certification, Rozlyn is a 2001 graduate of the Kennesaw State University MAPW program.



Leslie Walker serves KCAC as a Team Leader for Reclaiming Displaced Heritages. In 1995, she received her BS in Secondary English Education from Kennesaw State University. She has been a teacher of 9th, 10th and 12th grade English at Campbell High School in Smyrna, Georgia, for the past six years. Leslie is a 1998 fellow of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, a 1999 fellow of the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project’s Advanced Institute and earned her Master of Arts in Professional Writing from Kennesaw State University in 2001.



Bonnie Webb serves KCAC as leader of the Building Cities Group. The last eleven years of her 21-year career have been devoted to teaching Science and Social Studies to gifted middle school students. She currently teaches at Cooper Middle in Austell, Georgia. Bonnie is a graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania and holds a Masters degree in Middle Grades Education from Kennesaw University. She has been involved in the KMWP since 1996 and served as the site Advisory Chairperson in 2000. A presenter at professional conferences at the local, state, and national levels, she is committed to bringing technology to her classroom and to her colleagues. As a result, she has received grants from the U.S. West Foundation, Media One, the Georgia Supporters of the Gifted, and the NWP.


Dave Winter is the KCAC print publications coordinator. After 10 years teaching journalism and various English courses at Wheeler High School, Dave recently joined the staff of Grady High School in Atlanta, where he will teach journalism and U.S. History, as well as advise the student newspaper, The Southerner. He began his six-year involvement with the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project in 1995. He served as the associate director of the Georgia Making American Literatures Institute in 1998.

Home | Curricular Program | Thematic Content
Classroom Resources | Community Projects | Who We Are


© 2000-2001KCAC
No materials on this website should be copied or distributed
(except for classroom use) without written permissions from KCAC.
Questions? Comments? Contact KSU webmaster Jim Cope.


return to top

a project funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities

return to top
return to top
return to top
return to top
return to top