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Teaching Traveling Night’s Amazing Panelists and Partners

Over 100 people braved the snow for Teaching Traveling Night!
Over 100 people braved the snow for Boston Teaching Traveling Night!

Teaching Traveling Inspiration Night took place in Boston on Thursday, March 31, 2011…

…and it was a raging success!

Over 100 aspiring teacher-travelers showed up (despite the shocking Springtime snow!) to learn from the 10 panelists, numerous handouts, and 12 partner organizations exactly HOW a teacher can make his or her travel dreams a reality! and will publish a series of articles in the next week summarizing the delectably helpful information conveyed during this evening. Today, we shall start with…

Teaching Traveling Panelist and Partner Organization Profiles!

Browse this impressive roster, and leave a comment if you want me to put you in touch with any of these superstars for advice!

Lauren, me, our former student ShiSha (now a traveler!), and Marcy.

1. Lauren Brett: Charlestown High School, Teacher.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Summer traveler, just for fun!
  • Travel when you have a baby at home

Lauren visited Tunisia (the whole country!) for 3 weeks in 2005 with her “work wife” Marcy and had the best time! No tour guides, only the “Tunisia Book” to guide her through Tunis, Carthage, Sidi bou Said, el Jem and the coliseums, to the middle of the Sahara Desert in Tozeur, to the Island of the Lotus Eaters (Djerba) and back to Sidi bou Said for one of the most romantic dinners ever, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The two teachers decided on Djerba that they should next hike to Macchu Picchu! And they did, in 2008. They took 10 days to visit Cuzco and to hike for 5 days (with a super-awesome tour guide) over a mountain, through a jungle and to the top of Winapicchu, the peak overlooking the ancient city of the Incas… and all this while Lauren had a little baby back at home!

Erick, revealing budget travel secrets!

2. Erik Kruthoff : STA Travel Expert.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Budget traveler
  • Travel photographer

Erik has personally traveled extensively on a budget and has lived abroad in Europe and Central America. He now works at STA Travel facilitating teaching abroad and travel opportunities. He also works with university professors planning short term programs abroad, helping manage budgets, air, rail, ad ground itineraries, accommodations, etc. He assists teachers planning personal trips over summer, holiday, winter and spring vacations. He provides expert tips for saving money, maximizing time, and planning trips effectively.

3. Michael Maguire: Boston Latin Academy, Teacher.

Brendan talks about fundraising to take student groups abroad.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Experienced study tour leader with EF Tours

Michael has experience leading groups of students abroad with EF Tours. He assisted on a trip to Italy and led a trip to Ireland. Next year he will lead students on a trip to Barcelona!

4. Brendan Malanga: TechBoston, Teacher.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • European Study Tours
  • Global Classroom
  • Teacher Created/Designed Trips for Students
  • Fundraising for Student Trips

Brendan has traveled with students to Europe for the past 5 years to visit sites of significance related to the Holocaust and WWII. His groups have toured various cities in Germany, Czech Republic, Poland, Belgium, and France.

Me and Mr. Maguire, representing BLA Teacher-Travelers!
Me and Mr. Maguire, representing BLA Teacher-Travelers!

5. Lillie Marshall: Boston Public Schools, Teacher.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Career-break travel (Leave of Absence to travel)
  • Unstructured and structured travel
  • Extended, solo travel

Lillie took a year leave of absence 2009-10 from the Boston Public Schools to travel 9 months solo: 4 months of “non-educational” travel through Southeast Asia, 3 months volunteer teaching in Ghana, and 2 months of “non-educational” travel through Spain and Portugal, working on own travel website and networking. She has also taken many summer trips for tourism, volunteering, and Spanish classes. She runs and and organized this event!

6. Michael O’Neill: Travel and Teaching Abroad Consultant.

Michael gives tips on finding jobs teaching abroad.
Michael gives tips on finding jobs teaching abroad.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Teaching and Recruiting Teachers for Abroad Programs

Michael taught English for one year and directed recruiting efforts abroad for two years. He has lived in Taiwan for over three years, lived in France for one year and has traveled solo throughout SE Asia.

7. Breanna Reynolds: International Education Development Program, Boston University, Graduate Student.

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Fulbright Exchange Teacher (India)
  • Resident Director of American Councils Summer Program in India
Brendan, Breanna, Michael, and Pam on the panel.
Brendan, Breanna, Michael, and Pam on the panel.

Breanna spent six months living and teaching in India at KV #4 government school as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher. She has also directed a six week summer teaching program in India for US teachers with American Councils of International Education and will lead this program again this summer. In addition to studying the education system in India, she has spent time visiting Ghanaian schools as well.

8. Pamela Farmer: St. Mary’s Bay View, Teacher

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Experienced EF Study Tour Leader

Pam went to Spain during her junior year in high school and knew then that she would be a Spanish major and eventually lead student groups around the world. Six years later she was teaching Spanish and leading her first trip to Spain. In 1982 she started using EF and has since lead more than 35 tours with EF. Her groups have ranged in size from 7 to 80. She spent 30 years traveling with high school students and now leads middle school girls and their parents on tours.

9. Terri Wellner and Danielle Merdin: Henderson Elementary School, Teachers

Terri and Danielle on the left. Inspirational!
Terri and Danielle on the left. Inspirational!

Areas of Interest/Expertise:

  • Creating a global classroom
  • Fund for Teachers/Grant Writing

Danielle and Terri spent time in Nairobi where they observed classrooms and teachers at the Kilimani Integrated Primary School They learned a lot from this school that teaches students who are typical learners, the visually impaired, and deaf/blind students. They brought back many videos and photographs showing best Kenyan inclusive practices to share with their school (the Henderson) community.

Through Fund for Teachers funding, Danielle and Terri provided a laptop, digital video and photo cameras, and installed WiFi at Kilimani, which formerly had no computer or internet access. They sent one teachers from the school through a six-week IT course, hired an IT consultant to support the school in the V.I.P. exchange for one year, sent 50 fourth grade students on a full-day Ecology Excursion to experience their tropical ecosystem outside of the city limits.

Through the V.I.P. partnership, Henderson students are now a resource for Kenyan students at Kilimani Primary to understand our temperate climate and ecosystem and the Kilimani students are a resource for Henderson students to understand the tropical climate and ecosystem through email pen pals and virtual field trips by way of digital video and photographs. V.I.P. has also established a cultural exchange between Boston and Nairobi schools and shown that “inclusion is global”.

Fantastic Partner Organizations and Resources at 3/31/11 Teaching Traveling Night:

Great partner organizations! Thanks for the resources!
Great partner organizations! Thanks for the resources!

Chris Christensen: Noted travel blogger and podcaster at

Melissa Dattoli: STA Travel

Michael O’Neill:

Dottie Engler: Boston Plan for Excellence and Fund for Teachers

Amanda Grillo and Alex Luther: EF Tours

Elizabeth Hammett: International Education Program, Harvard University; World Teach.

Lindsey Musen: Limitless Horizons (Guatemala)

Maki Park: World Teach

Michaela Potter: Meet, Plan, Go!

Rachel Wasser: GEEO (Global Exploration for Educators). Contact Jesse Weisz for more info on discount teacher group travel: [email protected]

Bethany Wood: Director of International Programs, Boston Public SchoolsDepartment of Teacher Development and Advancement

So there you have it, dear reader… Teaching Traveling Night was an evening to remember! But don’t be sad if you missed it, just leave a comment letting us know who you want to be put in touch with! Remember: by helping teachers fulfill their travel dreams, we can transform our world educational system!


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MIchaela Braun

Monday 26th of May 2014

Hi. I am an educator, but am not in the classroom. I currently work as the 6-12 library media specialist. I would love to take a trip abroad, workshop on photography, which would help me expand some "maker spaces" in our library. However, most travel grants are for those teaching (in the classroom) 50% of the day. Does anyone know of other options that might fit what I am looking for?

Lillie of

Monday 2nd of June 2014

Very good question. Grants like this must exist. If not, I wonder if you could use some other fundraising site? If 100 people donate $10, you have $1,000 already. Good luck, and keep us posted!


Wednesday 15th of June 2011

I just wanted to add that I currently teach Spanish, high school 9-12. I have traveled to Germany, Austria, France, and Spain, and the experiences have been both unbelievable and unforgettable.


Thursday 16th of June 2011

Fabulous! I just sent you an email to see if you would like to be profiled, yourself! :)


Wednesday 15th of June 2011

I love this website for all the great information on teacher traveling. I am a career changer, decided to leave the business world to pursue my true passion. I am also passionate about traveling for all the lessons I have learned in doing so. I was wondering if there is a Teacher Travel group in the Atlanta, Ga area. If so who is the contact?

Thank you all so much for your input. :)

Lillie of

Thursday 16th of June 2011

Vivian, Thanks so much for making contact, and "woo hoo!" about your career path! As of now, I don't know of a Teacher-Travel group in Atlanta, but: - You could start one! - You can join us on Facebook at - You can connect with the career-break travel movement, (which DOES have an Atlanta wing) through .

Good luck and happy travels and connecting!


Thursday 9th of June 2011

I'm a Boston area teacher and international travel addict...Would love to know about any future Boston events! Cheers!

Lillie of TeachingTraveling

Monday 13th of June 2011

Awesome! Thanks for making contact!

To stay in touch:

1) "Like" this site on Facebook to get announcements in your news feed:

2) If you're interested in career-break travel, pop over to to sign up for the newsletter. I'm the Boston coordinator and we run monthly travel meetups, as well as our big Oct. 18 career-break travel conference.

3) Keep checking back at this site, and email me at TeachingTraveling at gmail if you want to be profiled, yourself, as the great Teacher-Traveler it seems you are! :)


Monday 11th of April 2011

A sister article to this one, with more Teaching Traveling Night photos and "100 Different Ways to Finally Start Traveling!" -

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