Jason Hine: 2010

East Lyme High School Teacher

Jason Hine, a Social Studies teacher at East Lyme High School in East Lyme, CT, has been awarded the Mystic Seaport Orion Award for Excellence in Experiential Education. He was honored at an awards dinner May 21.

Mystic Seaport presents the award each year to a teacher who draws upon the rich array of educational opportunities offered at the Museum to create innovative and experiential classroom lessons.

“Great teachers are like constellations,” said Susan Funk, executive vice president of Mystic Seaport. “They help students navigate by pointing the way, leading them to new lands and then home again, wiser and more experienced.”

At East Lyme High School, Hine has implemented a public history approach in his teaching, bringing students out of the classroom and into the field for first-hand encounters with the places, artifacts and activities that illuminate their classroom studies. Each of Hine’s classes visits Mystic Seaport several times during a semester to study various aspects of maritime history including whaling, fishing and ship construction.

“As a life-long learner, Jason continually adds to his repertoire through experiential learning, as well as research-based study,” said Funk. “To further develop his working knowledge of maritime history and heritage, Jason has worked at Mystic Seaport on the demonstration squad and sailed aboard Niagara and the Amistad. Through his actions and passion, he inspires his students to do the same.”

Hine explored his interest in maritime education as a graduate student in the Liberal Studies Program at Wesleyan University. He wrote his M.A. thesis on fictional and non-fictional accounts of whaling using the Museum’s vast resources–from the Charles W. Morgan to the G.W. Blunt White Library–during his research. As a teacher at East Lyme High School, Hine created the school’s first maritime history course ever offered, and participated in the Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport for several summers prior as further preparation.

East Lyme High School is a four-year comprehensive public high school offering curricular and co-curricular programs to 1,300 students in grades nine through 12. Accredited through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the school offers an extensive range of courses in college and career preparation. The school also participates in partnership programs with Connecticut College, the University of Connecticut and Three Rivers Community College. Students also have an opportunity to take virtual courses through the Virtual High School program.