Heather Hug and Olivia Hersant: 2006

Lyme/Old Lyme Middle School

Heather Hug and Olivia Hersant, teachers at Lyme/Old Lyme Middle school were named joint recipients of the Mystic Seaport Orion Award for Excellence in 2006.

“The winners and their school have demonstrated leading edge approaches to education utilizing primary sources, innovative techniques and the willingness to explore topics across disciplines,” said Susan Funk, vice president of education and public programs at Mystic Seaport. “As a team, they represent a unique approach to teaching, an approach that underscores that teaching–and learning–is a partnership.”

Hug, who lives in Groton, has taught social studies for three years. Hersant, from New London, has taught language arts for seven years. They have worked together for the last three years, team teaching as much as their schedules allow.

Both teachers participated in the Museum’s Human Tide program, a summer institute that explores the use of primary sources in the classroom, as well as providing opportunities for teachers to learn about working with Museum teachers, researchers, curators and historic roleplayers.

Heather Hug and Olivia Hersant, Orion Award 2006One of the uses Hug and Hersant developed for using primary sources was for the students to develop a class scrapbook and in doing so use their own primary sources to complete the task.

“The use of primary sources and more extensive research does more than just make a project fun–it also makes it real and easier for the students to understand,” Hersant said.
Hug said her experience with the Human Tide program provided both teachers a new appreciation for ways the Museum can be integrated into different elements of their curriculum.

“The program proved to be a great experience for both of us,” she said. “We didn’t realize how much information is available to us. Now that we do, it’s something we’ll no doubt continue to utilize.”