Mr. Caleb Zelencik, chemistry teacher at MVHS, recently received a grant from the Teacher Creativity Fellowship Program through Lilly Endowment. The grant was first started in 1987 as a way for teachers to renew their commitment and passion for teaching. Mr. Zelencik will be using the $12,000 in grant funds to take a month long trip to Spain this summer and walk roughly 500 miles on the Camino de Santiago. This trip will connect him with his Spanish speaking students and share the enriching culture collectively with his students.
The ultimate goal that the grant aims to fulfill is to encourage educators all around the state of Indiana to pursue dreams, explore new areas of interest, and develop new and existing talents. Not only will the grant allow Mr. Zelencik to explore his own personal interests, but he will also be able to share his newly acquired skills and experiences with his students and the Mt. Vernon community. Additionally, he will be able to further connect and interact with several Spanish speaking international exchange students that attend MVHS. “I can’t think of a better way to learn than to go to Spain and immerse myself in the culture,” says Mr. Zelencik.
In preparation for the trip, Mr. Zelencik plans to hit the gym, up his daily miles, and walk as much as he can. While on the trip, he will be walking an average of 19 miles per day. If he needs to travel by bus for a day, he will give himself that break. Overall, he hopes this amazing journey will help him further develop his Spanish language speaking skills and foster a rich learning experience for years to come.