2020 HistoryQuest Fellows Named

American History Teachers Build Game-Based Learning Skills

July 30, 2020

FOR RELEASE: Thursday, July, 30, 2020
CONTACT: Frances Hannan | hannan@woodrow.org | 201-587-4755

HistoryQuest Fellowship Names New Fellows, Begins Summer Institute

PRINCETON, NJ (Thursday, July, 30, 2020) – The middle and high school American history teachers among the 2020 HistoryQuest Fellowship class began building their game-like learning skills this week. The 20 teachers who make up this year’s class are meeting virtually for the professional development opportunity.

The HistoryQuest Fellowship uses the power of games, play, and digital tools to transform both teacher practice and student engagement. The 2020 Fellows come from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. They represent middle and high schools ranging from large regional schools to small private institutions and charter schools.

“By playing and designing games… we are implementing the very skills we hope to cultivate within our own classrooms,” reflected Maria Savini, a teacher at Upper Merion Area High School in King of Prussia, PA. “Modding games enabled us to collaborate, listen, experiment, communicate and problem-solve and strategize…Another takeaway is the notion that ‘failure is always an option’ and students must learn to take risks/learn from their mistakes.”

Each HistoryQuest Fellow this year is attending a virtual summer intensive, with sessions in July and August, followed by additional workshops in the fall. The programming is also intended to be a deep fellowship where participants grow not only their skills but also their network. They will then share what they learn from HistoryQuest with their peers at their home schools, strengthening the larger field of game-based pedagogy.

“We [Fellows] stayed on the call for twenty [extra] minutes chit-chatting and talking about different things,” said Caroline Blanchard from West Essex High School in North Caldwell, NJ. “It was interesting how quickly we built a connection with each other through the process.”

The HistoryQuest Fellowship was originally designed in collaboration with the Institute of Play. The effort was created to help educators incorporate games in their lessons, to equip them to create their own gaming experiences for students, and to prepare them to teach students to think like game designers.

For more information on the WW HistoryQuest Fellowship, please visit woodrow.org/historyquest.


About the WW Foundation
Founded in 1945, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation identifies and develops the nation’s best minds to meet its most critical challenges. The Foundation supports its Fellows as the next generation of leaders shaping American society. In June 2020, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to rename the organization and to remove Woodrow Wilson from its name; a new name will be announced by early fall.


  • John Bellington • Christ the King High School (Queens, NY)
  • Caroline Blanchard • West Essex High School (North Caldwell, NJ)
  • Paul Blass • Pitman High School (Pitman, NJ)
  • John Buchanan • Hastings High School (Hasting-on-Hudson, NY)
  • Megan Corlis • Auten Road Intermediate School (Hillsborough, NJ)
  • Kevin Daly • Parsippany Hills High School (Morris Plains, NJ)
  • Joshua DeLorenzo • Oswego High School (Oswego, NY)
  • Anthony “AJ” DiSantis • Penns Grove Middle School (Penns Grove, NJ)
  • Kimberly Herthel • Holmdel High School (Holmdel, NJ)
  • Aaron Kanofsky • New Lebanon High School (New Lebanon, NY)
  • Mina Lolomari • Frances Lewis High School (Queens, NY)
  • Christine Maccarella • Heritage Middle School (Livingston, NJ)
  • Roseangela Mendoza • Ethical Community Charter School (Jersey City, NJ)
  • Sharyn O’Keefe • Communications High School of Monmouth County (Wall Township, NJ)
  • Richard “Rich” Peronace, Jr. • Gordon C. Swift Middle School (Oakville, CT)
  • Paul Phillips • New Canaan High School (New Canaan, CT)
  • Maria Savini • Upper Merion Area High School (King of Prussia, PA)
  • Alexander Uryga • Matignon High School (Cambridge, MA)
  • Anne Ward • Amherst Central High School (Buffalo, NY)
  • Kristian Ward • Kingsway Regional High School (Woolwich Township, NJ)

Stay Engaged

Get More News

Join our mailing list to get more news like this to your mailbox.

Support Our Work

Help us invest in the talent, ideas, and networks that will develop young people as effective, lifelong citizens.

Ways to Support Us