Lanier Middle School principal Dr. Scott Poole welcomed his teachers this week with the exception of one. Bonnie Keller, a science teacher at LMS had a good excuse. For the last two weeks, Mrs. Keller has been and Educator at Sea onboard the Exploration Vessel Nautilus off the coasts of Turkey and Cyprus. Led by deep-sea explorer Dr. Robert Ballard, most noted for his discoveries of the Titanic and the German battleship Bismarck, the team is mapping the geological, biological and archaeological characteristics of the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea.
Mrs. Keller, a 15 year teaching veteran in her third year at Lanier Middle School connected with her colleagues from the Nautilus on Thursday morning in a live teleconference with Dr. Ballard led by LMS Assistant Principal Chris Smith and attended by City of Fairfax Superintendent Dr. Peter Noonan. In the teleconference, teachers and staff were able to talk to Mrs. Keller about her experience and get a first-hand overview from Dr. Ballard.
One of only 12 teachers selected for the program, Mrs. Keller and the other educators on board are blogging about the discoveries, conducting question, answering sessions with students around the country and updating the website. Mrs. Keller then plans to use her experiences to connect and inspire her students at Lanier.
Assistant Principal Diana White asked Dr. Ballard about taking risks and learning from mistakes. Dr. Ballard talked to the teachers about the importance of teaching kids not to take the safe path in life. “If you are a sailor, you are not always pointed to the finish line. To get to where you want to go, you have to get to it by a series of maneuvers.”
Mrs. Keller is expected to be back at Lanier next week. For more information about the program, view live pictures or to see discoveries made this summer go to www.nautiluslive.org.