President’s Message – September 2014

September 2014

I hope you had a restful and relaxing summer! As this year’s president of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, I want to welcome you back to school and I wish you a great year! There are a number of exciting events coming soon and I hope you will make time to join and participate with us!

This November, the National Council for the Social Studies will be having its annual conference in Boston for the first time in nearly 35 years! The three-day conference will take place at the Hynes Convention Center on Boylston Street in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood on November 21-23, 2014. As a member of the NCSS Local Arrangements Committee, we are actively seeking individuals to volunteer at the NCSS conference. If you volunteer at the conference (e.g., work at the registration table, information, greeter, etc.), you will be offered access to attend conference workshops and events for equal time at no charge. So, for example, if you volunteer at the conference for half a day, you will be able to attend conference activities for half a day at no charge! Volunteer a full day and you get to participate in the conference for an entire day. For more information and if you are interested in volunteering, please contact me ( or Norman Shacochis at

Social studies educators in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont are eligible for discounted individual and group registration rates, and will need to go to the exclusive online registration form for local educators. Go to and click on the registration link. The rates are not available through the NCSS regular registration system. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact NCSS at Thank you for your help in spreading the word about the conference, and I hope to see you all in Boston this November!

We are currently planning a Welcome Back to School Reception one day this fall after school for all Massachusetts K-12 social studies educators to celebrate the new school year. McGraw Hill publishers will proudly sponsor the Fall Reception. Stay tuned for the date, time, and location!

I have also been in contact with Craig Waterman, who is the Assessment Coordinator at the MA DESE, and have been discussing a potential partnership in developing District-Determined Measures for History and Social Studies. If you are interested in learning more about this project and would like to be involved, email me. Stay tuned for more information!

We are also looking for new members to actively serve on the Mass Council Board. We currently have an opening on our Board. If you are interested in submitting your name to serve on the Board and make a positive impact to social studies classrooms across the Commonwealth, please e-mail June Coutu at We have tentatively planned three Board meetings for the 2014-15 school year. Our first meeting will be held on Constitution Day, September 17, 2014. We will meet again on January 21, 2015, and May 20, 2015 (locations of our meetings will be announced later).

On behalf of the Massachusetts Council for the Social Studies, I welcome you back to school and wish you a great start of the new school year!

Dr. Gorman Lee
President, Mass Council

K-12 Director of Social Studies, Braintree Public Schools