President’s Message – Nov/Dec 2014

President’s Message – November/December 2014

The past couple of months were filled with activities that included fall after-school receptions around the state and the NCSS annual conference in Boston. I can’t remember the last time I had a good night’s sleep, but I can honestly say it is a privilege to be this year’s President of Mass Council.

There is great speculation that this year’s NCSS annual conference in Boston will become the second highest attended national conference in its history! I want to thank NCSS for giving us the opportunity to host this year’s conference, and to the co-chair, Mass Council’s past president Norm Shacochis, for his leadership. I also want to acknowledge and thank the members of the Local Arrangements Committee and Subcommittee teams and the 100 volunteers for giving their time, work, and passion in making the NCSS annual conference a success!

There is still much to do in the coming months before my term expires in May. This December we will begin planning meetings to prepare for our next regional conference (NERC) in Spring 2016… because it is never too early! So, mark it on your calendars: NERC will be held in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, from April 4-7, 2016. Stay tuned for our timeline for we will soon be calling for workshop proposals and application for exhibitors and vendors.

In addition to NERC, I am proposing to the Mass Council Board to plan and offer a summer content institute and a statewide one-day conference starting in 2015 for our Mass Council members! Massachusetts has so much to offer to our K-12 social studies educators, such as the Massachusetts State House, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, the Black Heritage Trail, Freedom Trail, Boston Athenaeum, Saugus Iron Works, Lowell Mills, the Peabody-Essex Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, National Archives in Waltham, Boston Public Library, Massachusetts Historical Society, USS Constitution, and the list goes on. As President of the Mass Council, I am committed to expand and promote professional development opportunities for all K-12 social studies teachers and utilize our state and local resources to foster and support learning for historical understanding within and beyond the walls of social studies classrooms throughout the Commonwealth.

I have also started a discussion thread portal at, where Mass Council members can initiate and continue discussions on curriculum, best practices, and resources. Please join us in on the conversations! I ask all members to join and offer your ideas and suggestions on how we can increase, expand, and improve our efforts to provide you quality and meaningful professional development opportunities all year round!

On behalf of the Mass Council, I wish you all a safe and wonderful winter season and Happy New Year! See you in 2015!