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Oral History Project Highlights Relational Learning

Shady Side Academy Senior School students embarked on a unique project in collaboration with Fox Chapel’s Cooper-Siegel Community Library under the guidance of history teacher Dan Coyne. The partnership came about after inviting Cameron Smith, the library's local historian, to speak to the students about producing oral histories for public consumption. The "Recording Our History" initiative features students conducting oral history interviews with faculty members, providing a unique insight into the relational teaching approach that sets Shady Side apart.

Last spring, the course saw students delve into the rich narratives of their educators, bridging generations of Bulldogs. Among the interviews were those with Cari Batchelar, a retired Senior School art teacher, and Paul Ejzak, a Senior School English teacher who shared his journey from being a student at Shady Side Academy to returning as a faculty member.

The interviews, meticulously edited by Mr. Smith, have been published on the "Our Community Stories" webpage, a platform dedicated to preserving and sharing the diverse stories of the Fox Chapel community. The webpage is currently featuring the interviews with Ms. Batchelar and Mr. Ejzak, with promises of more insightful stories to be added soon. The project provided a platform for students and faculty to explore their shared history.

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