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BHS teacher selected to attend seminar on Kennedy presidency at Boston University

Kathryn Wendling, a social studies teacher at Burnsville High School, has been selected to attend a week-long professional development seminar at Boston University this summer about the presidency of John F. Kennedy.

The seminar is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute and will be led by historian Barbara Perry, who is the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia.

The seminar will ask the question: "More than fifty years after its tragic end, the presidency of John F. Kennedy continues to fascinate people in the United States and around the world. Why should a mere thousand-day presidency continue to attract such universal attention?"

“That really resonates with me and I am very excited to be able to look at JFK's presidency in a scholarly way with Dr. Barbara Perry, a biographer and Kennedy expert,” said Wendling.

Seminar participants will explore the successes and failures of Kennedy’s presidency more than 50 years after his assassination, including the Cold War, the Peace Corps, civil rights and the arts, through media, leadership theory and public policy. They will tour President Kennedy’s birthplace, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum, and the Edward Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Full room and board and a travel allowance are provided to all participants.

Wendling, who has a master’s degree in political science, has been fascinated by the Kennedy presidency since childhood. “I have always read anything Kennedy-related I can get my hands on and I have a collection of Kennedy books and magazines in my classroom,” she said.

She previously was selected to attend a professional development seminar at Stanford University on the U.S. Supreme Court -- also through the Gilder Lehrman Institute.

Founded in 1994 by Richard Gilder and Lewis E. Lehrman, visionaries and lifelong supporters of American history education, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is the leading American history nonprofit organization dedicated to K–12 education while also serving the general public. For more information, go to

Posted: Tuesday, June 5, 2018 - 11:06