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Lakeland teacher receives Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship


LakelandHigh School teacher Susan Dieli was one of 120 Indiana teachers to be awarded a Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Fellowship for 2012.

The fellowship notes that “creative teachers tend to be curious people, but curiosity takes time – a commodity rarely available to them.” The fellowship seeks to give teachers that time to be curious and be creative over the summer break.

Dieli’s fellowship is titled “A Room with a View: A Renaissance Visit for the Soul.” She will spend six weeks over the summer in Florence, Italy, to combine her love of language, dance and cooking to bring something unique back to Lakeland.

During her stay, Dieli will study Renaissance dance as well as Italian cooking. Part of her itinerary includes exploring the Tuscany region. She will also polish up on her Italian.

Upon her return, Dieli said she is looking to work with Family and Consumer Science teacher Teresa Faust on an afterschool class that will combine Italian language and cooking.

Dieli noted that studying Renaissance dance will help spice up her foreign language classes, as well.

Dieli will keep a daily blog of her experiences while on the trip, and will also work to create a tapestry that will represent the entire experience.

Dieli, who was born in Italy, was last in Florence in 1986, and has been dreaming of getting back someday. “I know of the grant,” Dieli said, “and this year I decided to go for it.”

Dieli is only the fourth teacher from Lakeland to be awarded a fellowship through the Lilly Endowment.