September 9, 2019 Library Goes Back to School with Teachers of Science and Civics

New Teacher-in-Residence and Einstein Fellow Arrive in Washington, D.C.

Press Contact: John Sayers (202) 707-9216
Public Contact: Lee Ann Potter (202) 707-8735
Website: Teacher Resources at the Library of Congress

The Library of Congress kicked off the 2019-20 school year by welcoming two teachers to its Capitol Hill campus who will work closely with the Library’s learning and innovation team to help make primary sources from the Library’s collections more accessible for teachers throughout the United States.

Jen Reidel, a civics teacher from Bellingham, Wash., has been named the 2019-2020 Teacher-in-Residence at the Library of Congress.

Amara Alexander, a K-5 engineering teacher from Chattanooga, Tenn., will serve as the Library’s Albert Einstein Fellow.

 “We are thrilled that Jen and Amara are here,” said Lee Ann Potter, director of the Library’s Learning and Innovation Office. “We are excited to work with them this year to make the treasures of the Library of Congress more discoverable and usable, especially for teachers in civics and in STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Since 2000, the Library has recruited educators to work with its learning and innovation team to help teachers and school librarians incorporate the Library’s digitized primary sources into high-quality instruction. The learning and innovation team is responsible for directing and developing the Library’s efforts to make its resources accessible, relevant and compelling to the nation’s K-12 education community. Teachers-in-Residence have helped the Library bring its collections and powerful strategies for integrating them into classrooms across the country.

This is the second year that the Library of Congress is hosting an Albert Einstein Fellow. Administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship program provides a unique opportunity for accomplished K-12 educators in the STEM fields to serve in the national education arena. Alexander and the other Einstein fellows will spend 11 months working in federal agencies or in U.S. congressional offices, applying their extensive knowledge and classroom experiences to national education program, and/or education policy efforts. Other agencies hosting Einstein fellows include: the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Science Foundation and NASA.

Reidel has taught social studies for 23 years with particular emphasis in civics and law-related education in the Bellingham and Lynden (Wash.) school districts. She earned her master's degree in history, focusing on constitutional studies as a James Madison Memorial Fellow and has taught a social studies methods course at Western Washington University.

Alexander has been a K-5 STEM teacher at Woodmore Elementary in Chattanooga, Tenn. She previously taught fifth-grade English language arts and sixth-grade science in Madison, Ala. She earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees in elementary education from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University. Outside of the classroom, Alexander continues to boost student engagement in STEM with after-school groups and competitive teams, and organizes school-wide events.

To be considered for the Library of Congress Teacher-in-Residence position, candidates must submit an application with a current resume, project plan, letters of recommendation and a letter from a school or district authorizing official approving the personnel agreement. Applications are evaluated based on the teacher’s creativity and willingness to contribute to the educational community, as evidenced by description of past activities and recommendation letters, and the feasibility and value of the proposed project. Application information for next year's Teacher-in-Residence will be announced on the Library's "Teaching with the Library of Congress" blog in the spring.

For more information about the Albert Einstein Distinguished Fellowship, visit

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PR 19-087
ISSN 0731-3527