SUPER Teacher


SUPER Teachers aboard the USS Alabama


For over 25 years, AHF has partnered with archivists, scholars, higher education insitutions, and historic sites to deliver unique and engaging professional development experiences rooted in the humanities to teachers throughout Alabama through the SUPER (School and University Partners for Educational Renewal) Teacher Program.

This program provides graduate-level, content-rich, professional development of the highest quality to outstanding 4th-12th grade public and private school teachers, school librarians and administrators who wish to expand and deepen their knowledge of a particular subject or theme within the humanities.

SUPER is available to all Alabama educators teaching in grades 4-12 entirely free of charge. In its 25-year history, SUPER has served more than 4,000 teachers of the humanities, social sciences, and the arts reaching more than 500,000 students.

Examples of Past SUPERs

WWI Centennial
Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, Auburn University
March 29, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Lead Scholar: Marty Olliff (Troy University Dothan)
In conjunction with statewide efforts recognizing Alabama’s place in WWI history, this one-day workshop will explore Alabama’s contributions to and commemorations of WWI. Teachers will also be introduced to digital and physical archival resources along with methods on how to incorporate those resources into classroom projects and lesson plans.

Teachers will be reimbursed for a substitute teacher.

Intersections of the Humanities & the Local
Alabama Department of Archives & History (Montgomery)
April 4
Lead Scholar: Susan Dubose (Alabama Bicentennial Commission)
What we recognize as history, literature, social studies, and journalism have common ground in storytelling, character development, an understanding of place, and the discovery and documentation of facts. By connecting students to their own culture, This one-day workshop uses an interdisciplinary writing-centered approach to explore local history. Teachers, return the humanities to your lesson plans!

Teachers will be reimbursed for a substitute teacher.

Sense of Place: Stories of Alabama in History and Fiction

Auburn University at Montgomery
June 26-29
Lead Scholar: Nancy Anderson (AUM)
This three-day residential institute will introduce teachers to resources – people, texts (nonfiction and fiction), places (in Montgomery), movies (drama, rather than documentary), and art – for them to use to introduce their students to Alabama’s rich and varied history and culture. Scholars will guide teachers in the interpretation of new resources in their particular depiction of place in Alabama.

First Lady of the Revolution
University of Alabama at Birmingham
July 24-27
Lead Scholar: Vince Gawronski (Birmingham Southern College)
This three-day residential institute explores the story and surrounding history and culture of a young Henrietta Boggs from Birmingham, who through a twist of fate in the 1940s, became First Lady of a democratic Costa Rica. First Lady of the Revolution will allow teachers the opportunity to discuss revolution, southern exceptionalism, and the Global South through different lenses.

Spanish language sessions offered.

Goals of SUPER

The aim of SUPER is to increase participants’ subject knowledge and, in turn, their confidence, enthusiasm, and effectiveness as educators. The content in these programs directly addresses the Courses of Study as mandated by the Alabama State Department of Education. Upon completion of a SUPER program, participants receive a certificate documenting hours earned toward professional development for submission within their own districts. SUPER programs are registered with ALSDE STIPD.

Through SUPER, AHF seeks to foster long-lasting relationships between Alabama’s institutions of higher education, public and private elementary and secondary schools, and the state’s many important historical and cultural organizations.

Participant Benefits

Participants in SUPER are afforded a rare and invaluable opportunity to join their peers and distinguished university professors in an intensive exploration of curriculum-relevant topics through directed pre-program readings, lectures, extensive analytical and critical discussions, film viewings, writing exercises, field trips and cultural experiences.

SUPER also provides a forum in which educators can interact, exchange ideas, gain fresh perspectives and learn new approaches to teaching. Participants develop a multidisciplinary approach to the humanities and enjoy many significant benefits all at no cost to them or their schools.

Who is eligible?

All 4th-12th grade teachers currently teaching in Alabama public and accredited private schools are eligible. School librarians and pre-service teachers will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The successful applicant will demonstrate a professional commitment to learning and teaching, a genuine interest in the program content, and the ability to communicate effectively. Applications will be judged on a competitive basis for both merit and potential benefit to students.


“I constantly receive letters of thanks to the Commission on Higher Education for the financial support given to the program. Recently, a new teacher wrote me saying that the resources she gained from SUPER are invaluable and that she has learned such a program for teachers is rare.

Indeed it is a rare jewel in Alabama’s educational system that brings together elementary, secondary and postsecondary teachers and university faculty all wanting to learn more to expand their knowledge and, therefore, their effectiveness in the classroom.” – Gregory G. Fitch, executive director of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education,

“As a 5th year special education teacher, I have attended numerous summer workshops. However, I sincerely believe that the Prisms of Place was, by far, the most influential and phenomenal workshop that I had the pleasure of attending. It was well organized, planned, executed and applicable to the secondary interdisciplinary curriculum.

In addition, all of the scholars who were selected to participate in the institute shared very valuable information that could be passed on to other educators, community leaders, parents and students in the Black Belt region.”Robbi Flowers, Special Education, Dadeville High School

“I’ve shared my books and information with so many people. You just can’t imagine the places that an opportunity presents itself to talk about these things.” – Ginger Dunn, Department of Youth Services

“I am so grateful to the Alabama Humanities Foundation for choosing the most effective people to lead these wonderful workshops as well as facilitating the multitude of details necessary to provide such worthwhile educational opportunities for Alabama teachers. Many elements of this seminar will be used in our various classrooms. Our lively discussions, presenting scholars included, revitalized and renewed us.”Karen Wilksman, Huntsville High School and Calhoun Community College

How is the SUPER program funded?

SUPER is a program of the AHF and as such receives financial support from diverse sources, including the National Endowment for the Humanities, individuals, and private and public corporations and foundations. Major financial support for SUPER comes from:

2017 Funders 

The Daniel Foundation of Alabama

Susan Mott Webb Charitable Trust

Poarch Band of Creek Indians

Vulcan Materials Foundation

State of Alabama (ACHE Fund)