profile

Ronnie Vesnaver

Faculty Information

Title(s)
Chesapeake Watershed Teacher, Assistant Coach for Girls' Soccer, Assistant Coach for Girls' Varsity Lacrosse

Contact Information

Email
(Primary)

Education

Degree(s)
Bachelor of Arts, American Studies & Art History, Colby College

Other Information

Employed Since
2020
Biography

Ronnie joins Gunston from the Pennington School in Pennington, NJ where she taught and lived as a residential faculty member for the past five years. During those five years she taught United States History and Government for both middle school and upper school students. In her time at Pennington, Ronnie grew to recognize the importance and power of environmental education. In 2017 she and a colleague formed and led a Sustainability Committee that is now a growing and essential part of the school program at Pennington.

Ronnie’s passion for the environment and sustainable practices are connected to her love for the water. Ronnie grew up near the water in southeastern Connecticut and was a frequent visitor to the Mystic Seaport Museum. Her time spent at the Seaport sparked an interest in both maritime history. In her junior year of college, Ronnie attended the Williams-Mystic American Maritime Semester. During the semester program, Ronnie began to understand just how much maritime history was in fact environmental history. Ronnie has since been inspired to share, teach, and continue to learn about human interactions with the environment.

Ronnie is a graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME where she majored in American Studies and Art History. She recently earned her Master’s degree in environmental history from Rutgers University-Newark. In addition to the Williams-Mystic program, Ronnie a semester in Dijon, France during her first year of college. In the summers of 2014 and 2018, Ronnie crewed for the schooner Mystic Whaler out of New London, CT and continues to make an appearance here and there when the ocean calls. When Ronnie isn’t teaching she enjoys running, hiking, biking, yoga, paddleboarding, kayaking, going to the beach, and of course walking countless miles with her black lab, Archie.

FAVORITE PROJECT YOU'VE EVER ASSIGNED AND WHY?

"Citizenship Time Capsule: After studying United States citizenship, students were asked to build time capsules that would hold information within them that represented citizenship in the United States. The unit problematized the meaning of citizenship in that students studied the United States territories. In most US territories residents have United States citizenship, but they do not have voting members on the floor of Congress and do not have the right to vote for President of the United States. In order to uncover and understand these findings, students read a young adult novel and listened to a podcast. The various items in the time capsule had to paint a picture of what citizenship in the United States looks like today by documenting and sharing the history and perspectives of those that live in the United States territories today."


WHAT IS THE #1 THING YOU WANT STUDENTS TO TAKE AWAY FROM THEIR TIME IN YOUR CLASS?

"Keep asking questions. The world does not look the way it does for no reason. Rather, the world as we see and experience it exists as a result of a history determined by humans who have guided policy, social, and cultural changes and who have altered the earth and its waters. Asking questions opens our minds to the possibility that there are answers."

CERTIFICATIONS

  • Google Educator Level 1
  • Apple Teacher Certification

RECENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • Bard Institute for Writing and Thinking workshop