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Visiting Scholar Program


Introducing CSEE's 2020-21 Visiting Scholars


Justin C. Maaia • National Cathedral School, DC

Justin (he/him/his) is the upper school religious studies teacher at National Cathedral School in Washington, DC. For the past twenty years, he has listened to and learned from the world’s religions, searching for practices that can affect/effect spiritual development in people both inside and outside of these traditions. Justin has learned that the relationships formed while engaging in and reflecting on these practices have as much of a transformative impact as any of the techniques themselves. At his previous school, he built a spiritual retreat program for grades nine through twelve. At NCS, he has helped to develop a multi-year fieldwork study of religious diversity in the greater Washington metropolitan area. Justin has built several courses around these insights, including Living Religions of the World and Good and Evil. All of these experiences lead students to profound relationships with, and deeper understandings of, both self and world at a time when it is imperative for us to be better local and world citizens. Justin is a recent winner of the Olmsted Prize for Excellence in Secondary School Teaching from Williams College. He lives with his wife and two daughters in Alexandria, Virginia.

Justin's work with CSEE will include chairing the world religions virtual department; a world religions curriculum project; helping plan CSEE's Spirituality Event; and helping to craft a new event that centers on religion as a facet of diversity, equity, and inclusion. 



Kate Parker-Burgard •  St. Luke's School, CT

Kate (she/her/hers) is the director of theCenter for Leadership at St. Luke’s School, a secular private school for grades 5-12 in New Canaan, CT, where she has also served as dean of students, director of character education, and director of community affairs. The Center for Leadership promotes the understanding of leadership as a behavior, not a position, and so is taught as competencies that everyone can develop. In addition to teaching leadership, Kate also focuses on community service. Before joining the faculty at St. Luke's, she served as dean of students at Lake Forest Academy in Illinois. Over the course of her 17-year tenure at St. Luke’s, she has received the Crusader of the Year Award, the Edward Blakely Distinguished Faculty Award, and the Tracy Duncan Innovation Award. 

Kate graduated from Hamilton College, where she majored in religion and minored in music. She received a master of divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in Manhattan, where she was also awarded the Hudnut Award for excellence in preaching. She served churches in Newburgh, NY, and Staten Island before beginning her career in independent schools. Kate lives in Monroe with her husband and enjoys cooking, gardening, and other creative projects. They are parents of two adult sons, who both work for nonprofit organizations in New York City. 

Kate’s work with CSEE will focus on chairing a leadership virtual department and teaching an online course based on the “Life Worth Living” course that she co-teaches with her head of school at St. Luke’s. 



Hadley Zeavin •  La Jolla Country Day School, CA

Hadley Zeavin (she/her/hers) is the Director of Service Learning and Experiential Education at La Jolla Country Day School in La Jolla, CA. Hadley works in the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools and is also the co-advisor for the Torrey Equestrian Team and co-advisor for the school’s Spectrum Club (GSA). A sociology and women’s and gender studies major at Vanderbilt University (B.A.) and sport and exercise management graduate of the Ohio State University (M.A.), Hadley spent time working in college and professional athletics before transitioning into a career in independent schools. Hadley’s work focuses on building empathy and relationships and using those skills to contribute to communities. With her colleague, Michelle Hirschy, Hadley has co-developed a course taught to school leadership as well as the ninth-graders at La Jolla Country Day School entitled Dignity which works to increase inclusive language and support diversity, equity, and inclusion through an experiential and neuroscientific approach. It is her belief that through empathy and inclusivity, we can build stronger, more resilient schools and communities. 

Hadley lives in San Diego with her two dogs, Jackson and Lady Brett Ashley, and two guinea pigs. She loves to read, crochet, and competes in the Amateur hunter divisions on the US Equestrian Federation ‘A’ circuit in her spare time. 

Hadley’s work will be focused on CSEE’s Service-Learning event, LGBTQ+ Educators Event, chairing the service-learning virtual department meetings, and an online Dignity event with her colleague Michelle Hirschy.


See more about CSEE's previous scholars and their work here.


CSEE will have three openings for the 2021-22 school year. Applications are due in March 2021 (click here to pan down to application).


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About the Visiting Scholar Program

Thanks to the success of the previous visiting scholars and a grant from the Edward E. Ford Foundation, CSEE seeks three scholars for the 2020-21 school year.

In this program, someone with a depth of knowledge in one of CSEE’s content areas works with CSEE for a year. This is project-based work that is done in addition to one’s regular position in a school. During the year, CSEE provides a platform for the person to share their knowledge with others in the independent school community … and also … the scholar picks one of CSEE’s areas in which they have little depth and works out a plan to increase their knowledge in that area. Following are more exact details about the program and below is the application information. Any questions may be directed to Bob Mattingly at the CSEE office. 


21-22 Applicants

Minimum Qualifications of Candidate
• Depth in one of the CSEE focus areas and an eagerness to teach other adults
• Desire to deepen knowledge in an unfamiliar CSEE focus area 
• Ability to work remotely with ease 
• Currently employed in an independent school. Strong preference is given to those at CSEE member schools. 

• There is not a minimum or maximum amount of time or obligation as to when during the 12 months the work is done. Rather, Scholar should have a vision for the projects that they would undertake. The amount and schedule of time would correspond with the project undertaken. 
• Communicate with CSEE staff about current issues in independent schools
• Attend at least two CSEE events (CSEE pays expenses for one event that the scholar presents at, and any one event that the scholar wishes to attend)

Some of the possible ways a Visiting Scholar might be involved
• Lead / speak at a CSEE event 
• Connect with other educators / practitioners in schools
• Help determine event topics, schedules, and speakers 
• Write the “Faculty or Parent Tips” or an article in Connections Quarterly
• Author a resource book
• Do Member Consultation
• Lead a “CSEE Virtual Department” 
• Lead an online event
• Engage with attendees at CSEE events 
• Present a faculty and/or parent webinar 

How this position will be beneficial to a Visiting Scholar
• Gain experience sharing knowledge on a national level
• Deepen personal knowledge because of close contact with CSEE resources and events 
• Attend any CSEE event without charge during the 2020-21 school year
• Travel costs for two CSEE events paid by CSEE
• Travel costs for an event the scholar presents at paid for by CSEE
• $6,000 stipend

Key Dates 
• Send notice that you intend to apply by Feb 21, 2021
• Application must be received by March 9, 2021
• CSEE will announce those selected in early April 2021

*While the official start date is July 1, 2021, those selected will probably need to devote time in the spring of 2021 working on enough details of their 2021-22 projects so that they can be announced to schools in May of 2021. 



Application Information

Please send:

A)    Current CV

B)    One letter of recommendation

C)    Your responses to the following questions: 


1)    Understanding of CSEE

Please describe your experience with or knowledge of CSEE (events, webinars, online events, Connections Quarterly, virtual department meetings, books, or other) and your understanding of the organization’s purpose in the independent school community.


2)    Your focus area  

a) Review the CSEE areas of focus under the topic area of our website. Identify which topic is an area of your expertise and describe why you consider yourself well-versed in this area. 

b) Describe what project(s) you propose to benefit the independent school community. Examples include, but are not limited to, presenting webinars, writing journal articles, presenting at in-person events and/or online events, chairing a virtual department. 


3)    What you wish to learn

Review the CSEE areas of focus under the topic area of our website. In which area(s) would you like to increase your depth of knowledge?


4)    What else? (optional)

While there is no expectation here, are there other areas of CSEE’s work in which you might be interested in lending a hand such as recruiting member schools, proofreading, website design, etc.?


For more information contact, Bob Mattingly at, or 202-236-4603.



See more about Past Visiting Scholars here!



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