On a journey that took him within 600 miles of the North Pole, Daniel Snare ’83, encountered polar bears, glaciers, beluga whales and 24-hour days of sunlight along with a myriad of career opportunities and fresh perspectives to take back to his high school classroom in Lakewood, Colo.

Snare, an 11th and 12th grade science and technology teacher, along with five other educators, was awarded the 2010 Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship, which sent them on a two-week, in-depth exploration of Arctic Svalbard in Norway aboard the National Geographic Explorer last summer. The recipients of the fellowship were selected based on their dedication to the teaching of science and geography in the classroom. Snare returned from the trip with a wealth of knowledge to educate and inspire students.   

Snare teaches at Warren Tech, a high school dedicated to preparing students for life beyond the classroom. In keeping with the proposal he submitted as part of his Grosvenor application, Snare kept busy aboard the Explorer, interviewing all the ship’s personnel who had jobs that overlapped with programs offered at Warren Tech. 

“I took those interviews and showed them to kids here in Colorado and demonstrated to our kids that there are career opportunities way beyond the borders of Colorado. Shipboard jobs such as chefs, technology officers, mechanics and concierges could all have their beginnings in the programs we offer at Warren Tech,” said Snare.

Not only was Snare able to broaden the horizon of opportunity for his students, but the experience has left a long-lasting impression on the way he teaches every day. “Every time I am in a classroom I encourage students to look at their career in a global sense, not just what’s in the local job market.”

Reflecting on the time when he was a student in the classroom, Snare said, “All the Whitman experiences I had — residence hall and cafeteria life, activities, friendships, jobs, trips, sports and more — nurtured my ability to value learning, listening, understanding and participation. I’m just passing that on to kids.”

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship was established to honor National Geographic Society Chairman Gilbert M. Grosvenor’s lifetime commitment to enhancing and improving geographic education across the United States.  Read more about the program here

— Ashley Coetzee