Hilton Worldwide Selects 2014 Teacher Treks Grant Competition Winners

Jun 10, 2014 11:00 AM ET

MCLEAN, Va., June 10, 2014 /3BL Media/ Hilton Worldwide has selected the recipients of the second annual Teacher Treks Grant Competition. Fifteen primary and secondary level teachers were selected to go abroad for two to three weeks to travel or teach, explore and experience culture firsthand during their summer break.

Five teachers were selected to participate in the Teach Abroad option of the program, where teachers will be placed at a Hilton Worldwide property to teach basic English classes and cross-cultural education workshops to Hilton Worldwide employees. The purpose of the Teach Abroad Grant is to connect teachers with Hilton Worldwide Team Members who can act as ambassadors to share the culture of the host country. Team Members will benefit from English classes to enable them to connect with English-speaking guests more easily. 

Ten teachers were selected to participate in the Travel Grant option of the program, where teachers will develop an itinerary, travel to a destination of their choice and bring back their cultural experiences to their classroom. Fifteen teachers were selected as Runners-Up of the program and will receive a school donation on their behalf.

Hilton Worldwide has partnered with the Institute of International Education, who supports the program's objectives to internationalize classrooms and enhance curriculum by incorporating strong global understanding, as well as designing the selection process of the teachers and the pre-and post-departure cultural training.

Teacher Treks supports Hilton Worldwide’s commitment to Travel with Purpose® through celebrating cultures and the power of travel.


  • Teach Abroad awardees will receive a grant valued at $7,500, along with a $1,000 donation to their school
  • Travel Grant awardees will receive a grant valued at $6,000, along with a $1,000 donation to their school
  • Runners-up will receive a $1,500 donation to their school to use for cultural activities or enhancements

The recipients include:

Teach Abroad Grant Selected Teachers

  • Carlos Ardaya, Mexico: English as a Second Language Teacher, Social Studies Teacher, Grades 9-12, John A. Ferguson Senior High School (Miami, FL)
    • Teaching placement in Mexico at Hilton Garden Inn Queretaro, Double Tree Hilton Queretaro and Home2Suites Hilton Queretaro
  • Carole Robertson-Fenn, China: English as a Second Language Teacher, Grades K, 3-4, 9-12, Falls Church High School (Falls Church, VA)
    • Teaching placement in China at Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao, Hilton Shanghai and Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund
  • Amy Spruill, Turkey: English as a Second Language Teacher, English Teacher, Grades 9-12, Garner Magnet School (Garner, NC)
    • Teaching placement in Turkey at Hilton Kayseri
  • Elena Shilova Guy, Russia: English as a Second Language Teacher, Grades 6-8, Archer Lodge Middle (Wendell, NC)
    • Teaching placement in Russia at Hilton Garden Inn Krasnoyarsk
  • Mary Radonich, Japan: English Language Learner Teacher, Grades 6-8, Brown Middle School (Newton, MA)
    • Teaching placement in Japan at Hilton Nagyoa

Travel Grant Selected Teachers

  • Teresa Cook, South Africa & Botswana: Science, Social Studies, Grade 6, Clark Pleasant Intermediate School, Greenwood, IN)
  • Kathy Bosiak, New Zealand: Science Teacher & Department Chair, Grades 9-12, Lincolnton High School (Lincolnton, NC)
  • Genein Letford, Japan & South Korea: Music, Special & Gifted Education, Grades K-5, NEW Academy Canoga Park (Canoga Parks, CA)
  • Shanna Campbell, Scotland & England: Language Arts, Reading; Advisor, Grades 7-9, North Ogden Junior High (North Ogden, UT)
  • Geoffrey Gran, Thailand & Cambodia: Vocational & Technical Education, Grades 10-12, Blue Springs South High School (Blue Springs, MO)
  • Barbara Babich, Greece: History, Language Arts, Social Studies, Grade 6, Berkshire Middle School (Beverly Hills, MI)
  • Julie Lehan, Spain: Reading Resource Teacher, Grades 3-5, Lockhart Elementary Magnet (Tampa, FL)
  • Laurie Matthews, Mexico: Teacher of All Subjects, Grade 5, The Brooklyn New School P.S. 146 (Brooklyn, NY)
  • Jorge Lopez, South Africa: Social Studies, Grades 9-12, Theodore Roosevelt Senior High School (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Sandra Kowalczyk, Malaysia: Reaching Teacher, Specialist, Grades 6-7, Patrick Marsh Middle School (Sun Prairie, WI)

For more information on the recipients, visit http://www.iie.org/en/Programs/Hilton-Teacher-Treks-Program/2014-Grant-Recipients.

About Institute of International Education

The Institute of International Education is a world leader in the international exchange of people and ideas. An independent, not-for-profit organization founded in 1919, IIE has a network of 19 offices worldwide and over 1,200 member institutions. IIE designs and implements programs of study and training for students, educators, young professionals and trainees from all sectors with funding from government agencies, foundations, and corporations around the world. IIE also conducts policy research and program evaluations, and provides advising and counseling on international education and opportunities abroad.

About Hilton Worldwide

Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, spanning the lodging sector from luxury and full-service hotels and resorts to extended-stay suites and focused-service hotels. For 95 years, Hilton Worldwide has been dedicated to continuing its tradition of providing exceptional guest experiences. The company's portfolio of eleven world-class global brands is comprised of more than 4,100 managed, franchised, owned and leased hotels and timeshare properties, with more than 685,000 rooms in 92 countries and territories, including Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Curio - A Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Hotels, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton HHonors®.