Bridget Federspiel – Teacher, Historian

Bridget was born in Dayton, Ohio, grew up in Kettering, and graduated from Fairmont West High School in 1980. She attended The University of Dayton and received a bachelor’s degree in history, with a minor in education. She received her Master’s in history from Wright State University in 2005.

Throughout her 28 years of teaching, Bridget has taught at Bethel Junior High, Springfield Catholic High School, Chaminade-Julienne and Wilmington High School. In 2002, she took a job at Stivers School for the Arts. She teaches American history, world history, as well as advanced placement classes in U.S. and European history.

She is also advisor to the Junior Council on World Affairs. Bridget is a National Board Certified teacher (2001 and renewed in 2011). She was selected as the James Madison Fellow for the State of Ohio in 2001, receiving a $24,000 scholarship to achieve her Masters in history with a concentration on U.S Constitutional history.

While completing her Masters, she was introduced to the Library of Congress Veterans History Project by her Professor Marjorie McLellan. Bridget interviewed a local veteran, Lt. Col. Albert Parker, who served three wars. While interviewing Parker, Bridget realized that collecting local oral histories would be a wonderful experience for her students. In 2005, Bridget started the Stivers Veterans History Project.

She purchased a video camera from a pawn shop and her students collected 50 interviews. Each year, she repeats the project with a new class of students. Over 500 interviews have been conducted and sent to the Library of Congress. Many of the veterans interviewed have been Stivers alumni. In addition to the veterans’ project, Bridget has achieved an impressive record of accomplishments and awards.

She was the Ohio Council of Social Studies Teacher of the Year in 2007, the Ohio Department of VFW’s High School Teacher of the Year in 2014 and the Ohio History Day Behring Teacher in 2016. She traveled and studied in Australia as a Fulbright-Hays awardee. In 2017 she was selected for the Japanese Fulbright Memorial fund to study in Japan for three weeks.

Most recently, Bridget was selected for a three-month residency and study travel in Vietnam in 2019 under the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching. Bridget is married to Perry McLeod of Columbus, South Carolina, lives in Kettering, has two children, Juliet Newbury and Patrick Newbury, and a grandson, Ezekiel.

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