A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.
Banner for Crossroads of the Revolution


Project Directors


Project Director: Kathleen Barker is the Assistant Director of Education & Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society, where she creates and implements professional development programs for K-12 teachers and their students. She served as Project Coordinator on the NEH-funded Coming of the American Revolution website, which involved managing the production of all the website's components. Kathleen has served as a reviewer for Teaching American History grants and as a regional judge for the Massachusetts History Day competition. She will be responsible for managing the creation of participants' final projects, and will also plan all activities taking place at the MHS and during the participants' visit to Boston. Kathleen is currently completing a Ph.D. in world history at Northeastern University where she teaches undergraduate courses in public history and memory. Kathleen co-directed the 2010 and 2012 Landmarks workshops in Concord.          

Project Co-Director: Jayne Gordon is the former Director of Education & Public Programs for the Massachusetts Historical Society. She served as the Project Director for the Coming of the American Revolution website project funded by NEH. Involved with organizations connecting history, literature and landscape for nearly forty years, Jayne directed two-week summer workshops for educators at the Thoreau Institute (funded by the MA Department of Education), and was the New England liaison and instructor for three NEH summer seminars on the New England Renaissance for Colorado teachers. Jayne grew up in Lexington and lives in Concord, teaching the local history course required of all town guides. For the past decade, she has also taught a graduate seminar in Curriculum Development for Museum-School Collaborations at Tufts University for historic site and school-based educators, aimed at making solid connections between curricular goals, classroom activities and field experiences. Jayne co-directed the 2010 and 2012 Landmarks workshops in Concord.    


Project Team Members

  Leslie Obleschuk is Chief of Interpretation and Education at Minute Man National Historical Park. Leslie serves as the program manager for public programming and cultural resources at the park. Having served as the Chief of Education at Lowell NHP for 12 years, working cooperatively with UMass Lowell in the Tsongas Industrial History Center, Leslie has extensive experience in partnerships, coordinating numerous professional development institutes and workshops for teachers focused on history content and teaching with historic places. She was instrumental in creating the Interpretive Development Program, helping to develop modules on interpretive talks and developing and presenting curriculum-based programs that are used throughout the National Park Service. Jim Hollister has been a park ranger at Minute Man MHP since 2002, serving as the park's education coordinator. Before that he worked as a guide at The Old Manse, and an educator at The Concord Museum. He has been involved in living history for 15 years.


Tom Beardsley is the Site Administrator for the Old Manse.holds a PhD in American History from the University of Leicester in the UK. He has been an adjunct professor at several community colleges in Connecticut, and is responsible for the new interpretive program at the Manse. In 2010, his impromptu discussion of a British school boy’s introduction to the Revolution – learning it as an English Civil War – led to fascinating conversations about ways of understanding that 18th-century conflict from a global perspective.





Duncan Wood is a former teacher fellow at Massachusetts Historical Society, working closely with MHS staff to develop primary source document materials into curricula to be shared with teachers worldwide through the MHS website. He was a key member of the Teacher Advisory Team for the NEH-funded Coming of the American Revolution website project, and has served as a master teacher for a Teaching American History grant at Adams National Historic site. Duncan has taught high school history since 2001 at Newton North High School. He will advise the both the project team and the teachers on the lesson plan projects, and will meet with the teachers during the workshop to conduct formative evaluations.


Robert Gross is the James L. and Shirley A. Draper Professor of Early American History at the University of Connecticut. No stranger to Concord, his first book on the American Revolution, The Minutemen and Their World (1976), won the Bancroft Prize in American History; it was issued in a 25th anniversary edition in 2001. The Transcendentalists and Their World is the focus of his current research. He is the ideal person to give both the opening and closing presentations on days one and five, pulling through ideas from the world of Concord's 1775 minister William Emerson to the world of his grandson, Ralph Waldo, who was involved in a very different kind of independence from the Old World.


  William Fowler is Distinguished Professor of History at Northeastern and former Director of the Massachusetts Historical Society. His specialties, both in his academic courses and in his workshop activities with teachers, are the history of Boston, maritime history, and the history of New England. His tour of the Freedom Trail will follow his presentation at the Massachusetts Historical Society on day two, combining his expertise in the documents of MHS with the streets and structures of colonial Boston.




Brian Donahue is Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Brandeis. He teaches courses on environmental issues, environmental history, sustainable farming and forestry, and early American culture. His primary research interests include the history of human engagement with the land, especially in New England, and Concord has been a focus of much of his work.  He has studied 350 years of land use in a section of Minute Man National Park which we will visit on day three. His ability to help participants "read" the evidence in the landscape is an invaluable complement to the use of other text-based resources.



Benjamin Carp is the Daniel M. Lyons Professor of American History at Brooklyn College where he teaches courses on colonial America, the America Revolution, and the the Atlantic World. His work on American cities during the wera of the Revolution have deomnstrated that because of their tight concentrations of people and diverse mixture of inhabitants, the largest cities offered fertile ground for political consciousness, political persuasion, and political action. He will help participants discover how everyday interactions in taverns, wharves, and elsewhere slowly developed into more serious political activity as cities became the flashpoints for legislative protests, committee meetings, massive outdoor gatherings, newspaper harangues, boycotts, customs evasion, violence and riots, all of which laid the groundwork for war.

Mary Fuhrer and Joanne Myers are independent historians and museum educators.Dr. Fuhrer has considerable expertise in the use of local Lexington records to reconstruct the lives of often-overlooked past residents. She is the author of “From Sources to Stories: Reconstructing Revolutionary Lexington in the Classroom,” which appeared in The History Teacher in 2009. Joanne Myers is the former director of education at both the National Heritage Museum in Lexington and Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, MA. Mary and Joanne have worked as a team to develop and conduct many programs for historic sites and school districts.


Back to top