Central New York

Council for the Social Studies

Central New York Council for the Social Studies

2022 Annual Conference


Reasserting the Purpose and Practice of Social Studies

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

7:30am - 2:20pm

Carnegie Conference Center, 2nd Floor Driver's Village


Click here for downloadable pamphlet - COMING SOON!

Keynote Speaker

Chris Faricy

Hicker Family Professor in Renewing Democratic Community

The Maxwell School, Syracuse University

"Teaching American Government in a Time of Polarization and Backsliding"

It is a distinct pleasure and honor for CNYCSS to welcome Dr. Chris Faricy as this year’s keynote speaker.  Dr. Faricy is a longtime friend of the organization, having shared his expertise and insights with us on previous occasions. His presentations help us to decipher an increasingly complicated political world.  Understanding the challenges facing social studies teachers, we asked Dr. Faricy to specifically speak to our realities in the classroom.  In his keynote, Chris will address the following question: How do you teach American government in a politically polarized environment and against the backdrop of democratic backsliding? Professor Faricy will reflect on how teaching government has changed from the 1990s to today and offer suggestions on centering American government on how democracy can function during periods of polarization.  Essentially, Dr. Faricy will take us through “democracy for realists”- we look forward to a lively conversation!


7:30am to 8:30am

8:35am to 9:40am

9:40am to 10:00am

10:00am to 10:50am

11:00am to 11:50am

12:00pm to 1:25pm

1:30pm to 2:20pm

Registration and Continental Breakfast

Keynote Address

Please Visit Community Connections Row

Session A Presentations

Session B Presentations

Lunch, Brief Business Meeting and Updates; Please Visit Community Connections Row

Session C Presentations



A1: Dr.Leigh Fought, LeMoyne College, “Frederick Douglass, Women and the Underground Railroad”

We are delighted to welcome back Dr. Fought!This presentation will look at the women in Frederick Douglass's autobiographies -- or their absence -- to discuss the opportunities and reasons that  some enslaved people ran to freedom while others could not. The presentation will also offer a means of discussing the role of women in sustaining the abolition movement as well as the unsung work of social change. 

A2: Mr. Chris Sperry, Director of Curriculum and Staff Development at Ithaca College’s Project Look Sharp, “Teaching Students to De-Code the World in Polarized Times”

A great follow-up to our keynote! In this interactive workshop, Chris Sperry will share theory, models, and resources (including hundreds of free lessons) for using Constructivist Media Decoding to teach core NYS social studies content and habits of questioning to all students. Chris is an award winning NYS social studies teacher, co-founder of Project Look Sharp, and co-author of Teaching Students to Decode the World: Media Literacy and Critical Thinking Across the Curriculum (ASCD 2022).  

A3: Ms. Donna Merlau, Consultant NYSED, “Strategies for Success: Preparing Students for the Global Regents”

Longtime educator and former CNYCSS member Donna Merlau is back in person!  Donna has graciously agreed to return to the region and to continue to orient global teachers to the newer framework exam.  Donna will share best practices for helping students navigate the CRQs and the enduring issue essay, in particular. She will also help teachers explore how to prioritize the range of content and skills that students need to succeed on this exam.


B1: Ms. Donna Merlau, Consultant NYSED, “Strategies for Success: Preparing Students for the US Regents”

What would we do without Donna? Donna is staying for another session and  will spend time pinpointing key skills that will be assessed on the upcoming US History & Government Regents.  She will discuss what to prioritize in instruction and offer some tools that will help teachers and students feel well prepared for the long-awaited exam.

B2: Mr. Robert Searing, Curator of History, Onondaga Historical Association The Third National Women's Rights Convention Sept.8- 10 1852”

We greatly value the special relationship we have with many local historical societies, including the OHA!  We are delighted to have Mr. Searing here to share this important story.  Between September 8-10 1852, the Third National Women's Rights Convention met in Syracuse. This meeting of some of the most progressive advocates for equality and the expansion of American democracy, including Lucy Stone, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Lucretia Mott, Paulina Davis, Rev. Samuel May, and Gerrit Smith, was a significant moment in the political and social history of the United States. Over the course of those three days, Gage and her compatriots, along with a reported 2,000 attendees, met in New York’s “Central City” riding a wave of reform aimed at squaring the vaunted American ideals of freedom and equality with the lived experience of millions for whom these ideals were mere words. It came amidst the growing sectional controversy over the expansion of slavery that eventually led to the Civil War. 

B3: Ms. Amy Pento, Instructional Specialist, Liverpool High School & Ms. Lynette Avery, CNYCSS Board Member and recently retired teacher, Liverpool High School, “Teaching Writing: Effective and Efficient Strategies that Enhance Learning”

CNYCSS Board treasurer Lynette Avery and her colleagues in Liverpool are engaged in a “Writing Revolution.” They are eager to share with all the foundations of practices that, as Lynette puts it, “CHANGED my teaching.” This session will target unique practices that will give participants and their students specific tools to become confident, stronger writers.


C1: Dr. Nicole Waid, SUNY Oneonta, “On Your Mark, Text Sets, Go!”

We are thrilled Dr. Waid will return with her interactive and engaging pedagogical strategies for the classroom! This presentation will give suggestions on how to start controversial topics with text sets. Dr. Waid will explain what text sets are and how they can be used to provide background information prior to having conversations of a controversial manner. At the end of the presentation, Dr. Waid will provide a list of places to find text sets and will entertain questions and feedback from participants.

C2: Mr. Paul Muench, Daneli Partners, Creating Student Leaders through Strength-based Psychology

Longtime member, first time presenter! We are thrilled to have Paul join us with insights from his post-retirement endeavors. Our students yearn for the chance to learn and develop their unique personal strengths to help them become successful as students and leaders. This session will focus on best practices that enable students to strive for excellence and maximize their potential in the areas of achievement, leadership, and teamwork by understanding their strengths. A strengths-based approach allows students to gain clarity about their personal strengths so they can better understand how they apply in their lives, leadership, school, work, college, and career exploration. In addition,Paul will explore teaching an appreciation for the strengths of others and understanding the importance of diverse strengths on a team and how they can be leveraged for success.

C3: Keith J. Bybee, Paul E. and Hon. Joanne F. Alper '72 Judiciary Studies Professor at Syracuse University, What Comes After Roe? A Discussion of Constitutional Doctrine and the Future of Fundamental Rights”

Back by popular demand!In a term filled with landmark rulings, the Supreme Court’s most significant decision was Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the case that overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey. Dobbs quickly affected politics around the country. How did it affect constitutional law? What specific doctrines were reversed? What particular new doctrines were established? How might this altered legal landscape shape the adjudication of other fundamental rights? Join Keith Bybee for a discussion of one of the most consequential judicial decisions of our time.

C4: Dr. Erica De Bruin, Hamilton College, “Is Global Democracy In Crisis?”

We are honored to welcome for her first time at the conference Professor De Bruin! She will present on patterns in democracy and dictatorship around the globe. Dr. De Bruin will describe the recent, global rise in democratic "backsliding" or the undermining of political institutions that sustain democracy, as well as the recent increase in coup attempts in both democracies and dictatorships. She will describe what political scientists know about what's causing these trends, and what we can expect going forward.

The final day for advance registration is October 18.

$90 - Member Registration (by Oct. 18)

$100 - Member Late Registration (Oct. 19 or later)

$110 - New/Renewing* Members (by Oct. 18)

$120 - New/Renewing* Members Late Registration (Oct. 19 or later)

$45 - Full-Time Students (by Oct. 18)

$55 - Full-Time Student Late Registration (Oct. 19 or later)

CTLE forms can be picked up at the Registration Table at the conclusion of the conference.

If your payment is outstanding at the time of the conference, please bring cash or check payment (made out to "CNYCSS") with you to the conference.  NO PURCHASE ORDERS PLEASE.  If you are bringing payment with you the day of the conference you will need to go to the "Solutions" section of the Registration Table. 

Please e-mail Erica Martin with questions regarding conference registration and/or payment.

*New & renewing membership cost includes 1 year of membership and conference registration. Please renew/begin your membership before registering for the conference.


(click here for printable mail-in registration form - COMING SOON!)

Conference Co-Chairs:

Kate Gross and

Vince Monterosso

Community Connections Row Coordinator:

Mary Duffin

CNYCSS is a 501(c)6 non-profit organization. New York. 2657 East Fayette Street, Syracuse, NY 13224.

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