The National History Academy’s team is comprised of leaders in education and history.
President and CEO, National History Academy
William W. Sellers serves as the President of National History Academy and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. He has deep experience in education. From 2008 to 2013, he served as President of Wentworth Military Academy and College in Lexington, MO, founded in 1880. Sellers received a Bachelor of Arts degree in American History from Harvard University, where he studied under David Herbert Donald and Bernard Bailyn, and a law degree from the University of Missouri. Sellers has served in leadership roles in a broad range of organizations. Among other positions, he has served as President of the Association of Military Colleges and Schools of the United States; on the Presidential Advisory Committee to Missouri’s Coordinating Board of Higher Education; on the Board of Trustees of the State Historical Society of Missouri; and on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Alumni Association. Sellers has spent the last two years building the National History Academy into the preeminent summer history program in the country.
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Chief Operating Officer, National History Academy
Michelle Burrelli is the Chief Operating Officer of the National History Academy and the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area. Michelle holds a B.A. in Art History from the University of Illinois and a Master’s degree in Museum and Gallery Studies from the University of St Andrews. She has been with The Journey since 2010 and has built relationships with partner historic sites as the Director of Regional and Strategic Partnerships, managed the National Heritage Area program as the Director of the National Heritage Area, and, now as COO, manages all daily operations for the organization. Michelle has been involved in the development and implementation of many educational, tourism and preservation/conservation initiatives, and is excited to play a major role in creating the National History Academy.
Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area
Mr. Haney is an attorney, previously served as in-house counsel to Jack Kent Cooke and co-executor of his estate, and formerly as President and COO of Salamander Farms. He currently serves as a founding board member of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and on the board of the Gettysburg Foundation. Originally from Topeka, Kansas, he holds a LLM in Tax from Georgetown University and a JD from Washburn University school of Law. He received his BS in Hotel Administration from the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. Stuart and his wife, Paula, have lived in Northern Virginia since 1983, and currently reside in Leesburg, VA with their son, Colton.
Jason M. Cogan, also known as “Mr. C.”, serves as the founding Academy Director of the National History Academy. Mr. Cogan is delighted to lead the initial class of Academy students and believes that site-based education is the key to understanding history and the world. Mr. Cogan holds a BA cum laude in History from Harvard University, and an MBA in Technology and Finance from The Anderson School at UCLA. Prior to creating several innovative education programs for the Broward School System, Mr. Cogan had a successful career on Wall Street as a money manager and investment adviser. He also worked for many years in business development for several software companies in California. Mr. Cogan teaches AP US History and is also the author of Teach200Words, an innovative vocabulary building program which helps students think about history and language, while developing their vocabulary and writing skills. Teach200Words has helped students achieve 100% pass rate on Florida standardized US History exams, the best in the state of Florida.
Lead Master Teacher
James A. Percoco is a former high school history teacher with 32 years of classroom experience and a national recognition as a leader in the area of history education. The author of three well-received books, Percoco has an active interest in public history and public memory. His book, A Passion for the Past: Creative Teaching of U.S. History received the 2000 James Harvey Robinson Prize from the American Historical Association. In 1993, he was named Outstanding Social Studies Teacher of the Year at the Walt Disney Company American Teacher Awards. That same year, he received the Archivist’s Achievement Award from the National Archives and Records Administration. In 1998, he was named to the ALL – USA TODAY Teacher Team, in 2010 was named as Virginia History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History, in part for a project he developed with the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership, and in 2011 was elected to the National Teachers Hall of Fame in Emporia, Kansas.
Charlotte Green is a history teacher and experiential learning coordinator at Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Charlotte has taught a range of courses in the department since 2016, including World History, Ancient Egyptian History, Cultural Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Philosophy, and AP Human Geography. Charlotte came to Miss Hall’s from Island Academy International School in Antigua, where she had taught history and International Baccalaureate (IB) courses since 2013. She also previously served as a Teaching Assistant in the Elwin Sykes Teaching Assistant Program at Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, and as a Teaching Fellow at Yale University after completing her Master’s degree at Yale. Charlotte has a B.A. in Anthropology & History from Muhlenberg College and holds an M.A. in Archaeological Studies from Yale. Her passions include the study of culture, government and politics, and archaeology.
Brittany Moore is an American History teacher at Fleming Island High School outside of Jacksonville, Florida. She graduated cumme laude from the University of North Florida with her Bachelor of Arts in History and a minor in Professional Education. She has focused on expanding and deepening her knowledge base over the past 8 years through her teaching of Advanced Placement US History and through her participation in the Teaching American History Grant. She has also lent her experience to Duval County by participating in the writing of both the county’s United States History curriculum as well as the assessments in United States History. Her expertise and passion for history paved the way for her to become an Advanced Placement Reader and Table Leader for College Board for the past four years. She has continued to grow professionally and academically through her position as a consultant for the Florida Partnership with College Board for the past three years, which assists in facilitating teacher training and collaboration across the state.
John Scharfenberg is in his sixth year as a teacher at the Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia. He teaches AP U.S. History, U.S. History, Modern World History, and several electives including American Government and Politics and 20th Century Revolutions. For two years, Scharfenberg headed an experiential, place-based Winter Mission course entitled “Travels through the Civil War.” He has also led class trips to Williamsburg, Jamestown, and Mount Vernon. In 2012, he was a participant in the National Endowment for the Humanities program, “At the Crossroads of Revolution: Lexington and Concord in 1775.” Prior to returning to teaching full-time in 2007, Scharfenberg held a variety of positions in the public and private sector, ranging from Senior Professional Staff on the Banking Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, to vice president of a political publishing company, to Federal contractor working for the Department of Homeland Security. Scharfenberg is a graduate of Middlebury College and Tulane University.
President, Capital Development
Dr. Richard B. Dressner is President of Capital Development, a consulting firm offering capital campaign counsel to museums, historic sites and patriotic organizations. He earned his B.A. from The George Washington University where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and his Ph.D. in American Intellectual History from Cornell University. Dr. Dressner has been a faculty member at Colgate University, Hiram College, and three campuses of the State University of New York. He taught courses in American cultural, social and intellectual history. As Historian in Residence at American University, he taught a graduate course in administration and interpretation of historic sites. He also served as Associate Vice President for Advancement at the State University of New York at Albany, and Vice President for College Advancement at the SUNY campuses at Buffalo and Geneseo. Dr. Dressner was the Associate Director of George Washington’s Mount Vernon where he helped plan and design a new visitor orientation facility, education center and museum. He led Mount Vernon’s capital campaign which raised $120 million from foundations, corporations and individuals.
Director Emeritus, Smithsonian National Museum of American History
Brent D. Glass is Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, the world’s largest museum devoted to telling the story of America. A national leader in the preservation, interpretation, and promotion of history, Glass is a public historian who pioneered influential oral history and material culture studies, an author, television presence and international speaker on cultural diplomacy and museum management.