This site is intended as a sampler for visitors. Volume I, Chapter 3, offers a preview of what every chapter will contain for those who purchase the books and the Roadmaps. See the order forms for purchasing details.

Meet Team HOPE

thumb Dr. William J. Bennett, Author of America: The Last Best Hope

William J. Bennett is one of America's most important, influential and respected voices on cultural, political, and education issues. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Bill Bennett studied philosophy at Williams College (B.A.) and the University of Texas (Ph.D.) and earned a law degree from Harvard. Dr. Bennett has taught in the humanities departments of several universities and was a Tutor in the Social Studies Program at Harvard University. He is the host of the nationally syndicated radio show Bill Bennett's Morning in America. It is rated the 9th largest radio talk show in the nation, after debuting in April 2003. The program airs from 6-9:00 a.m. (Eastern) in over 135 cities across the country with two million listeners as well as on Sirius Satellite Radio Channel 144. Dr. Bennett is also the Washington Fellow of the Claremont Institute and chairman of Americans for Victory over Terrorism, a project dedicated to sustaining and strengthening public opinion as the war on terrorism moves forward. He is a regular contributor to CNN. Dr. Bennett recently published a two-volume history of the United States entitled America: The Last Best Hope, which appeared on the New York Times bestseller list.

During the 1980s, Dr. Bennett emerged as one of the nation's most prominent political figures. He served as President Reagan's chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities (1981-1985) and Secretary of Education (1985-1988), and President Bush's "drug czar" (1989-1990). In his various roles, he was perceived -- even by his adversaries -- as a man of strong, reasoned convictions who spoke candidly, eloquently, and honestly about some of the most important issues of our time.

Bill Bennett has accomplished a rare feat: since leaving government, he has achieved an even greater impact on our national political debate. Dr. Bennett has written for America's leading newspapers and magazines and appeared on the nation's most influential television shows. He has also written and edited 17 books, two of which -- The Book of Virtues and The Children's Book of Virtues -- rank among the most successful of the past decade. The Book of Virtues has been made into an animated series that airs on PBS in the United States and Great Britain and has been seen in over 65 countries. Dr. Bennett was named by focus groups and leading analysts as the "Best Communicator of 2002," the most well received public commentator on the issues of "pride, patriotism, faith, and moral conviction."

Thanks to his writings and speeches, William Bennett has extraordinary influence on America's political and social landscape. He, his wife Elayne, and their two sons, John and Joseph, live in Maryland.

thumb Dr. Jane Foley, Senior Advisor

As senior vice president, Milken Educator Awards, at the Milken Family Foundation, Dr. Jane Foley oversees the selection and notification of Milken Educators, coordinates the Milken Educator Forum, and works with state agencies on state events related to the Awards. Dr. Foley serves on the National Institute for Excellence in Teaching Advisory Board which provides guidance for the Teacher Advancement Program (TAP), a comprehensive school-based reform to attract, retain, develop and motivate talented people to the teaching profession. Dr. Foley is a 1994 recipient of the Milken Educator Award from Indiana and also director of the Milken Scholars, a Foundation initiative that helps outstanding young men and women achieve their academic and professional goals. She is senior advisor for the Lowell Milken Center, a Kansas-based initiative that supports projects aimed at teaching respect and understanding throughout America and the world. Dr. Foley is also president of the Center's advisory board. She is senior advisor to former U.S. Secretary of Education Dr. William Bennett and leads a team of Milken Educators working together to advance the use of his American History books, America: The Last Best Hope, Volumes I & II, in schools across the country. Dr. Foley was a public school educator for 24 years, serving at the elementary and high school levels as both teacher and principal. Before coming to the Foundation in 1998, she was principal of Flint Lake Elementary School in Indiana, which, under her leadership, attained state and national recognition in the areas of school restructuring, professional development, technology integration and student achievement. Dr. Foley received her Ph.D. from Purdue University, and her honors include the International Society of Educational Planning Outstanding Dissertation Award, Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honorary and Who's Who in the World.

thumb Dr. Rex Bolinger, Project Director

Dr. Rex Bolinger, 1999 Indiana Milken Educator, joined Team HOPE with over 34 years of educational experience. He has received numerous awards and recognitions for his contributions to education. Dr. Bolinger has been a high school teacher and principal. He served on the National Commission for the High School Senior Year in 2000. He was an associate superintendent of schools for three years before accepting an assignment with the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, NJ. At the Foundation, he was a Senior Program Manager in charge of developing early college high schools at universities around the nation. He later returned to Indiana as a Senior Fellow with the Sagamore Institute for Policy Research. During this assignment, he led the creation of an early college charter high school in downtown Indianapolis. His preparation serves him well in handling the coordination of Team HOPE's efforts at all levels.

thumb Phil Bigler, Content Specialist

Philip Bigler is currently serving as the Director of the James Madison Center at James Madison University. The Center serves as a repository for information and materials concerning the nation's 4th President and Federalist Period. Through the Donald Robertson Project, the Center works closely with K-12 educators and pre-service teachers. Philip continues to teach courses in both history and education. He has recently completed his fifth book, Be A Teacher, which is published by Vandamere Press. A veteran educator, Philip Bigler taught history and humanities in the public schools for over 23 years. He is widely recognized for his creativity in the classroom and his innovative methods. In 1998, Mr. Bigler was named the 1998 National Teacher of the Year in a Rose Garden ceremony hosted by then President, Bill Clinton. He also received the Milken National Educator Award in 1999. Bigler holds BA and M.Ed. degrees from JMU and a MA from the College of William and Mary.

thumb Dr. Jeff Gall, Content Specialist

Jeff Gall has taught at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri since 1997. He holds a Ph.D. in American history and teaches courses in U.S. and Missouri history. Jeff also trains future high school history teachers in Truman State's graduate education program. Before coming to Truman, Jeff taught high school social studies in Lee's Summit, Missouri for fourteen years. There, he helped establish the district's International Baccalaureate Program. As a high school teacher, he was a finalist for Missouri State Teacher of the Year, was named the nation's Outstanding Teacher of American History (by the Daughters of the American Revolution) and in 1996 received the Milken Family Foundation's National Educator Award. In 2006, Jeff published Missouri: Our Home (Gibbs Smith, Publisher), a textbook used by fourth graders across his state. Jeff and his wife Susie have two grown children.

thumb Mark Ingerson, Content Specialist
Mark Ingerson did not take the traditional route into the classroom, working in retail after first serving in the military, and his approach to the classroom has followed that same track. Featured in several Washington Post articles that highlight his instructional practices, Mr. Ingerson provides an exciting, dynamic classroom experience that helps students learn basic facts while engaging them in higher-order thinking as well. Ingerson combines the use of mnemonics, plays, rhymes, chants, and analysis of primary sources to aid his students' ability to master the content. He even straps on his guitar and uses music to teach history. In eight years, Ingerson has earned much recognition. He achieved National Board Certification in 2004, was awarded a 2005 VFW National Citizenship Education Teacher Award, became a Milken Family Foundation National Educator in 2005, and in 2007 was a Most Outstanding Recent Alumnus for Virginia Tech.


thumb John Frischie, Project Leader
Mr. Frischie is a 1995 Milken Educator and holds two degrees from Purdue University.  Prior to joining Team HOPE, Mr. Frischie served as a teacher and administrative assistant in the South Newton School Corporation for 37 years.  Mr. Frischie worked closely with local business and industry representatives to bring students and staff members experiences that connected learning with life. His experiences as director of secondary education and technology will serve him well in his new position with Team HOPE.  Mr. Frischie developed new and innovative programs to expand the opportunities available to students in his school.  Mr. Frischie serves as a technical advisor of Team HOPE, assisting those who program the online Roadmap materials.  Additionally, Mr. Frischie will assist Dr. Bolinger by coordinating efforts involving communications with homeschools, independent schools, and large urban districts in open territory states where no statewide textbook adoption processes are in place. 
roadmaptolastbesthope Johnny Jin, Content Consultant
Johnny Jin came to the United States when he was eleven years old. At age twenty, he became one of the youngest high school teachers in the Los Angeles school district, leading a reading program in which his students improved their reading ability by two grade levels in a single school year. After receiving the Milken Scholar Award  in 2005, Johnny earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from UC Berkeley and was the first person in the school’s history to do so in only two years. For his entrepreneurial creations during graduate school, Johnny won the first place prize for the Innovation in Education Award from Phi Delta Kappan, the leading practitioner journal in education. He has also helped a Harvard professional development initiative launch a large-scale marketing project that incorporated business frameworks to drive systemic transformation in client school districts. Johnny completed his Master’s program in Education Policy and Management at Harvard in spring 2009.
thumb Dan Vazquez, Content Consultant
Dan Vazquez, a teacher in the East Village of New York, teaches reading, writing, and social studies to a diverse group of 6th graders.  Prior to becoming a teacher, Dan worked as a community liaison for the Superintendent of Schools in East Harlem.  Dan also has international experience as an educator having won the American Indian Fellowship to work in a school in India and the Michael C. Rockefeller fellowship to work as a street educator in Mexico City.  With a B.A. from Harvard University and a M.S. from Hunter College, Dan has received numerous other awards including the 1998 Milken Scholar Award,  the New York City Teaching and the Teach for America Fellowships (2006), and the Coro Foundation fellowship (2004).  Dan serves on the Board of the St. Raymond Community Outreach, a thriving afterschool program in the Bronx.   


David Huitt, Content Consultant
David Huitt has been a public high school history teacher since 1993 and is one of the founders that developed the curriculum and framework for Kealakehe High School in Hawaii when it first opened its doors in 1997.  David has been the only Social Studies department chair in Kealakehe’s history and teaches Honors World History and AP US History since 1999.  As a history teacher, David emphasizes “bringing history to life” through experiential activities and “learning from the past” through deliberative discussion and the analysis of ethical dilemmas from both the past and present.  David’s enthusiasm and interest in working with all students makes the Honors World and AP US History classes some of the largest on this academically and socially diverse public school campus of over 1600 students. Since 2001-2002, David has worked with Milken Educator Yanna Lewis (HI ‘07) to direct a school-wide program called “Citizenship and Ethical Philosophies.” The four-year curriculum, which was written by David and Yanna, contains daily lessons in current events, ethical issues, civic responsibility, and service learning.  Developed at Kealakehe High School, this program has received recognition from the Hawaii Department of Education, the University of Hawaii, Hawaii’s lieutenant governor and state legislators, as well as the Annenberg and Kettering Foundations.  Outside the classroom, David served as a teacher representative on local SCBM (school-community based management) councils to provide service-learning opportunities for local youth through state-award winning Interact clubs.  David earned a B.A. in History from the University of Hawaii-Hilo and a M.Ed. from Heritage College.


Laura Lay, Content Specialist
Laura Lay is a 2005 Virginia Milken Educator and is currently designing and writing on-line curriculum for United States Government and United States History in Chesterfield County.  She is also part of Team HOPE (History Opens Eyes) for Dr. William Bennett's book, America: The Last Best Hope. Laura Lay has been a social studies teacher and department chair at James River High School in Midlothian where she taught Advanced Placement World History. She received her B.A. in History from the College of William and Mary (1995) and her M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999. Notable accomplishments in her professional life include receiving a Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship to study in Japan (2000) and a 2005 National Consortium for Teaching about Asia Fellowship to study in China. Ms. Lay continues her interest in professional development for social studies teachers by serving as Vice President for the Virginia Council for the Social Studies. In addition, she served as a member of the School Improvement Planning Team at James River High School, the Principal's Advisory Committee, and was the Academic Team Coach from 1995-2005.