WHS Student and Teacher Accepted to Albert H. Small Normandy Institute

The Weston High School Social Studies Department is proud to announce Class of 2026 Chelian Subbiah and teacher Angela Lee were selected as one of 15 student-teacher pairs to participate in the competitive and selective Albert H. Small Normandy Institute this summer. As part of the program, Chelian and Ms. Lee participate bi-weekly zoom learning sessions with the other student-teacher pairs focused on the Normandy Campaign of 1944. Sessions are run by history professors and students of George Washington University. 

Ms. Lee was drawn to the institute because it “a unique opportunity for a teacher to work closely with a student to do meaningful, deep archival research, and to learn deeply about the significance of a historical event that we don’t get to indulge in very often in the classroom.” Chelian was interested in the program “because of my avid interest in the US Navy and how it operates. Normandy was the largest amphibious invasion in our nation’s history and stands as a symbol of the United States fight against oppression. The opportunity to honor the men and women, who fought for people that they didn’t even know for no reason other than their morals, is one that is truly special to me”.

Before traveling to Normandy, Chelian will complete two research projects. The first is a briefing paper on a specific aspect of the Normandy Campaign. The second requirement is unique to the Normandy Institute and deeply meaningful. Ms. Lee and Chelian worked together to identify a soldier, Raymond Dunn of Lowell, who is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Chelian shares “Picking a soldier to research was a hard task as we had to first identify a soldier from Masscheusts that was buried in the Normandy cemetery in France. We then had to narrow this list down to people that were from our county regardless of if we knew which town or not. We then narrowed it down to two soldiers, one of which was from the town right next to us, Wayland Massachutes. As we did a deeper dive we realized that this soldier had already had some research done about him. We decided that because the mission of the institute is to tell the story of those who may never get their story told otherwise, it would be best to choose the other soldier, Mr. Raymond Dunn. Mr .Dunn had little to no information on him from a simple google search, but through hard work we have, and will continue to put together the pieces that were Mr.Dunn’s life.” Over the coming months they will develop a biography of Mr.Dunn using archival documents and then give the biography to the American Battle Monuments Commission to be held in the archives at the Normandy American Cemetery. Chelian will also deliver a eulogy for Mr.Dunn at his gravesite.

The field portion of the experience begins with a 5-day intensive study in Washington D.C including site visits to the National Archives, a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, and a visit to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Student-teacher pairs will then travel as a group to France and spend an additional week exploring historically relevant sites in Normandy and delivering soldier eulogies. 

Costs of this program are fully funded by The Albert and Shirley Small Family Foundation.

Angela Lee

Angela Lee at the National WWII Museum Teacher Fellowship “Voices of the Pacific” in Summer of 2022.

      Chelian Subbiah

Chelian (2nd from the right) at the United States Naval Academy Stem Camp this past summer