WILLIAM C. KASHATUS / HISTORIAN, EDUCATOR, WRITER
William C. Kashatus is an historian, educator and author. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Earlham College, he earned an MA in history at Brown University and a PhD in history education at the University of Pennsylvania. He currently teaches history at Luzerne County Community College in northeastern Pennsylvania. He has also taught at Penn’s Graduate School of Education and in the History Department of West Chester University.
Kashatus began his career as a middle school history teacher at the Riverdale Country School, Bronx, New York, in 1984. Relocating to the Philadelphia area the following year, he began teaching high school students at Abington Friends School in Jenkintown, and later at the Episcopal Academy in Merion. During that time, he also coached varsity soccer and baseball, and spent his summers as an historical interpreter at Independence and Valley Forge National Historical Parks. In 1993 Kashatus was hired as Director of Religious Studies and Community Service at the William Penn Charter School, one of the nation’s oldest educational institutions dating to 1689. During his tenure there he integrated community service into the middle and upper school curricula, increasing both the quality and quantity of student involvement. Penn Charter’s service learning program became a model for Philadelphia’s other public and private schools, and was recognized by then-mayor Edward G. Rendell as “one of the best examples of voluntarism that occurred in the city during the 1990s.”
After more than a decade of teaching and coaching, Kashatus, in 1998, left independent education to become Director of Educational and Public Programs at the Chester County Historical Society in West Chester, Pennsylvania. During his five-year tenure at CCHS, he improved the extent and quality of educational programming by instituting a series of living history programs and by attracting high school and college audiences with a research partnership program. Kashatus was also curator, researcher and principal fundraiser for two exhibits: “Baseball’s White Elephants: Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics” (May through October 1999); and “Just Over the Line: Chester County and the Underground Railroad” (February 2002 through February 2004), which was recognized by The Journal of American History as a “first rate exhibit and model of outreach to the local community.”
A prolific writer, Kashatus is the author of more than a dozen books. He is a regular contributor to the History News Service, Philadelphia Inquirer, and Pennsylvania Heritage. Kashatus has also written and published more than 200 essays in such periodicals as: American History Magazine, Christian Science Monitor, Independent Schools Magazine, New York Times, Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, Philadelphia Daily News, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Quaker History.
Kashatus has appeared on National Public Radio and Pennsylvania Cable Network, as well as on many local television and radio stations. His documentary film credits include: “Whispers of Angels: A Story of the Underground Railroad” (PBS); “Baseball’s White Elephants: Connie Mack and the Philadelphia Athletics” (FOX-Philadelphia); “William Penn” (WHYY-TV, Wilmington-Philadelphia); and “Independence National Historical Park” (WHYY-TV, Wilmington-Philadelphia).
Kashatus lives with his wife, Jackie, and their three sons, Tim, Peter and Ben, in Chester County, Pennsylvania.