Dr. Trevor Steinbach portrays Dr. Charles Ambler Bucher at reenactments each year.

Spectrum School announced today Time-traveling Civil War Surgeon Dr. James Riley Monroe Gaskill will be completing his medical rounds at Spectrum School on the morning of March 9, 2020. Dr. Gaskill, Surgeon from the 45 Illinois Volunteers, will be demonstrating the tools of his trade and discussing the challenges of doing medical work on the battlefield. “The Civil War was a medical transition from Medieval Medicine to Modern Medicine. Few people know that today’s medical ambulances had their start during the Civil War.” Dr. Gaskill is portrayed by the retired principal and former First Responder Dr. Trevor Steinbach. He has been sharing his passion for Civil War reenactment for over 20+ years with over 1,000 people each year. He has worked with the National Park Service at both the Antietam and Shiloh Battlefields, the Gettysburg PA Foundation at Spangler Farm, the National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick MD, Midwest Civil War Museum in Kenosha, WI, and the Missouri Civil War Museum in St. Louis, MO. He has produced a series of student curriculum materials on Civil War Medicine for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. “Brain surgery, electric stimulation of damaged nerves, and plastic surgery on faces all took place during the Civil War, making it a fascinating time for medical technology.” Spectrum is the only Rockford school featuring this unique presentation in 2020.

Dr. Steinbach is founding member and Executive Director of the Illinois Future Problem Solving Inc., (FPS) an affiliate of the Future Problem Solving Program – International, Inc., “a dynamic international program involving thousands of students annually from around the world. Developed in 1974 by creativity pioneer Dr. E. Paul Torrance, Future Problem Solving (FPS) provides competitive and non-competitive components for today’s curriculum via a six-step model which teaches critical and creative thinking, problem solving, and decision making.” Spectrum Principal Dr. Mary Beth Cunat and teacher Ms. Aubrey Barnett have been involved in FPS for decades, across many schools and advancing teams to regional, state, and international competitions. With the support of Dr. Steinbach, they introduced FPS to Spectrum students last year. The Spectrum FPS team participated in regional competition on the complex topic of GAMIFICATION on February 8 at the International Math and Science Academy.

About Spectrum

Spectrum provides a school environment with open-ended approaches to learning. It has been a student-centered, inquiry-based school serving Rockford and northern Illinois for over 50 years. Passion projects, interest groups, themed days, and genius hour are all structures that foster student ownership and deeper learning, and have been part of the Spectrum experience for decades.

Spectrum students have the confidence to be deeply engaged in learning, work, and communication. They have the skills to think critically and creatively. They understand how to collaborate and know how to ask questions. They can solve problems in a variety of contexts, applying what they know to what they need to do. They care about their communities, humanity, and the natural environment. They work to make a positive difference in the world.

About Dr. Steinbach

Dr. Trevor Steinbach was born in Peoria and has lived in Batavia for over 30 years. His wife, Cathy, plays the flute at reenactments and portrays her great grandmother from southern Indiana whose husband fought in two Indiana Regiment in both the trans-Mississippi and Virginia. Trevor’s educational degrees include a Doctorate and two Master’s degrees from National-Louis University in Evanston and a postgraduate Certificate in Museum Studies from Northwestern University.

Trevor is currently the Medical Director of the First Federal Division and President of the 17th Corps Field Hospital, Inc. He portrays Dr. Charles Ambler Bucher and Dr. James Gaskill (Federal) and Dr. Thomas Fleming (Confederate) at over eighteen reenactments per year. His monthly column for the Civil War Courier on Medicine is starting its 17th year.

He is a former high school History/English Speech teacher and retired elementary principal in the Genoa-Kingston School District in Genoa, Illinois. In retirement, he is currently a part-time Technology/Google Coach for multiple school districts in Northern Illinois. His chief avocation is Civil War Medicine.


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