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Maclay teacher selected for Holocaust fellowship

Maclay teacher Lauren Fantle with Holocaust survivor Fritz Gluckstein during the Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellowship Program. PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAUREN FANTLE

Ashley White Tallahassee Democrat

A Tallahassee teacher was selected from a national pool of educators for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellowship Program.

Maclay High School Teacher Lauren Fantle was selected for the five-day, all expenses paid institute created to train attendees in Holocaust education.

“I felt very honored to be included amongst such a dedicated group of educators,” said the 15-year educator. “This is so incredibly important because history doesn’t necessarily repeat itself, but it does cast echoes and shadows, and we should be aware of the warning signs of genocide.”

Scenes from the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.

The program wants to ensure students are learning how and why the Holocaust happened and strengthen students’ critical thinking about their roles in society, said Kim Blevins-Relleva, the program coordinator.

Educators who work with grades 7-12 are selected for the fellowship. During the week, attendees study the exhibits at the museum located in Washington, D.C. Fantle, who teaches English, which includes a Holocaust literature and film course, said she was particularly interested by a discussion on students’ responses to crisis, contemporary genocide and crimes against humanity.

Fantle, left, with “Becoming Evil” author James Waller.

“Drawing connections between the Holocaust and other genocides is so essential,” she said. “We should be actively aware as global citizens in order to prevent the progression of hate toward crimes against.”

Two other memorable moments for Fantle were meeting James Waller, author of “Becoming Evil: How Ordinary People Commit Genocide & Mass Killings.” The other was hearing Holocaust survivor Fritz Gluckstein’s story and asking him questions.

Fantle will create an outreach project based on what she’s learned but can’t disclose the details yet.

“We’ve discussed many opportunities for global partnership via technology and through travel,” she said.

The group will reconvene next summer to evaluate their efforts and continue their studies.

More information

To learn more about U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and its programs, visit www.ushmm.org. For local information about Holocaust education, contact Barbara Goldstein at the Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC) by email at barbara@holocaustresources.org.

The HERC Book Club

The Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC) Book Club eagerly anticipates the start of its seventh year. Its primary purpose is to foster a greater understanding of the history of the Holocaust, including its origins and processes, as well as to promote good relations among diverse groups within our community. The public is always welcome and encouraged to participate.

Four books are selected this season and discussion groups will be held on the second Thursday every other month from September through March. All meetings will be held at the Main Branch of the Leon County Public Library in Program Room B from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

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Leon High students take top honors at National History Fair

National History Fair winners Creed King and Kate Powell with Morgan Symanski, Florida NDH representative and national NEH representative.
(Photo: Special to the Democrat)

CD Davidson-Hiers,
Democrat staff writer

Creed King and Kate Powell, rising juniors at Leon High School, won first place in the Senior group Exhibit category at the national finals for the National History Day Contest Thursday.

The competition took place at the University of Maryland in College Park.

Their project, titled, “Are You Going to Help Me Save the World? From Nuremberg to Now: Benjamin Ferencz’s Lifelong Stand for LAW. NOT WAR,” was on display Wednesday at the Smithsonian Museum of American History, according to a news release.

Their project won against entries from more than half a million students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, and international schools in China, Korea, and South Asia in the 2017 National History Day® Contest.

For King, the experience of personally interviewing Benjamin Ferencz, the last living prosecutor from the Nuremberg Trials and two-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, will stay with her.

She also made note of the archives available at Florida State University at the Institute for World War II and the Human Experience.

“They are not well-known, and therefore not over-used,” she said.

For Powell, the connection to her grandfather, a surviving World War II veteran, made the project a powerful experience.

“Also, Mr. Ferencz is an amazing man and we are so thankful to have had the opportunity to hear his story firsthand,” she said.

Powell and King will be distinguished as National Endowment for the Humanities Scholars as they return home to Tallahassee.

This is the fourth time competing for the two, who have been placing together in the history competition since 6th grade.



Courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat

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The Holocaust Education Resource Council has been established as a Non-Profit Organization to sponsor the Annual Student Holocaust Essay/Art Contest, Teacher Training Workshops, and community outreach.

Less than $1.00 is allotted for each student annually in the State of Florida for education of the Holocaust. It is nearly impossible for students to grasp the material and understand its relevance with inadequate curriculum, training and supplies. It is imperative our future generations recognize the danger of prejudice and hate and instead approach others with respect and acceptance.