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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

Teachers attend 14th annual Holocaust Educator’s Conference

Dr. Mary Johnson, a senior historian at Facing History and Ourselves, led the conference
(Photo: Elizabeth George Photography)

Special to the Chronicle

The Holocaust Education Resource Council (HERC) held their 14th annual Holocaust Educator’s Conference. HERC’s mission is to provide instructional guidance, support and resources for educators who teach the history of the Holocaust, and educational programs for the community at large.

The conference stretched from Thursday, June 8 through Saturday, June 10, 2017. The event was held at and partnered with Florida State University.

Barbara Goldstein, HERC’s executive director, said the goal of this year’s conference was to, “gain higher attendance by teachers and to provide valuable resources for Holocaust education such as films and books.”

There were 35 teachers in attendance.

This year, the conference was presented by Dr. Mary Johnson, a senior historian at Facing History and Ourselves. Throughout the three days, Dr. Johnson introduced a range of topics. She included ideas such as human behavior, preconditions for the Holocaust, voices and video testimonies, and the Nuremberg Trials.

Second Generation, a Holocaust writer’s workshop, presented the works of three children of Holocaust survivors.

On June 10th, Jan Munn, an art teacher from Chaires Elementary, led attendees in creating Holocaust Memorial stones. Eventually, the memorials will be displayed at the HERC building.

After asking attendees thoughts of the conference, Shekishma O’Reilly said, “I love the discussion on how to put this knowledge into practice in the classroom.”

Kimberly Morris stated that the conference was, “so very interesting and engaging.”

Overwhelmingly, those in attendance believed that more educators must attend and experience the conference firsthand.

For more information see

Courtesy of Tallahassee Democrat

Chaires Elem. dedicates Holocaust memorial butterfly garden

Lanetra Bennett, WCTV News

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Chaires Elementary School in Tallahassee is honoring Holocaust victims and survivors.

Friday, students, staff, administrators, and Superintendent Rocky Hanna hosted a dedication for a memorial garden.

It’s inspired by a poem written by a holocaust survivor who described not being able to see butterflies while in a concentration camp.

Teachers say the garden will not only be a place to learn how to grow things, but also to remember lessons learned from the Holocaust.

Fifth grader, Anna Caulkins, said, “Butterflies are special. They should be free. So should humans be.”

Jordan Whittier, 5th grade, said, “Nobody should ever not see a butterfly in their lifetime.”

Naomi Buchanan, 5th grade, said, “It’s very pretty and amazing, that honors people that have been through the Holocaust and also people that have survived.”

Rance Grace, 5th grade, said, “Trying to get all of that stuff in order took very hard work. But, it all paid off.”

Chaires Elementary started a Holocaust workshop last summer.
Superintendent Hanna says next year, other schools will do the same.

Upcoming Events

  1. HERC Mural at TCC Unveiling

    April 28 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
  2. Yom HaShoah – Remembrance Program

    May 02 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm





HERC logo

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.