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FFCHS Teacher Accepted into U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Fellowship

Miranda Lopez

In February, Social Studies teacher Katie Johnson was accepted into the 2023-2024 U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum Teacher Fellowship program. Each year, middle and high school teachers are selected based on their Holocaust knowledge, teaching expertise, and community involvement. They serve as liaisons between the museum and educational institutions. Mrs. Johnson was one of 16 chosen out of 200 applicants for the 23-24 school year.  

“As an educator, I am always looking for new ways to improve both my content knowledge and my teaching practice. This was an opportunity to do both, as well as help other teachers grow in those areas as well. It really is a win-win situation,” said Mrs. Johnson. 

Teacher Mrs. Johnson in front of tile wal at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

Mrs. Johnson first became passionate about this topic when her family was stationed in Germany when she was a little girl.  

“The Berlin Wall had just come down and the events of the Holocaust that took place in Eastern Europe were just coming to light. It was a truly moving experience,” said Mrs. Johnson. 

Later, as a teacher, she was able to attend events about teaching the Holocaust, which fueled her desire to learn more. 

Currently, she says the fellowship is keeping her busy. Over the summer, she attended a one-week professional development opportunity in Washington D.C. She met with historians, authors, and survivors and discussed the role education plays in ensuring that the legacy of the Holocaust is not forgotten. 

“It reignited my passion for teaching,” said Mrs. Johnson. 

She must also host at least one professional development opportunity for in-service and pre-service educators in the state. Mrs. Johnson has already hosted three, including one specifically for FFC8 secondary social studies teachers. 

Mrs. Johson meeting with other fellowship recipients to discuss what they have learned

Mrs. Johnson also plans to work with her colleagues at FFCHS to complete an in-depth analysis of how the Holocaust is taught in the World and U.S. history courses and work with teachers to improve the curriculum. 

Finally, she will attend virtual and in-person learning opportunities throughout the museum throughout the year; including but not limited to, two book studies as well as meetings with museum staff and my fellowship group. 

Mrs. Johnson will return to Washington D.C. next summer to discuss the year, accomplishments, and next steps. 

Mrs. Johnson with other fellowship recipients in front of tile wall