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Eighteen Teachers Selected to Study WWI in Europe 

By Lynne O'Hara
Special to the United States World War I Centennial Commission web site

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Eighteen educators from across America have been selected to participate in Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms.

Three LogosThroughout the program, teachers attend virtual lectures, participate in discussions, and research a service member who never returned home. The academic portion of the program will be led by Dr. Christopher Hamner, an associate professor at George Mason University, and Dr. Kate Clarke Lemay, a historian with Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.

In June 2019, the educators will venture to Europe where they will walk in the footsteps of history, making stops at Somme American Cemetery, St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, and battle sites and monuments at Belleau Wood, Verdun, and Meuse Argonne. On the final day of the program, teachers will attend the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at the Palace of Versailles. This highly competitive program pays for travel to these locations as well as lodging, meals, books and more.

All of these activities support the development of the final products the teachers create: a lesson plan and a Silent Hero® profile. The teachers are developing in-depth lesson plans to focus on the legacy of the conflict. Both the lesson plan and the fallen hero profile will be released during the 2019-2020 academic year.

The goal for the Memorializing the Fallen program is to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of World War I in classrooms as we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.

The following teachers have been chosen from 334 applicants for this competitive program.



City, State

Mr. Scott Auspelmyer

Blythewood High School

Columbia, South Carolina

Mr. Hashim Davis

Richmond Prep Christian Academy

Richmond, Virginia

Ms. Pualeilani Fernandez

Hilo Intermediate School

Hilo, Hawaii

Mrs. Sarah Gallagher

Ripley High School

Ripley, West Virginia

Ms. Stephanie Hammer

William Monroe Middle School

Standardsville, Virginia

Mr. John Heeg

Robert Frost Middle School

Deer Park, New York

Mrs. Ann Jackson

B. R. Miller Middle School

Marshalltown, Iowa

Mrs. Kathryn Kennedy

James F. Doughty School

Bangor, Maine

Mrs. Megan Kopp

Milton Hershey School

Hershey, Pennsylvania

Mrs. Emily Lewellen

Brown County High School

Nashville, Indiana

Mr. Bradley Liebrecht

West Valley Junior High School

Yakima, Washington

Dr. Isabel Morales

Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School

Los Angeles, California

Mr. Joseph Nowinski

Almond-Bancroft High School

Almond, Wisconsin

Dr. Joseph Russell

Plano East Senior High School

Plano, Texas

Mr. Michael Sandstrom

Chadron High School

Chadron, Nebraska

Mr. Brian Sheehy

North Andover High School

North Andover, Massachusetts

Ms. Kate Spann

Woodglen School

Califon, New Jersey

Mrs. Carissa VanderLey

Chamberlain High School

Chamberlain, South Dakota


About National History Day (NHD):

NHD is a non-profit organization based in College Park that seeks to improve the teaching and learning of history. The National History Day Contest was established in 1974 and currently engages more than half a million students in conducting original research on historical topics of interest. Students present their research as a documentary, exhibit, paper, performance, or website. Projects compete first at the local and affiliate levels. The top entries are invited to the National Contest at the University of Maryland at College Park. NHD is sponsored in part by HISTORY®, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Park Service, and Southwest Airlines. For more information, visit

About the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission:

The World War I Centennial Commission was created by Congress in 2013 to provide educational programs, public outreach, and commemorative events, regarding America's involvement in World War I. Information on the Commission can be found here

About the Pritzker Military Museum and Library:

Founded in 2003, the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, located in downtown Chicago, is a nonprofit center where citizens and soldiers come together to learn about military history and affairs. The Museum and Library feature an extensive collection of books, programs, artifacts, and rotating exhibits covering many eras and branches of the military. Programs include a lending library, the archives, recorded TV shows, podcasts and oral histories, and museum exhibits. To learn more about the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, visit or @PritzkerMilitaryLibrary on Facebook.


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