MCS teacher awarded scholarship to attend Holocaust Educator Seminar in Poland

A Moore County teacher was one of five teachers awarded a scholarship from the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching (NCCAT) to attend a Holocaust Educator Seminar in Poland.

Christina Speiser was selected from over 100 teachers who applied.

“We are thrilled that Christina Speiser, a high school English teacher at Connect Academy, has been selected as one of the recipients of the prestigious scholarship to attend the Holocaust Educator Seminar in Poland this summer,” said Moore County Schools in a press release on April 26. “Out of 127 dedicated teachers who applied, Christina stood out with her passion and commitment to Holocaust education. This scholarship, awarded from the NCCAT Development Foundation’s Holocaust Endowment Fund, is a testament to Christina’s dedication to enriching her teaching practice and ensuring that future generations understand the importance of remembering and learning from the lessons of history. We commend Christina for her dedication to Holocaust education and are proud to support her as she represents Moore County Schools on this meaningful journey.”

The Foundation’s endowment scholarships, for $3,000 each, will cover most expenses for a one-week seminar in June.

The teacher participants together with two NCCAT Teacher-educators (also funded by the endowment) will visit the concentration camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau, Treblinka and Majdanek and learn about the Holocaust in the cities of Warsaw, Krakow and Lublin. There will be a special half-day teacher’s educational seminar at the Museum of the History of Polish Jews in Warsaw and a dialogue with Polish high school history teachers.

Rabbi Fred Guttman and veteran Holocaust educator Lee Holder will lead the trip. Rabbi Guttman has been a Holocaust educator for over 40 years and has led over 20 educational seminars in Poland. From 1979 to 1991, Rabbi Guttman lived in Israel and served as the rabbi and principal of Alexander Muss High School in Israel. In 2022, Rabbi Guttman received the Lifetime Community Service Award for his work in Civil Rights from the International Civil Rights Center & Museum [ICRCM] in Greensboro. Lee Holder is a longtime North Carolina teacher and member of the NC Council on the Holocaust. He is the director of the Gizella Gross Abramson Resource Center for Holocaust and Civil Rights Education in Kinston, North Carolina. In 2011, he was named the Irena Sendler Award winner, recognizing one outstanding Holocaust educator annually worldwide and one in Poland.

Contributed/Courtesy photo.

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