In an effort to help students learn history’s untold stories, two teachers awarded a grant to celebrate unsung heroes are among a dozen winners of fellowships from a prominent foundation.
Every year the center awards fellowships to educators in the US and abroad who excel at teaching respect and understanding. The classroom projects that the fellows work on challenge students to identify and learn about unsung heroes.
The fellowship was created by businessman Lowell Milken in collaboration with former Kansas teacher Norman Conard and Conard’s former student, Megan Felt. It was inspired by research that Felt and her classmates did about a Polish woman who rescued Jewish children from the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The students wrote a play about the woman, Irena Sendler, that has been performed more than 350 times in the U.S. and abroad, according to the Lowell Milken Center.
Sittenauer, who is well-known at her school for the in-depth research projects she assigns her students, said she is excited about asking them this year to dig through primary sources in search of new stories that deserve to be told.
“The thing about project-based learning,” she said, “is when students start researching a topic they are really interested in, they are the ones who are discovering, then becoming experts on the topic and sharing.”
Last week Sittenauer, who has taught at Seaman High for 29 years, attended training at the Lowell Milken Center in Fort Scott as part of the fellowship.
“That was probably one of the most meaningful weeks of professional development I’ve ever had,” she said. “I’m really excited.”