FAU’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education to Recognize Outstanding Holocaust Educators
Florida Atlantic University’s Center for Holocaust and Human Rights Education (CHHRE) will host its annual Rose Gatens Educator Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, Jan. 19, from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Boca Lago Country Club, 8655 Juego Way, in Boca Raton. Teachers, families, Holocaust survivors, students and members of the community will gather to celebrate each other and recognize the exceptional work of the three recipients of the Gutterman Family Outstanding Holocaust Educator of the Year Award.
The award recognizes elementary and secondary teachers who have demonstrated a positive impact on their schools and the wider community within the field of Holocaust, genocide and human rights education. It honors individuals who actively, by their example and through teaching about these difficult subjects, strengthen South Florida students’ world-citizenship and capacity to uphold the dignity of all persons. The highly competitive award, funded by Arthur Gutterman, a benefactor whose generous contributions help sustain the Center and its program, enables winning teachers to participate in an all-expense paid educator field study to Poland and Israel.
The CHHRE, an integral unit of FAU’s Peace Justice and Human Rights Initiative, relies on private donations to provide professional development programs for teachers, as well as classroom resources for teachers and students to support Florida’s mandate for required instruction of the Holocaust as well as community programs and exhibits.
“It is important to recognize K-12 teachers who go above and beyond the requirements of the Holocausteducation mandate,” said Linda Medvin, director of the CHHRE. “Each year, we celebrate the accomplishments of these outstanding individuals who are truly making a difference in the lives of their students, in their schools and in the world.”
This year’s awardees are:
Wendy E. Lockard, a reading specialist at Saint Jerome Catholic School in Fort Lauderdale, strives to bring history to life through literary works and Holocaust units encompassing knowledge, compassion, and self-reflection. Lockard participates in on-going professional development in Holocaust education through the Center and other organizations. She has attended the Belfer Conference at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has a close relationship with the Anti- Defamation League, participating in the Bearing Witness Retreat for Catholic educators, the Advanced Bearing Witness Mission Trip, and a panel discussion for the ADL’s national executive committee meeting on the 50th anniversary of “Nostra Aetate.” St. Jerome School is recognized as a “No Place for Hate” for which Lockard serves as project director.
Sanford P. Lopater is currently a teacher in the Social Sciences Department at John I. Leonard High School in Greenacres. He joined the staff after seven years of successful teaching at Palm Beach Maritime Academy Middle School. Prior to his teaching career, he was a law enforcement professional in Florida and in New York State. Lopater prides himself on being a lifelong learner of the Holocaust and regularly participates in professional learning programs through FAU’s CHHRE; the School District of Palm Beach County; Facing History and Ourselves; Centropa; Yad Vashem; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; Yachad in Enum, and the Anti-Defamation League. His curriculum units expose students to a range of topics related to the Holocaust: Kristallnacht, totalitarianism, propaganda and the Nuremberg trials.
Glenda Levene “Gigi” McIntire, a school counselor at Mirror Lake Elementary in Plantation, has been both an elementary teacher and a school counselor in Broward County for 36 years. The trainings at FAU’s CHHRE and its educator field study to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum have inspired her to broaden the scope of social and emotional learning in her school. McIntire led a school team to help focus staff on topics of diversity. Mirror Lake Elementary was designated as a “Welcoming School of Excellence” in 2014, one of 10 in the nation and has been named a “No Place for Hate” school by the Anti-Defamation League for the past four years. McIntire’s impact on her students is the most important outcome of her efforts.