Greenspon Center Graduates 17 Educators from its Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy Pilot Cohort; Accepting Applicants for Second Cohort

In Holocaust, Queens University by Judy SchindlerLeave a Comment

After two years of planning, the Greenspon Center kicked off its Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy Program in September of 2022. Following 6 months of learning and capacity building, 17 North Carolina educators are now the first graduates of the program.

Educators were recruited by the Greenspon staff from public and private schools across the state and represented different grade levels, subject areas, and backgrounds. While each teacher came in hoping to gain something different, they all had one thing in common: an unwavering passion for furthering Holocaust education in the state of North Carolina.

The 2022-2023 pilot cohort completed 12 online class sessions and 3 self-paced project weeks, in addition to a full day in-person kick off event. Along the way, participants journaled about their learning and experience, engaged in lectures around Holocaust history and antisemitism, and discussed pedagogical implications in their own classrooms. Program facilitators were Dr. Christine Beresniova from the Holocaust Center of Florida and Kristin Thompson, founding director of the Humanus Network. Guest speakers included Dr. Menhaz Afridi from Manhattan College and Dr. Robert Williams from the USHMM.  Participants also produced impressive final projects including lesson plans, reflections, and archive research. As an extension of the program, the graduates have been invited to a 10 day learning experience in Poland in the summer of 2024. 

Funding for the certification program and the trip to Poland comes from generous donations made to the Greenspon Center. All materials and travel is covered for teachers, with the exception of participant airfare to and from Poland. To sponsor a future educator or to give a gift to the program, please contact Judy LaPietra, Associate Director, at Your donation will not only allow an educator to participate in the program, but has the potential to have a tremendous impact on a large number of students in our state.

The Greenspon Center is proud to announce the graduation of the following North Carolina educators from its first Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy class.

Trinette Atri, Providence Spring Elementary (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Christy Brooks, Lakewood Montessori Middle School (Durham Public Schools)

Andrew Burton, Pisgah High School (Haywood County)

Michael Charles, Margaret B. Pollard Middle School (Chatham County)

Wendy Curty, Davidson Early College High School (Davidson county)

Melanie Diorio, Green Hope High School (Wake County)

Thamar Lebrón Fernández, Providence Day School (Private School, Charlotte)

Kelly Muse, Brevard Middle School (Transylvania County)

Kristen Ohaver, Community House Middle School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Dorothy Pagan, Community School of Davidson (Charter School)

Cherie Page, Read Farms STEAM Academy (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Bettina Pope, Wake Forest High School (Wake County)

Mallory Sattler, Hopewell High School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Amy Todd, Trinity Middle School (Randolph County)

Katie Willett, Myers Park High School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Samantha Zapata, Central Office (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

Kinga Zay, Providence Day School (Private School, Charlotte)

North Carolina already has a strong community of Holocaust educators thanks to organizations like the NC Council on the Holocaust and NCCAT, and connections made through national and international groups such as Echoes and Reflections and Yad Vashem. Through the Certification in Holocaust Pedagogy program, the Greenspon Center plans to expand this community by reaching a new audience of Holocaust educators brought about due to the Gizella Abramson Holocaust Education Act, which will mandate Holocaust education across the state beginning this fall.

The Greenspon Center’s Holocaust Pedagogy Certification Program provides intensive training on methods and strategies for teaching about the Holocaust across subjects and grades in 6-12 settings. Through the skills of historical examination and interpretation, this program prompts participants to ask questions and think critically about why the Holocaust happened, what it means for learners today, and how to engage others in our schools and communities to do the same. The second cohort will kick off in October of this year and run for 6 months. The graduates of the cohort will join the graduates of the pilot cohort for a 10 day learning experience in Poland in the summer of 2024. If you are interested in applying for the 2023-2024 cohort, please email Katie Cunningham, Holocaust Education Program Coordinator, at


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