SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—After a rigorous selection process, a group of highly qualified high school educators from 14 U.S. states have been selected for the first GenEd Teacher Fellowship program.
GenEd Director of Education Sara Cohan led the first meeting of GenEd Teacher Fellows 2022. Educators introduced themselves and discussed their inspiration and journey to become teachers and their interest in teaching on the genocide. “I am so pleased to see the number and caliber of educators who applied for the first GenEd Teacher Fellowship program,” Cohan said. “These educators are truly committed to genocide education and will get the most out of our institute in Yerevan and our future collaboration.”
The group will embark on an intensive 10-day professional development program at the Armenian Genocide Museum and Institute (AGMI) in July. GenEd’s working partnership with the Museum has progressed in preparation for the next phase of the Fellowship Program. AGMI Fellows will speak to GenEd Teacher Fellows on research topics there, including genocide commemoration. Fellowship professors will participate in morning workshops and gain insight into museum operations and priceless artifacts and historical materials. Upon their return to the United States, GenEd Teacher Fellows will conduct their professional development activities for other teachers.
Since each teacher instructs up to 100 new students per year and each GenEd Teacher Fellow will train a group of other educators, the GenEd Teacher Fellowship program will have a significant impact in expanding genocide education.
Meet the GenEd Teacher Fellows
justin bilton is an English teacher at Essex North Shore Agricultural and Technical School where he created a Genocide Studies course and hosted a Genocide Studies exhibit. He has written about genocide studies for The Atlantic and The Hechinger Report.
Eric Bower is a teacher at Penn High School located in Mishawaka, Indiana. He holds degrees in social sciences, education and history. Bowers currently teaches AP European History and AP US History. She is a sponsor of Model UN, an academic social studies coach and an Armenian club advisor.
Amanda’s Coven is Director of Education at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, where she facilitates the professional development of educators. She will participate in the GenEd Teacher Fellowship Program as a special guest on behalf of the museum. Coven helped draft Oregon’s Genocide Education Act and is working with the state Department of Education on its implementation.
George Dalbo teaches AP World History, World History, and an elective on Genocide and Human Rights at Clinton Community High School in Clinton, Wisconsin. He holds a doctorate. candidate in social studies and human rights at the University of Minnesota and served as the coordinator for his district’s implementation of the Holocaust and Genocide Education and Indigenous Education Acts.
Jessica DePamphilis is an English teacher at Watertown High School in Watertown, Massachusetts. She is enrolled in a doctoral program in education at Northeastern University. She has been teaching the Armenian Genocide through English literature for seven years.
Kevin Dockery teaches PA European History, PA World History, and PA United States Government and Politics at Fred J. Page High School in Franklin, Tennessee, where he is also chair of the social studies department as well as sponsor of the school’s Model United Nations adviser and Youth in Government adviser.
Kerri Flynn has taught human rights and genocide for 24 years and created a course on human rights and genocide at Washington High School near St. Louis, Missouri. She wants to learn more about the Armenian Genocide from Armenians.
Rob Hadley is a teacher trainer in Bethel, Alaska. An educator for more than 20 years, he was a US Holocaust Museum Fellow in 2001 and has served as a consultant for the USC Shoah Foundation. He has served on the board of the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center and holds a master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies.
Mary Johnson, Ph.D., began her teaching career as a Peace Corps Volunteer Teacher in Northern Nigeria. From 1983 to 2020, she served as Senior Historian for Facing History and Ourselves, leading seminars and workshops, writing programs and conducting research. Currently, she is an Affiliate and Adjunct Professor of Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Stockton.
Jackie Kemper teaches social studies at the Christian School of York in York, Pennsylvania. An educator for 26 years, she teaches Honors World History, Holocaust Literature, Honors 20th Century Modern and an elective on WWII/Holocaust. She holds a master’s degree in Holocaust and Genocide Studies and has created three courses on genocide. She also serves on the Teachers’ Advisory Council for the Holocaust, Genocide and Human Rights Education Initiative for the State of Pennsylvania.
jeffrey lewis teaches history and psychology in Stonington, Connecticut, including the course Modern World History: Government, Nationalism, Human Rights & Globalization. A strong believer in global education, Lewis participated in the Goethe-Institut’s Transatlantic Outreach Program in 2019. He also moderated competitive inter-school debates.
Manny Lopez is completing its 30th year in public education. He teaches and chairs the social studies department at Alisal High in Salinas, California. He has taught all high school social studies courses and led curriculum and staff development projects. Lopez has participated in study tours, including those organized by Fulbright-Hays in Morocco and China, and by the National Endowment for the Humanities in South Africa.
sigrud olsen teaches at Sprague High School in Salem, Oregon. Since meeting a genocide survivor in 1978, she has taught about historical and current genocides and includes novels, poetry, art and testimonies in her curriculum. She has participated in numerous national and international teaching seminars, including the World Affairs Council Seminar on Russia and the Former Soviet States.
Amy Perkins is a 20-year veteran social studies teacher currently at Lakeshore High School in Stevensville, Michigan. She frequently travels abroad, deepening her understanding of history through first-hand experiences that she incorporates into her classroom teaching. She recently created an exchange program between her students and her peers in Germany.
Kelly Rosati has taught history for 22 years at Stone Bridge High School in Loudoun County, Virginia. In 2017, she traveled to Rwanda to study its history, the Rwandan genocide and the state of Rwanda today. She holds a master’s degree in education as well as a master’s degree in educational leadership with a concentration in history.
Allison Weller is the chair of social studies at Copiague Middle School in Copiague, New York. She has been named teacher of the year several times. She has presented at annual conferences of the National Council for Social Studies and serves on the New York State Council for Social Studies Human Rights Committee.