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Awards

July 29, 2007

Martina K. Fegan, an English teacher at Greencastle-Antrim High School, has been awarded the 2007 Pennsylvania State Education Association (PSEA) Human and Civil Rights Award for Educational Leadership by the Pennsylvania State Education Association board of directors and the PSEA Human and Civil Rights selection committee. This award is one of three prestigious awards presented annually by PSEA.

Fegan was nominated by Becky Leonard, a teacher at Fairview Elementary School in Waynesboro, Pa.

Fegan tries to "help students understand the consequences of prejudice, racism, and hatred in all its ugly forms" and notes that "everything we do affects others, even what we do not do." In her classes she stresses the consequences of silence and indifference to the suffering of others, and the necessity for individuals to make a difference. During the past 12 years, many of her students have won awards and recognition for their work fighting intolerance and genocide. For example, this year several of her students helped raise more than $1,000 to benefit orphaned children, victims of the genocide in the Sudan and Darfur. Many students have also won writing and art awards.

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Fegan has traveled to Poland, Israel, Germany, and the Czech Republic to study the Holocaust and genocide. Last June, she was the only high school teacher in the nation chosen as a fellow of the Holocaust Educational Foundation Fellowship Program at Northwestern University, where she studied for two weeks under the guidance of experts in the field of Holocaust and genocide studies.

In addition to her class on genocide at the high school, Fegan also teaches an introductory course on the Holocaust at Hagerstown Community College. Recently she was appointed to the newly formed Vladka Meed Holocaust Educators Alumni Council. Fegan is also a member of the Pennsylvania Holocaust Education Council, and is vice president of the Pennsylvania Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts. She has been an invited presenter on the Holocaust and genocide at numerous state and national conferences, and speaks locally on the topic to interested groups.

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