By Anisa Sullivan Jimenez
Clarke Middle School 8th grade English teacher Meghan McNeeley has been awarded a Fulbright Distinguished Award grant to conduct Holocaust research in the United Kingdom.
This award was given to only 43 U.S. citizens by the United States Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board.
“To say that I am ecstatic to be part of such a select and honored group, is a complete understatement,” McNeeley said. “My study focus may be on the Holocaust, but my ultimate goal is – as always – to reflect my learning back to my students here in the Clarke County School District."
The Fulbright Program is the flagship international educational exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government and is designed to increase mutual understanding between the people of the United States and the people of other countries. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late U.S. Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has given approximately 325,400 students, scholars, teachers, artists and scientists the opportunity to study, teach and conduct research, exchange ideas and contribute to finding solutions to shared international concerns.
Ms. McNeeley’s expertise in Holocaust education has been recognized by a variety of organizations. Last year, she was named the recipient of both The Spirit of Anne Frank Outstanding Educator Award, as well as Distinguished Educator of the Year, Middle School, for her work on Holocaust curriculum.
She first became interested in World War II when hearing her grandfather tell stories. As a first-year teacher, she couldn’t answer all the questions students had about the Holocaust, so she began this “dizzying cycle of reading, learning and wanting to know more.”
According to Clarke Middle principal Tad MacMillan, “Meghan McNeeley's commitment to Holocaust studies has had a huge impact on our school, as well as schools around the state. I am excited for her, but I am also excited for everyone that teaches about the Holocaust at the secondary level because she will certainly be creating resources that they can use."
A U.S. Holocaust Museum Fellow, she was integral in creating a lesson titled “The Road to Auschwitz” that is used by middle and high school students in English and History classes across America. She has also been recognized for her work with an 11Alive Class Act Award.
Said Superintendent Philip D. Lanoue, “Ms. McNeeley’s work exemplifies what it means to be an outstanding educator, as well as an outstanding citizen. Her work on Holocaust education has made a significant impact across the country, and we could not be more proud to have her making this difference in Clarke County.”
More on Clarke County Schools
The Clarke County School District was named the state’s Title I Distinguished District for closing the achievement gap between economically disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged students. The district is a state-level model technology school district, 2014 NAMM Best Communities in Music Education and has a nationally innovative Professional Development School District partnership with the University of Georgia. Graduates are offered upwards of $4 million in scholarships annually, not including the HOPE. For more information, please visit www.clarke.k12.ga.us.