The September 11th Teacher Awards, presented by the Tribute WTC Visitor Center, this year selected 10 teachers to honor. among them, Mamaroneck High School social studies teacher Melissa Katz.
The awards are given each year to teachers who have created exemplary educational projects that help students to understand the historical and humanitarian impact of 9/11.
The award ceremony took place on February 26, to commemorate the 1993 first attack on the World Trade Center.
In her acceptance speech, Ms. Katz Ms. pointed out that her students were too young to be fully aware of 9/11. Now, ten years later at ages 16 and 17, it may have been the first time for many of them to have candid conversations with their parents.
In her remarks as released by the School District, Ms Katz said:
Many of my students commented on how adult they felt by our conversations and lesson. One student wrote “I felt like I was in a completely different world. No adult has ever sat me down and actually talked about what happened that day.”
Another student said “I felt horrible in a good way.”
One student upon hearing her father’s story reflected “I am so grateful to still have my dad here, who was just right across the street and watched the entire thing happen. There’s no doubt that he could’ve died in the disaster and that’s scary to think about.”
One student asked how their father got home “ I bought a bike for $50.00 rode 20 miles into the Bronx and got picked up by a friend.”
Another asked what they saw that day “I was the last ferry that had left to NJ, and when I had left and looked back the towers were down.”
theLoop salutes her!
photo: Mamaroneck School District