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Marshalltown teacher selected to study World War I in Europe


Ann Jackson

Miller Middle School Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson has been selected to venture to Europe to learn more about World War I.

Jackson is one of 18 educators from across America who were selected for Memorializing the Fallen — a teacher professional development program from National History Day. Sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library, the program takes educators on the journey of a lifetime to rediscover the history of World War I and invigorate its teaching in America’s classrooms.

“It’s exciting to have the opportunity to travel to France, but even more so knowing that I will be traveling with fellow educators after having spent a semester learning together about the sacrifices of our World War I veterans,” Jackson said.

In June 2019, the educators will venture to Europe where they will walk in the footsteps of history, making stops at Somme American Cemetery, St. Mihiel American Cemetery, Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, Oise-Aisne American Cemetery, Suresnes American Cemetery, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, and battle sites and monuments at Belleau Wood, Verdun and Meuse Argonne.

Throughout the program, teachers attend virtual lectures, participate in discussions, and research a service member who never returned home (Silent Hero).

The goal for the Memorializing the Fallen program is to reinvigorate the teaching and learning of World War I in classrooms as we mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.  This highly competitive program pays for travel to these locations as well as lodging, meals, books and more.

The teachers are developing in-depth lesson plans to focus on the legacy of the conflict. Both the lesson plan and the fallen hero profile will be released during the 2019-2020 academic year.

“I know that collaborating with other teachers will strengthen my instruction,” Jackson said. “Additionally, through the content teaching of this course, I am learning a great deal about the nuance of World War I.  I’m certain this new learning will help my future National History Day contestants.”

Jackson’s Silent Hero she is researching will be Private Frederick Eckstrom.

“I’m also extremely excited to learn about and give honor to my chosen Silent Hero, Private Frederick Eckstrom who is buried at Meuse-Argonne Cemetery,” Jackson said. “Private Eckstrom was an immigrant from Sweden who had only lived in the United States for 5 years when he decided to serve the United States in World War I.  I chose Mr. Eckstrom as my Silent Hero as a way to honor Marshalltown’s immigrant community. Just as Mr. Eckstrom showed the strength of his community during World War I, I believe our immigrants, especially Marshalltown’s immigrant students, show the strength of our community today.”

Jackson was selected as one of 18 out of 334 applicants for the program and the only educator from Iowa selected. She submitted a resume and essay as part of her application.

Click here for the Times-Republican story on Mrs. Jackson.

The following teachers have been chosen for the program.

Name School City, State
Mr. Scott Auspelmyer Blythewood High School Columbia, South Carolina
Mr. Hashim Davis Richmond Prep Christian Academy Richmond, Virginia
Ms. Pualeilani Fernandez Hilo Intermediate School Hilo, Hawaii
Mrs. Sarah Gallagher Ripley High School Ripley, West Virginia
Ms. Stephanie Hammer William Monroe Middle School Standardsville, Virginia
Mr. John Heeg Robert Frost Middle School Deer Park, New York
Mrs. Ann Jackson B. R. Miller Middle School Marshalltown, Iowa
Mrs. Kathryn Kennedy James F. Doughty School Bangor, Maine
Mrs. Megan Kopp Milton Hershey School Hershey, Pennsylvania
Mrs. Emily Lewellen Brown County High School Nashville, Indiana
Mr. Bradley Liebrecht West Valley Junior High School Yakima, Washington
Dr. Isabel Morales Felicitas & Gonzalo Mendez High School Los Angeles, California
Mr. Joseph Nowinski Almond-Bancroft High School Almond, Wisconsin
Dr. Joseph Russell Plano East Senior High School Plano, Texas
Mr. Michael Sandstrom Chadron High School Chadron, Nebraska
Mr. Brian Sheehy North Andover High School North Andover, Massachusetts
Ms. Kate Spann Woodglen School Califon, New Jersey
Mrs. Carissa VanderLey Chamberlain High School Chamberlain, South Dakota