Bringing Holocaust Education to Alaska

by: Mark Onofrio

April 17, 2013

Echoes and Reflections staff traveled to a remote area of Alaska to deliver the program’s first professional development program in the state. The Echoes and Reflections program has now offered professional development in 47 US states and District of Columbia. The program has provided educational resources on the Holocaust to over 18,000 educators and community members.


Deborah Batiste, Project Director for Echoes and Reflections, traveled from her office in Maryland to Kodiak, Alaska to conduct an in-person training program that would be broadcast by video-conference to other remote locations so that additional educators could take advantage of this professional development opportunity.

Nineteen local educators attended the training program in person and an additional six educators participated virtually from additional locations at village schools on Kodiak Island.

During the April 15th program, Deborah Batiste modeled active and collaborative learning as participants in Kodiak and those educators in remote locations explored Lesson 4: The Ghettos from the Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide and learned how to incorporate visual history testimony from Holocaust survivors, rescuers, and liberators into their teaching.

LeeAnn Schmelzenbach, literature teacher at Kodiak High School reflected on the program.


“I know the cost and difficulty for trainers to come to our schools, but I also know the intense benefits such trainings provide for our teachers and, in turn, our students. This particular training was so helpful. The resources that you were able to place in our hands are going to help me change the way I teach my students, and it will help me provide more perspectives for my students to view the Holocaust.”


A leader in Holocaust education, Echoes and Reflections provides comprehensive professional development for middle and high school educators and multimedia resources suitable for history/social studies, English/language arts, fine arts, social sciences, religion, and other content areas. The combined resources and expertise of three world leaders in education―the Anti-Defamation League, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem―have resulted in a robust educational program to help US secondary educators deliver accurate and authentic Holocaust education to today’s students.

To learn more about Echoes and Reflections and upcoming professional development opportunities, visit

Some programs are available via video-conferencing. To learn more about these programs, contact: