Middle and Upper School history teacher Cherie Redelings was selected to participate in the professional development program Memorializing the Fallen: Honoring those Who Served, led by National History Day, the National Cemetery Administration, and the American Battle Monuments Commission.

Cherie was selected as one of 18 educators from across the country to write new curriculum that will invigorate the teaching of World War I and the Korean War, as the country recognizes the centennial and 65th anniversary of the two wars, respectively. Cherie’s work will focus specifically on WWI.

The goal of this nine-month, immersive professional development program is for teachers to gain valuable knowledge about fallen heroes and veterans in order to write lesson activities for students, teachers, and organizations to use.

The program takes a local approach, connecting the lesson activity to a cemetery in the teachers’ regions, as well as calling on teachers to write profiles on local fallen heroes and veterans. As a teacher in San Diego, Cherie was chosen to write an educational activity connected to Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery, the federal military cemetery located in the city of San Diego.

Cherie will take on the role of student as she attends virtual lectures, participates in discussions, and travels to the former front lines to learn more about these heroic veterans and their experiences before, during, and after the war. She will travel to Belgium later this year to visit the country that was ravaged by both WWI and World War II. Cherie says she is looking forward to seeing how Belgians write their own history as a battleground of two major wars.

Cherie is no stranger to writing curriculum or to National History Day—one of the sponsoring organizations. Cherie has been an active advisor for Parker students competing in the local, state, and national competitions of National History Day for years. She has also been writing published curriculum for at least five years, which educators from across the United States use in their classrooms.
“I love the challenge of taking something you know and breaking it down in order to teach others who don’t know,” says Cherie. Some topics she has written curriculum for in the past include the Monuments Men, about those who sought to protect precious artwork during WWII, and a San Diegan who served as one of the few glider pilots during WWII.
Parker is introducing a brand new trimester elective on the world wars next school year, after students voted for it as their top choice for a new elective course.
“The last world war ended almost 75 years ago, but students continue to be intrigued by things that have universal worth,” says Cherie. “These wars were so costly in terms of human lives and they changed things so drastically that students are still interested.”
On Veterans Day, Cherie plans to take students enrolled in the world wars course to Fort Rosecrans to participate in her newly written lesson. It will be not only a learning experience for Parker students but also for the staff of Fort Rosecrans, who will use the same lesson to educate students and other visitors to the cemetery in the future.
All of the resources produced as part of the Memorializing the Fallen: Honoring those Who Served program, including Cherie’s curriculum, will be made available for free in November 2018 at the NCA Veterans Legacy Program website.

I love the challenge of taking something you know and breaking it down in order to teach others who don’t know.

Cherie Redelings, Middle and Upper School history teacher