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Carrie McCarthy: A Journey in Holocaust Education and Legacy Building

Carrie McCarthy's transition from high school teacher to instructional coach marked a significant milestone in her more than two-decade-long career in education. 

Her journey commenced with a deep dive into Holocaust education, actively engaging with the Holocaust & Humanities Center since 2003. Through participation in master classes and professional development opportunities, she immersed herself in the stories of survival and resilience stemming from that dark period in history.

Expanding her role, McCarthy took initiative in organizing field trips for ninth-grade students from CPS to visit the Holocaust & Humanities Center, observing first hand their initial encounters with the complexities of history.

"I actually lead tours as well. Whenever I'm available I'll go and lead one of the groups,” McCarthy said.

Looking ahead, McCarthy set her sights on cultivating a legacy of educators dedicated to imparting the profound lessons of history. Thus, it came as no surprise when she was honored with the Holocaust & Humanities Educator of the Year award. This accolade recognizes teachers who demonstrate unwavering commitment to Holocaust education, ensuring that the enduring lessons of the Holocaust motivate contemporary action.

“As social studies teachers, it's crucial that we impart the weight of hard history to our students," McCarthy emphasizes. "For me, it's about ensuring that educators delve deep into these difficult topics, guiding students beyond surface-level understanding to grasp the intricacies of how historical events unfold.”