AMS teacher and students honored at annual event

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Neighbors | Submitted.Austintown Middle School students Kara Pirone, Aeryonnah Zura and Connor Smith were honored for their writing at the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation’s 26th Annual Community Holocaust Commemoration event, where Austintown Middle School teacher Michelle Best was a speaker, on May 2. Pictured are, from left, Pirone, Zura, Smith and Best.

Austintown Middle School teacher Michelle Best spoke at the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation’s 26th annual Community Holocaust Commemoration event on May 2, about the importance of introducing Holocaust-based themes and lessons in the classroom. To her surprise, she was not only there to speak about Holocaust education, but was recognized for her work as a Holocaust educator.

“Lessons of the Holocaust are just as relevant today as they were 20 years ago, and dare I say, even more important. Our voices may be the only thing we have to stand up for injustices that we see happening around us,” Best expressed during her speech.

Best is involved with the International Shared Reading Project. The project involves the Youngstown Area Jewish Federation partnering with the Holocaust and Humanity Center in Cincinnati for this program which pairs schools in Ohio with schools in Israel. They read and discuss a work of literature related to the Holocaust via online discussion forums.

Three Austintown Middle School students were also recognized during the event for their writing. The following awards were presented: Aeryonnah Zura, honorable mention, poetry; Connor Smith, honorable mention, poetry, and Kara Pirone, third place, essay.

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