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Belz-Lipman Award Winners Announced

May 3rd, 2011

Tennessee Holocaust Commission 
Winners of the 2010/2011
Belz-Lipman Holocaust Educator Award
Since 1995 the THC has sponsored the Belz-Lipman Holocaust Educator Award. Established by Memphis entrepreneurs and philanthropists Jack A. Belz and Ira Lipman, the award recognizes outstanding educators who excel in the teaching of the Holocaust. This year six educators from East, West and Middle Tennessee were honored.
Jill Coble has been a middle-school Social Studies teacher for twenty years and for the past seven years has taught Social Studies to English Language Learners in the 6th, 7th, & 8th grades. Winning the Belz-Lipman award is especially significant to Jill because of a pledge she made to local Tennessee survivor , Elizabeth Limor, before her death in 2009. Elizabeth Limor asked Jill to ensure that we "never forget." It is in Elizabeth’s memory that Jill received this award.

Julie Knight Cook has been a Language Arts teacher for 17 years. She currently teaches High School in Cornersville, TN. Julie teaches English I,II, and III honors and regular English classes. She has been married to Brian Cook for eighteen years has two sons and feels blessed to be kept very busy by her wonderful family. Julie says that “It is bittersweet to learn such valuable yet sad information about the suffering of the Jews.”

Emily Gwinn graduated from Emory & Henry College with a B.A. in English Literature. She also earned her M.Ed. from Milligan College. She has taught secondary English in the state of Tennessee for seven years. Emily is currently the Interim-English department chair at Morristown-East High School she also teaches an afterschool ACT course, leads the High Schools That Work Curriculum focus team, and is a member of the high school’s Instructional Leadership Team.

 Stacey Wielfaert teaches English/Language Arts at Walker Valley High School. Ms. Wielfaert received her B.A. from Lee University in Language Arts and has been teaching for ten years. She has taught 3rd, 4th, and 8th grades in addition to high school in Canada and the United States. Ms. Wielfaert became interested in Holocaust study as a young girl while reading the book The Hiding Place written by Corrie Ten Boom. Ms. Wielfaert plans to use the scholarship funds from this award to help students become aware of how to prevent genocide in their generation.

Michael Robinson was born and raised in Loretto, Tennessee. He graduated from the University of TN, Knoxville in 1994, with a degree in geography and a minor in history. Michael has been teaching for fifteen years. He currently teaches at Houston High School in Germantown, TN. He has always incorporated Holocaust studies into the curriculum. For the past seven years, Michael has been teaching a Facing History and Ourselves elective course, where Holocaust studies is a major component of the curriculum.

Lucy Burgess is a lifelong resident of West TN and currently resides in Savannah. She received her B.A. from Freed-Hardeman University and her M.A.T. from the University of Memphis. Mrs. Burgess has taught 8th grade literature for the past eight years, during which she has incorporated a unit of Holocaust education. Her family includes three sons, three grandchildren, and her husband David Burgess. Julie says, “As an educator, I strive to emphasize the importance of mutual respect and the value of all people. I want to ensure that somewhere down the track of history no one will say the Holocaust never happened”.

To apply for the prestigious Belz-Lipman Award please fill out our application form and send it to the following address.

Click Here for Application

Tennessee Holocaust Commission
Attn: Belz-Lipman Application
2417 West End Avenue
Nashville, TN 37240