One of the goals of the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation is to inspire students to make a difference in their world, to be civically minded. Joan Trumpauer Mulholland was an educator for 30 years and strived to do this everyday in her classroom. We know that teachers have a great opportunity to impact many lives and we want to help them to do that. In honor of Joan Trumpauer Mulholland’s dedication as an educator we felt it was only appropriate to recognize teachers who are finding unique ways to instill the values we so honor and that Joan Trumpauer Mulholland continues to champion.
Our first recipient the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Teacher Award is Jim Fearick of Jackson Elementary in Salt Lake City, UT. Jim is a fourth grade teacher who created what he called the We The People Project. He said:
“I was inspired by the iconic “We the People” posters created by artist Shephard Fairey for the Women’s March on Washington in January 2017. My goal with this project was to help my students find in themselves an idea of their individual power, cultural identity and ability to take action. I also wanted to help them find strength to stand up for the rights of others. I sent my fourth graders home with the job of talking with their parents and loved ones to learn more about their culture, who they are as a family, and why both are so important in defining who they are and who they will become as members of society. When they returned to the classroom, I asked them to reflect on those conversations and to think of one phrase that stood out to them. I asked them to consider what that phrase meant to them, but also how it might motivate others. To pair with the statements they chose, each student took a unique selfie modeled after the style of Shepard Fairey’s design. With this project, I hoped to instill in my students a sense of their individual empowerment, and to know they are capable of standing up and speaking out when they feel or see injustice around them.”
Jim was recognized at the Utah Council for the Social Studies Conference held on October 28th in Jordan, UT. He was joined by his principal Jana Edwards who said, “Jim is a wonderful teacher and very deserving of this recognition. He reflects what he strive to achieve at Jackson Elementary.”
Congratulations to Jim Fearick. For his work he received a gift of $1,000 and a special curriculum package that included the feature length versions of the award-winning films, “An Ordinary Hero” and “The Uncomfortable Truth” along with an autographed copy of both “She Stood for Freedom”, publications for each of his students and an autographed poster.
We look forward to recognizing three more Utah teachers in the spring of 2018 and will be making an announcement on how teachers can sign-up and participate. We look to expand this beyond Utah in the coming years.