Prince Albert Teacher Honoured at Holocaust Memorial EventMay 7, 2015
At the May 6 event, Klassen was recognized for having led a student group to Europe to commemorate the 95th anniversary of Vimy Ridge in 2012. In 2014, he took a student group on a Holocaust remembrance trip to Germany, the Czech Republic, and Poland. During that trip, the group visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau and Dachau concentration camps, as well as visiting the Jewish Museum in Berlin.
In 2015, Klassen worked with the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission, Congregation Agudas Israel, and Think Good. Do Good. to help organize a presentation from Holocaust survivor Robbie Waisman for over 1,800 students.
“A great teacher lights a candle in the classroom, sheds light in an area of darkness, and encourages the students to explore,” said David Arnot, Chief Commissioner of the Saskatchewan Human Rights Commission. “Kelly Klassen is a champion for human rights and we are honoured to recognize his work in building good Canadian citizens who have empathy, understanding, and a real will to make the world a better place.”
Carlton Comprehensive High School teacher Kelly Klassen was honoured at a Holocaust Memorial event in Saskatoon for helping his students gain a deeply personal understanding of how individual actions shape history.
Upon receiving the recognition, Klassen observed that the act of teaching changes teachers, as well as students.
“The trip I took with my students to Europe in 2015 was life-changing. Everyone who went had a better appreciation of the sacrifices and stories of survival that happened there,” said Klassen. “As an educator I believe it is our obligation to teach respect and responsibility and to learn from history so that we can make a difference.”
Over 500 students, from Prince Albert and Saskatoon and area schools, attended the annual event, put on by Congregation Agudas Israel, to hear from Holocaust Survivor Sally Wasserman and to participate in a “March of the Living” around Raoul Wallenberg Park.
Pictured in image, from left to right: Barry Wilcox, Q.C., Kelly Klassen, and Chief Commissioner David Arnot
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- Media Release (PDF )