An Ottawa high school teacher is in the midst of a history lesson of a lifetime. LeeAnn Napiorkowski from St. Peter Catholic High School is experiencing Canada’s military past firsthand as part of the 11th annual Juno Beach Centre Summer Institute and Battlefield Tour.
LeAnn is part of a group of 25 Canadian educators now in France for professional development training on the battlefields of the First and Second World Wars.
She earned the opportunity to be part of this select group:
participants were chosen based on their letters describing the anticipated benefits of this experience, with particular emphasis on how their teaching of Canadian history will be enhanced in their classroom and school.
The 10-day tour, running through August 4, includes visits to Vimy Ridge, Beaumont-Hamel, Dieppe, and historical sites in Normandy including the Juno Beach Centre, Omaha Beach, and Arromanches. It will include a Remembrance Service at the Bretteville Canadian War Cemetery where 2,500 Canadians are buried. LeAnn and her fellow teachers will gain a firsthand knowledge of Canada’s military history, and then be able to pass that knowledge onto their students in the classroom.
The Juno Beach Centre is Canada’s only museum on the D-Day Landing Beaches in Normandy. It was founded by Second World War veterans in 2003 as a lasting testament to the Canadian contribution on D-Day and the Normandy Invasion. For details, see www.junobeach.org.