Sara Witteman, Lee’s Summit North High School communication arts and social studies teacher, was recently selected to attend a two-week summer seminar sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Through the organization’s seminar programs, teachers are selected based on a rigorous application process that includes an essay and references. Mrs. Witteman will attend a seminar called “The Company Town at Seabrook Farms, NJ: Internment, Migration and Resettlement in the WWII Era,” scheduled for July at Rutgers University in New Jersey.
In addition, the LSNHS teacher was selected to attend a National Endowment for the Humanities summer seminar in 2004 on the topic of John Milton’s “Paradise Lost.” In 2017, she was the Lee’s Summit North faculty speaker at graduation after being selected by students.
Seabrook Farms, a frozen-foods and canning agribusiness during its heyday in the 1940s and 1950s, employed more than 6,000 laborers at peak production and produced roughly two-thirds of all frozen food consumed in the United States during this time. It was transformed during World War II when it recruited and received around 2,500 Japanese Americans paroled from incarceration and internment camps as well as adding Eastern European refugees to its labor force after the war. Using Seabrook Farms as a case study, teachers participating in the workshop will learn about incorporating the following topics into their classrooms: refugee resettlement, internment and immigration.
Mrs. Witteman has worked at Lee’s Summit North HIgh School for 17 years and currently teaches Advanced Studies English 10, English 12 honors and International Baccalaureate Social and Cultural Anthropology. She earned her bachelor’s degrees in history and humanities from Northwest Missouri State University, her teaching certificate from the University of Central Missouri (UCM) and her master’s degree in literacy education K-12 from UCM.