Monmouth Regional High School District has announced that Joseph Nappi, social studies teacher, was recently selected the 2017 Outstanding Human Rights Educator of the Year by the Kean University Human Rights Institute.
According to the Kean University website, “The Human Rights Institute (HRI) at Kean
University broadens the university’s longstanding efforts to promote the awareness of human rights issues and violations across the globe and to develop initiatives designed to help eradicate these atrocities and their root causes. … Kean University is well positioned to make a significant impact through our network of educators in shaping the hearts and minds of tomorrow’s leaders at an impressionable age.”
For an educator to be nominated for an award by an institute with such humanitarian goals and visions is a true honor.
When asked about the award, Nappi voiced his surprise and humility, according to the press release. He added that as a teacher of the Holocaust and Genocide course at Monmouth Regional High School, he uses his lessons as a platform to teach students to utilize the opportunities that they have to help others.
One glimpse of some of the activities that Nappi has organized clearly shows the reason for the nomination and selection:
- He organized two school assemblies with local Holocaust survivors David
Tuck and Helen Terris, who shared their experiences and answered students’
questions to commemorate Holocaust Remembrance Day.
- He took over 200 students to the United States Holocaust Museum in
Washington, D.C. and over 150 students to the 9-11 Memorial Museum in New York City.
- He helped 125 students participate in permanent art installations at Brookdale
Community College’s CHHANGE Center. One project commemorated the
100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide and the second, “Facing Racism,”
dealt with current and historical issues of racism.
- He mentored the 2015 Kean University Outstanding Human Rights Student Activist
of the year Christian Boujaoude, whose multi-year human trafficking awareness
campaign included two assemblies with trafficking survivors Shamere McKenzie
and Jen Spry and Monmouth Regional students wrapping over 50,000 bars of soap that contained the Human Trafficking Hotline number. The soap was then distributed to hotels and motels throughout the nation.
- He ran a school-wide Diversity Day program which included student-run workshops
on growing up with Asperger’s syndrome, living as an openly gay student and living as a Muslim after 9-11 and culminated with his students co-presenting with ESL students on their immigration stories and celebrating the rich cultural diversity that exists
in the Monmouth Regional community.
The Monmouth Regional community is proud to showcase Nappi’s prestigious award and even more proud of the education and learning experiences that he offers his students, according to Monmouth Regional High School District Superintendent Andrew Teeple in a press release. He added that Nappi’s dedication to students is truly changing the world.