Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

March 10, 2014

Lockport resident honored with 9/11 teaching award

Staff reports
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Lockport resident and Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart teacher Kirsten Kenny has been recognized by the 9/11 Tribute Center.

Kenny, a freshman religion teacher at Sacred Heart, was one of 10 educators from across the country to be honored last month during the seventh annual September 11th Teacher Awards located at the Center on Ground Zero at 120 Liberty St. in New York City.

Kenny, who is a 1996 Sacred Heart graduate, was honored “as a result of the creation and implementation of exemplary educational projects that help students understand the impact of September 11, 2001,” the Center said.

The honorees were presented with a certificate of merit and a $500 award to benefit their respective schools.

“I am humbled to have been selected as one of the recipients of this award,” Kenny said in a statement. “My students are representative of many different religious and socio-economic backgrounds, so this lesson plan not only educates them about the tragic events of September 11, 2001, it unifies us as a group and introduces them to the Franciscan values that Sacred Heart was founded upon more than 136 years ago.”

The teachers were selected based upon their ability to engage their students in unique projects that focus on historical and humanitarian aspects of 9/11 history, making the lessons of 9/11 tangible to children too young to remember the attacks. Her award-winning project enables Sacred Heart students to experience 9/11 as a lesson in civic engagement using religion, history, community service and visual arts.

More specifically, Kenny’s lesson revolves around the personal experiences of her Sacred Heart Academy classmate and close friend, Courtney Timms Maloney, a survivor of the attacks, and FDNY Chaplain, Father Mychal Judge and is designed to inspire discussions of faith, spirituality, existentialism and human connections.

“In Kirsten Kenny’s 9/11 curriculum, she has blended personal experience with historic significance to bring her lessons to life for the young women of the Academy and help them find meaning and hope in one of this country’s most tragic events,” said Sacred Heart Head of School, Jennifer M. Demert. “On behalf of every member of the Sacred Heart community, I congratulate Kirsten on receiving this prestigious award and thank her for her dedication to her students, her commitment to hope and to her embodiment of our Franciscan ideals.”