Joyce Witt has a BA in the Teaching of History from the University of Illinois, Chicago, and an MEd in the Teaching of Reading from National Louis University, Evanston, Illinois. She completed her Doctor of Arts degree in History at Illinois State University (ISU), Normal, in 2000. Her dissertation, A Humanities Approach to the Teaching of the Holocaust, was placed in the USHMM Library in July 2001. At ISU, she was named Helen Cavanaugh Outstanding Doctoral Student in History in 2000. Her dissertation won the Helen Cavanaugh Outstanding Dissertation Award in History in 2001 and the Clarence Sorenson Outstanding Dissertation Award for 2002.
Since 1978, she has taught History and Social Studies at Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois. Since 1982, she has taught Jewish History and the Holocaust at North Suburban Synagogue Beth El in Highland Park.
Dr. Witt received a fellowship from the Jewish Labor Committee to attend Vladka and Ben Meed's study trip to Poland and Israel in 1991. She was a 1997-98 Mandel Fellow at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and presented at the Museum's Belfer Conference in July 2000. She completed the Yad Vashem Holocaust Summer Seminar Program in 1999.
She received a Fulbright Hays Fellowship in 1996 and was an NCSS Keizai Koho Fellow in 1998. She also received a Goethe Institute Fellowship in 2002.
SCHOOL and community
Highland Park High School, Highland Park, Illinois
Highland Park High School is located about 25 miles north of Chicago and has about 1,600 students. It serves students from the suburbs of Highland Park, Highwood, and Fort Sheridan. Of our student body, 90 percent is college bound. At the last count, 88-90 percent of Highland Park's graduates completed a four-year college program. Situated along the North Shore of Lake Michigan, this community is known for a consistent commitment to excellence in education.
Although at first glance there is noticeable affluence in Highland Park, there is also an increasing minority population that stands at about 14 percent. Increasing numbers of students are receiving economic assistance. There is a significant Hispanic, Asian, and Eastern European immigrant population. In addition, the district includes Highwood, a small community that is referred to as "little Italy." Many residents are second-generation Italians who still speak Italian as a first language at home. Until recently, Highland Park High School served the children of the army base at Fort Sheridan, which is being phased out. Many navy children are presently moving into Fort Sheridan as Great Lakes Naval Base takes up residency in the former army housing. This increasing diversity has led the school to make strides in multicultural education.