Rocky Run MS Teacher’s Research Published Online

News Release
November 12, 2019

Research completed by Rocky Run Middle School teacher Jamie Sawatzky on the life and service of Private Harry W. Hatcher, is now available online as part of Memorializing the Fallen, a teacher professional development program from National History Day®. In honor of Veterans Day, Sawatzky’s eulogy and profile of Hatcher was published at NHD Silent Heroes. In addition, a lesson plan inspired by the Silent Hero, How World War I Changed the World: Analyzing the Geographic Impact of the Great War, is on the World War I page of National History Day’s website and will be featured in the upcoming publication, Great War, Flawed Peace, and the Lasting Legacy of World War I.

In July 2018, Sawatzky joined nine other educators as they traveled through Europe, researching history and soldiers who served in World War I. Using their research, teachers created lesson plans, Silent Hero profiles, and eulogies now published online. Designed to reinvigorate the study of World War I in American classrooms, the lesson plans are multi-disciplinary. Using primary and secondary sources, videos, and hands-on activities, students are transported into the past to examine the war and its legacies, which transformed the history of the twentieth century. Each lesson plan is based on solid scholarship, integrated with Common Core Standards, and makes use of interpretive materials. They are accompanied by research about Silent Heroes of World War I who are honored at cemeteries in Europe.

Sawatzky, Fairfax County Public Schools Teacher of the Year in 2011, developed the oral history program at Rocky Run, held each June, when veterans, active duty military, and others who have been eyewitnesses to historical events talk about their experiences with seventh grade students.

Memorializing the Fallen is sponsored by the U.S. World War I Centennial Commission and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library.

For more information, contact Jamie Sawatzky at