Mr. Scherer Honored by the 9/11 Tribute Center


Rubin Bolisca, Reporter

The 9/11 Tribute Center created a program for teachers to create educational projects which helps students understand the impact that September 11, 2001 had on America. FDR’S very own Michael Scherer was one of the educators recognized and honored by the 9/11 Tribute Center for his contribution. The New Dealer had an opportunity to interview Mr.Scherer and talk in depth about the project.

What inspired you to tackle this project?

“Well, I always wanted to teach kids about 9/11 and raise awareness for it. It affected me personally with the death of my father-in-law. He was affected by the dust that surrounded the site, as he helped in cleaning the wreckage. Visiting the memorial and the 9/11 Tribute Center really touched me, and it was a humbling experience. I was motivated to explain to students that the world is complex and find solace in the fact that people don’t always do the right thing, but there are those who are willing to help. I really wanted to help them understand that people are virtuous.”

What was the objective of the project?

“I wanted to teach kids, through history, character and specifically virtue. The founding fathers stressed this when they were forming the nation. Students were supposed to research people who were affected by 9/11. They also had to find examples of virtue in their school or communities. Then, I had the students present their works and findings to their classmates.”

What were some of the challenges you faced during the project?

“I would say the emotional aspect of the project. Trying to sort out the confusion between the feelings of anger, sadness, and hope- while trying to make sense of it all. I asked the students how they would react if they were in a situation like that. Some did not know, which is understandable. I showed a video called Man in the Red Bandana which discussed the heroic actions of Welles Crowther. This man put the lives of others, before his own, and helped saved lives before he died.”

What did you enjoy the most about participating in this project?

“I thought it was great to see people throughout the country being recognized for their work. People were being acknowledged for their efforts to help people remember and understand 9/11. I also gave a speech in front of 40 people which consisted of HBO producers and people from Albany. I also got a chance to meet Lester W. Young Jr., who is on the New York State Board of Regents. But above all, I enjoyed talking to the students and seeing how they view 9/11. It was a truly wonderful experience.”

The New Dealer and FDR would like to congratulate Mr.Scherer for being among the teachers who were awarded the Tribute Center’s 2014 Teacher’s Award.  Mr. Scherer’s incredible work on this project and commitment to his students is greatly appreciated by the entire FDR family.