2021 Resource Contest Winners
The Office of Life and Human Dignity is committed to engaging educators to promote a culture of life, and we are incredibly grateful for the many wonderful submissions we received from hardworking teachers!
First Place: Sr. Eva Marie, O.P.
Sr. Eva Marie Gorman, O.P. entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia in 2016. She is currently student teaching English and will graduate from Aquinas College (Nashville, TN) with a B.S. in English (Secondary Licensure).
Resource Title: "Dignity of the Sick and Suffering"
Offenses against human dignity often spring from a misguided desire to relieve suffering. Proposed “solutions,” although they seem compassionate, actually undermine the dignity of suffering persons by failing to take into account the deeper meaning of suffering. Understanding the meaning and transformative-redemptive power of suffering, then, is crucial for understanding and living human dignity and the many issues surrounding it. The goal of this unit is for students to begin to understand the meaning and value of suffering; distinguish between true and false compassion; and recognize that authentic respect for human dignity prompts us to alleviate suffering, but not at any cost—it also prompts us to help people accept and be transformed by their suffering. To this end, students will read and discuss A Memoir of Mary Ann (1961, republished as Mission Fulfilled), the true story of a child who died of facial cancer at the age of twelve.
"This is the type of learning that should be taking place across the board at Catholic schools. Theological issues and the Catholic worldview are not just limited to the theology classroom but are infused in every subject. This resource beautifully infuses the Catholic worldview into an English class in a genuine, substantial way." -Judge’s Comments
Second Place: Eric Eble
Bio: Eric Eble is the English Department chair at Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, where he also coaches speech and debate and moderates the school writing center. He earned a bachelor's degree in English and Psychology from the University of Dayton and a master's degree in secondary education through Notre Dame's Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program, through which he taught in Plaquemine, Louisiana.
Resource Title: "Building Bridges to Address Injustice: Rhetoric and Race"
The word “argument” comes with baggage in American political, social, and cultural life. At its worst, the concept is fraught with connotations of screaming matches and claims of cancel culture. At its best, though, the concept can work as a kind of mediation that bridges gaps in deep-seated divisions and encourages dialogue between otherwise conflicting parties. This unit seeks to give students the opportunity to dive deeply into argumentation as a tool of bridge-building, exploring audience, context, intention, word choice, tone, style, etc. through texts such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “ Letter from Birmingham Jail.” Gaining skills in argumentation, students will be challenged to consider the meaning of justice and construct their own letter on issues of racial justice.
"This unit is stellar. It is especially appropriate because it is so current and relevant. How, in the current American climate, can a student respectfully listen, compassionately respond, and compellingly argue? This unit has many great answers. This unit will engage the head, heart, and the hands as well." -Judge’s Comments
Third Place: Deborah Sucich
Deborah Sucich is currently a full-time Campus Minster and Religious Studies teacher at St. Saviour High school in Park Slope, Brooklyn and a Consecrated Virgin for the Diocese of Brooklyn since 2019. She is a certified FEMM Fertility Educator helping women of all ages and couples to understand their hormonal health and manage their fertility. Active in the pro-life movement in the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Brooklyn, Deborah leads the 40 Days for Life campaign in Staten Island. Since 2013, she also coordinates The Goretti Group New York Chapter which seeks to spread the message of chastity to young adults and to promote the authentic teachings of the Church on marriage & family life. Since 2020, she co-coordinates the MGN (Maria Goretti Network) New York Chapter which helps those affected by abuse to seek healing and forgiveness.
Resource Title: "The Science of Hormonal Birth Control"
In the area of human sexuality, young people are making decisions, forming opinions, and planning futures around a topic that is not often addressed in the classroom - contraception. In this unit, students will explore the physical, genetic, and environmental harms of contraception. When students discover the science behind the harmful effects of contraceptives and grow in knowledge of the benefits of natural fertility they can make healthy choices and evaluate the cultural traps that result from the use of contraception. Decisions made about contraception in the very critical teenage years have lasting effects on their health, future marriages, and environment.
"The content is scaffolded well and finds the right balance between releasing students to do self-guided learning while also very clearly guiding them in the right direction." -Judge’s Comments