ADL award for teacher at Cedar Park school

July 11, 2012 by  

A teacher from a high school in Cedar Park has been awarded the Excellence in Education award in a ceremony which was hosted by the Anti Defamation League (ADL) last month. Karen Lousma is a teacher at Vista Ridge High School, which was opened in 2003 in response to rapid growth in the area.

Lousma, who has been a teacher for 21 years, was nominated by one of the pupils at the school who recognized the impact she had made as the coordinator of the No Place for Hate program at the school in Leander. The award was presented at the fourth yearly Summer Educators’ Institute. Karen Gross from the ADL said that the school had welcomed the program, having experienced a number of tragedies in the past, including suicides, which she believes to have been aggravated by bullying. No Place for Hate was adopted by Vista Ridge High School in January 2011 and Lousma has been acknowledged for her work in integrating the program.

ADL launched the No Place for Hate program to help schools educate their students about diversity and having respect for students who may be different from themselves and others. Tools are provided to help schools meet their requirements. The poster printing services of a local print company may also have been used to build awareness of the program being accepted into the school. Schools all approach the subject in a different way but the end goal of increasing respect is the same wherever the school is situated.