Teacher Fellowship Program | 2023

Teacher Fellowship 2023 Social Posts 1

Place-based education (PBE) immerses students in local communities and leverages local history, geography, cultures, and experiences to engage students in the learning process.

Chattanooga’s rich historical narrative includes the compelling story of Andrew’s Raiders and their mission which led to the city’s national recognition as the “Birthplace of the Medal of Honor.” The Medal of Honor is our nation’s highest military honor for valor, and through the powerful stories of these ordinary people who accomplished extraordinary things, history is brought to life along the MOHHC’s gallery timeline. Many teachers, however, are unaware of this history and the educational programs offered at our facility. 

The goal of this Fellowship is twofold: 

1) To expose local teachers to the history surrounding the Medal of Honor, the six character values associated with the medal, and the stories of recipients serving in various conflicts throughout our nation’s history who received the medal for acts of valor, 

2) To create instructional materials and lessons that reinforce content and standards covered in the classroom and are aimed at making the MOHHC even more accessible to teachers and students of all grade levels.


Katie fields Bell fellow Award

The Heritage Center’s Teacher Fellowship Program was made possible through a generous gift from Sarah and Harry Fields and General B.B. Bell, who was married to Katie Fields Bell for 54 years before she passed away peacefully at her home on May 10, 2023. 

Throughout her life, Mrs. Bell devoted herself to not only her family but the military families around the world where her husband was stationed. She was instrumental in forming different military family resource groups to help families in crisis or facing challenges. She also took spouses’ concerns to Washington several times seeking and gaining solutions to the problems faced by all families during times of war. When she saw a need, she took action—an action in itself that cemented her legacy as a tireless advocate for those who were serving our country and their families.

Each year, an outstanding Teacher Fellow will be awarded the Katie Fields Bell Fellow Award and will receive a monetary gift to be utilized for further professional development or classroom needs. 

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Award Symbolism
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Back in 1862, a group of 24 Union soldiers and civilians volunteered for a daring mission led by James Andrews that would take them deep into enemy territory. Commandeering a Confederate train known as “The General” at what is now Kennesaw, Georgia, Andrews’ Raiders attempted to wreak havoc along the Western & Atlantic Railway in hopes of crippling this vital supply artery for the South. Before they could reach Chattanooga, “The General” literally ran out of steam, and the men scattered into the woods. 

Eight of Andrews’ Raiders were hung, several escaped, and others were later released in a prisoner exchange. Six of Andrew’s Raiders were the very first to receive the Medal of Honor on March 25, 1863, and others from the group would receive the Medal of Honor later on. Eight of the Raiders are buried right here in Chattanooga at the National Cemetery.

These First Medals are why Chattanooga is recognized and known as the birthplace of the Medal of Honor. These infamous Raiders saw a need and took action, very much like what Mrs. Katie Fields Bell who was born and raised here did throughout her own life in her own way. 

Among the many symbols for a “Call to Action” is a bell. In light of this “First Medals” story, Chattanooga being the Birthplace of the Medal of Honor, and the action symbolism associated with a bell, the Katie Fields Bell Teacher Fellow Award is in the form of a railroad bell. Each year, an outstanding Teacher Fellow will be awarded a smaller railroad bell in honor of Mrs. Katie Fields Bell along with a monetary gift to be utilized on further professional development or classroom needs, and the larger bell will remain in the Heritage Center’s classroom, displaying the names of the Teacher Fellows awarded and serving as a reminder that we are all called to act.

2023 Katie fields bell fellow award recipient | Amanda Davidson

The first recipient of the Katie Fields Bell Fellow Award is Amanda Davidson, Social Studies teacher at Tyner Middle Academy. Amanda created a lesson for 4th graders centered on Women in War–specifically those who served in various capacities during the Civil War.

The lesson, which will soon be available on our website, has students working in groups to explore the contributions of some of the most influential women during the Civil War, and it highlights Dr. Mary Edwards Walker–the sole female Medal of Honor recipient. The lesson encourages students to consider the character values she exhibited and how they, too, can live those out at school and in their communities. This act of bringing students together to work collaboratively and to explore the life of a woman who was recognized for her relentless efforts to better the lives of others is reflective of Mrs. Katie Fields Bell’s own work.

The Katie Fields Bell Fellow Award is not just an award; it is a call to action itself. It shall serve as a reminder to all who are awarded to live a life relentlessly pursuing ways to better the lives of the students who pass through their classroom each year by teaching them what it means to be committed to goal, that sometimes sacrifices must be made, the importance of integrity, that they play a significant role as a citizen, what it means to love their country by working to make it better, and how to be courageous in trying moments encountered throughout life.  

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