TEACHER OF THE YEAR: Herman Biedenharn uses past influences to explain current events

Published 8:00 am Friday, February 4, 2022

This article is part of a series by The Vicksburg Post, in partnership with the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce, featuring each of the nominees for teacher of the year honors.

Herman Biedenharn, Warren Central Junior High School social studies teacher, uses past influences to explain current events to his students. 

Biedenharn is a finalist for the Vicksburg-Warren County Chamber of Commerce’s Educator of the Year award. The chamber will select and announce one elementary and one secondary teacher of the year at the chamber luncheon, which has been rescheduled to Mar. 1. The winner of each award will receive $1,000 from Ameristar Casino and the runner-up for each award will receive $500 from Mutual Credit Union. 

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Biedenharn began his teaching career in 1999 at All Saints Episcopal School in Vicksburg. Starting in 2006, he became a teacher for Warren Central Junior High School. In 1995, Biedenharn received a bachelor’s degree in history from Belhaven College. 

“I teach because I love history and teaching kids about history,” Biedenharn said.

In his Educator of the Year application, Biedenharn said he provides his students with videos and images of historical events or figures when explaining their influences on society. Later on, the class has a discussion to expand on their understanding of the historical event or figure. For example, the effect some Mississippi musicians had on modern music, rock, rap, hip hop, country and various other styles.

“By using current historical events to connect to the past, my students get a better understanding of why past events occurred and a better grasp of time through history,” Biedenharn said.