"If my work could help engender the qualities of sincerity, kindness and respect for others, I would be most content with my contribution in education," says James Kerr, who teaches geography, world affairs and world history at Triad High School in St. Jacob. Twelve years ago, Dr. Kerr helped create the Triad District Teacher's Scholarship Fund, an organization that promotes careers in teaching through the annual grants it offers to students entering the profession. For the last 23 years, Dr. Kerr has also served as the advisor for his school's Model United Nations, which informs students on global issues and offers them leadership opportunities. Dr. Kerr has adapted the program for middle-school students by creating TRI-MUN (Triad Invitational Middle School Model United Nations), an organization that serves 300 students from 18 different schools in the area.
I have been teaching at the university level now for several years. As a result of my Milken Award I organized the Central Asian Model United Nations Conference, two Model U.N. Conferences run annually in Almaty, Kazakhstan and Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan for high school students in those nations. I have now held three conferences in cooperation with American Councils for International Education and, if I can obtain sponsorship, will continue the programs for young people in Central Asia in the future. My Milken Award provided the inspiration for this work in my final years of high school teaching and now in my retirement years. The program serves over 400 high school students and 30 high schools in the two Central Asian nations at a time when a positive American presence in that region is so critical. Any funding suggestions from fellow educators would be most welcome! Hundreds of students in Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan await the next conferences pending the funding needed to continue the program.
1980 St. Louis University, Ph.D.