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Diane Steiker


Zografia Polemikos


HNN’s Teacher’s Edition is a one-stop free resource of historically-grounded lesson plans and reading materials on current events for busy elementary school teachers.

Our mission is to provide comprehensive packages of background material, readings, visual aids, and ready-to-use lesson plans to teachers and students. We believe that such comprehensiveness is essential to student success and lays the foundation for responsible citizenship.

Our volunteer team of teachers and researchers prepare news backgrounders on topics in the news, then create a suggested lesson plan that builds off of the material presented in the backgrounder.

Each lesson plan is prepared by teachers with extensive classroom experience and encourages the development of higher thinking skills, and conforms to Common Core Standards.

Diane Steiker


Diane Steiker has been a secondary history teacher for 15 years at various urban and suburban high schools in New York City, and Westchester County, and currently teaches Advanced Placement United States History and Advanced Placement World History Teacher at The Bronx High School of Science.  In addition, Diane worked as a Social Studies curriculum developer for Kaplan K12 Managed Curriculum Services, writing inner city high school history curriculums for the Philadelphia, St, Louis, and Camden school systems. At The High School of Leadership and Public Service, she wrote and taught, a Leadership/Model United Nations course in conjunction with the United Nations Association of the United States, as well as a Public Policy course (at the secondary level) with Professor Bill Coplin (Syracuse University).  For ten years, Diane coached Lincoln-Douglas and Public Forum Debate, attending both regional and national debate tournaments. She has attended a variety of seminars on various historical subjects


Master in Education, Lehman College, City University of New York; Bachelors in History, College of Staten Island – CUNY; Bachelors in Theater, Bennington College, 1980.

Published Works

“Feminism and the National Women’s Conference of the Ethical Culture Society,” ESNW, March 2009

New York Regents Advantage: United States History and Government, Volume 1 and 2, Kaplan, 2006

New York Regents Advantage: Global History and Geography, Volume 1 and 2, Kaplan, 2006

“Contract on America,” ICTUS Review, College of Staten Island, Leather Penguin Publishing, 1994


Teacher Leadership Award 2011; Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers 2000 and 2002, 2006; Teacher of the Year - Certificate of Merit, 1997-1998, N.Y.C. D.O.E.; The Herbert Foster, James Sturm, and Don Hausdorff Memorial Award for History 1995 


Coming of age in the early 70’s was an exciting time for history – Roe v. Wade, the end of the Vietnam War, and the resignation of Nixon. In my high school United States History course, we had the limited textbooks from the late 1950’s, and never made connections to this changing historical landscape. My teacher was a chalk and talk kinda guy, and I usually fell asleep. I yearned to be awakened, wanting my love of history to come alive. So after high school, I made my way to Bennington College and became a performer. There the Ancient Greeks gave new meaning to World War II during my senior project of Antigone. Sam Shepherd’s social commentaries spoke to my inner rebel. In Paul Sill’s theatre games course, we created improvisations from Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Me and my crew were obsessed with “the spectacle” and the tableau, studying how artistic trends often intersected with the political. Here is where my artist-as-historian was born.

Not so sure how the future would unfold after college, I moved into New York City’s the lower east side during the blackout phase, and became a bass player in a no-nothing band. We wrote songs about the vices of capitalism, date rape, Marx and love. As wild punk kids on the streets, we hung around the performance Garage on 2nd and B, trolled CBGB’s, and made our way each night to Kiev to see and be seen. We always looked for meaning from the past to better understand our present. Eventually, time took its toll, and on the rocky road of desire, after many starving years, I realized I needed a job, and healthcare. So in the early 90’s I enrolled at the City University of New York to become a teacher.

My first survey course transformed my desire to teach high school. I wanted to go back to the scene of the crime, with my new understandings, and change the outcome. Hoping to create a classroom of scholarship and integrity, my courses would provide a forum for discourse through engaging activities. By understanding the multiple perspectives throughout history driving thought, actions and impacts, students would better understand how people from differing class, race and gender shaped our world. By constructing a forum for a more intense examination of the processes and effects of events on society, students would better understand how history shaped their lives and the future they were working towards. So over the past twenty years, I have shed my rock and roll world and its accoutrements, and made my way on the “education” frontier, hoping to inspire students at The Bronx High School of Science.

Zografia Polemikos


Zografia Polemikos is an elementary teacher who recently graduated from Indiana University South Bend As her search to have her own classroom continues, she currently runs her online wedding accessory business. Zografia is pursuing a Master’s of Arts in Education at Rockford College and has an interest of studying brain-based learning Her parents emigrated from Greece and she has continual ties with the rest of her family who remain in the Dodecanese Islands. This connection to countries abroad has shaped her views about how to approach teaching from a global perspective.

Personal Statement

I became a teacher to insure that all students have a chance to receive a quality education despite socio-economic status or other obstacles that may get in the way of their success. I constantly search for non-traditional ways to reach those who are labeled and find themselves struggling. I went into teaching because I know that if I can impact just one student, it can have a lasting effect that spreads to the whole community. Knowing this makes it obvious that this is the right occupation for me and motivates me to remain in this honorable profession.

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