Commissioner Corcoran Appoints Michael A. Igel to Florida’s Statewide Task Force on Holocaust Education
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., September 17, 2021 – Today, Commissioner of Education Richard Corcoran announced the appointment of Michael A. Igel as the new Chairman of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education. In his new role, Mr. Igel will advise the Commissioner on key issues pertaining to Holocaust education.
“Chairman Igel is the right choice for this role based on his expertise and passion,” said Commissioner Corcoran. “I look forward to working with him and the Task Force to ensure Florida’s students have an accurate understanding of the atrocities that took place during the Holocaust.”
Igel has served on the Board of the Florida Holocaust Museum for the past seven years and as Board Chair since 2018. He frequently speaks in schools about his personal experience as the grandson of Holocaust survivors and on the importance of telling the stories of the Holocaust. Igel is an attorney at Johnson Pope where he focuses on healthcare law and serves on the Board of Trustees of Congregation Beth Shalom in Clearwater, Florida.
“I want to thank Commissioner Corcoran for this enormous honor and look forward to working with other state leaders to achieve the goal of teaching every student in Florida the lessons of the Holocaust. It is humbling,” said Chairman Igel. “I am confident that education is the key to winning the battle against antisemitism, and am motivated to carry the lessons from my grandparents and all Holocaust victims and survivors with me to ensure it never happens again. Their stories of tragedy and messages of perseverance and hope are on my shoulders; I will always make sure they are heard.”
“Commissioner Corcoran has made a wise choice in selecting Michael Igel to serve as Chairman of the Commissioner’s Task Force on Holocaust Education,” said Dr. Tonjua Williams, President of St. Petersburg College, who serves alongside Igel on the Board of the Florida Holocaust Museum. “Mr. Igel is the epitome of a transformational and servant leader, bringing innovative and creative teaching tools to our community and our state. He has an unquestionable ability to inform and educate our citizens about the root causes of antisemitism and the harm that comes from silencing the voices of marginalized and disenfranchised persons.”
Florida Statutes require that schools teach the history of the Holocaust and in a manner that leads to an understanding of the ramifications of prejudice, racism and stereotyping. In May 2019, Governor DeSantis signed HB 741 that prohibits discrimination in Florida’s K-20 public education system based on religion, and specifically targets antisemitism. On July 14, 2021, the State Board of Education approved new Holocaust Education standards. The standards will be fully implemented in the 2023-2024 school year.