Posted Date: 10/13/2019
For a history teacher, being awarded a James Madison Memorial Fellowship from its Foundation must have seemed like a dream come true.
CHS teacher Trevor Ewert is the only person in Kansas and one of 53 people in the United States to receive the award in 2019. It will pay $24,000 towards his master’s degree which will include a four-week study next summer at Georgetown University along with field trips to many of the historic sites in the Washington, D.C. area.
“Obviously the financial aspect is huge. This takes a huge weight off my family,” said the husband and father of two young children. Getting to take “four weeks of constitutional course work from the Foundation of the American Constitution is so cool. I’ll be in class most every day of the week with a field trip thrown in and weekends to explore.”
For the American History teacher, it couldn’t get much better.
“I’ve never been to Washington, D.C,” he said. “We’ll get to go to a lot of the historic sites, presidential homes, meet with people on Capitol Hill, the Supreme Court and tour the White House as well.”
He said he’d also like to get to Gettysburg.
A stipulation of the fellowship is that his master’s degree coursework be half content and half curriculum.
Ewert said he’s more than halfway through the program, having already completed the 15 hours of constitutional-based courses he needed. Now he’s working on the curriculum classes. When he’s finished in December 2020, he’ll receive a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction with an emphasis on civic education.
At CHS, “we’ve talked a lot about placing more emphasis on civic education in general (and) making sure students understand not only history but how our government operates, like the function of the Cabinet, Congressional Committees and Supreme Court vs. Constitutional Principles like federalism, separation of powers and limited government,” Ewert said.
With the current trend towards polarization in society, there are many who are advocating collaboration and working for the common good. At the risk of sounding cliché,” Ewert said he wants students to “understand active participation in government as well as their duties and responsibilities as a citizen.”