The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, VA, announced today that it has selected 51 teachers, including Vinton-Shellsburg High School history teacher Kelly Steffen, as James Madison Fellows for 2014 in its twenty-third annual fellowship competition. James Madison Fellowships support the graduate study of American history by aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, American government, and social studies.

Steffen recently received word of this honor. The program includes participating in a four-week study at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Steffen said the award will cover all of the cost of her Master's Degree at Ashland University in Ohio.

Applicants for the fellowship must submit an application which includes an explanation of how they teach the U.S. Constitution in their classes, along with letters of reference.

About the Fellowship

Named in honor of the fourth president of the United States and acknowledged “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” James Madison Fellowship funds up to $24,000 of each Fellow’s course of study towards a master’s degree. That program must include a concentration of courses on the history and principles of the United States Constitution.

The 51 James Madison Fellows were selected in competition with applicants from each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the nation’s island and trust territories. The fellowships are funded by income from a trust fund in the Treasury of the United States and from additional private gifts, corporate contributions, and foundation grants. Recipients are required to teach American history or social studies in a secondary school for at least one year for each year of fellowship support. The award is intended to recognize promising and distinguished teachers, to strengthen their knowledge of the origins and development of American constitutional government, and thus to expose the nation’s secondary school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.

Founded by an Act of Congress in 1986, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is an independent agency of the executive branch of the federal government. Additional information may be found at

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Comments (4)

Congratulations Kelly !!
By: Teresa McKenna on June 26th 10:00am
By: Larry Driscol on June 26th 1:07pm
Well-deserved, Kelly. Comgratulatioms!
By: Don Eells on June 26th 7:27pm
Congratulations, Kelly! I'm so excited for you and the VSHS students! You do such an awesome job of engaging your students so they can experience history! Thanks for sharing your passion! :-)
By: Dana Dinderman on June 26th 8:32pm

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