Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

GRHS teacher receives award, college funding


This Green River High School teacher is one of 52 across the country receiving an award and funding for college.

Erin Freeman, world history, AP government and world geography teacher, recently found out through a letter that she was awarded the James Madison Fellowship by the James Madison Fellowship Foundation of Alexandria, Va.

According to a press release, “James Madison Fellowships support further study of American history by college graduates who aspire to become teachers of American history, American government and social studies in the nation’s secondary schools, as well as by experienced secondary school teachers of the same subjects.”

The fellowship is named after the fourth president who was known as “Father of the Constitution and Bill of Rights,” the fellowship will fund up to $24,000 of Freeman’s study toward a master’s degree, with the stipulation being the master’s degree be in a concentration of history and the principles of the United States Constitution.

Freeman was surprised when the found out she was Wyoming’s recipient. When she applied for the fellowship, she wasn’t expecting to get it.

“I’m pretty young in my career,” she said. “Usually, you don’t get the fellowship on your first try.”

She said the application process was pretty tedious and even though Freeman has only taught for two years, she figured she’d give it a shot. One person from each state is selected and she knew Wyoming would have good applicants. However, Freeman knew she was going to start grad school this summer and that gave her the push to apply. Plus, the state coordinator for the “We The People” program encouraged Freeman to apply. “We the People” is a program that promotes civic competence and responsibility among the nation’s upper elementary and secondary students.

The “We the People” program really got off the ground and the group even made it to nationals this year. Freeman said she believes the program is so successful because she forms relationships with the students in her class.

“Whatever I’m doing, I’m doing it right,” she said.

The program has grown from six students to 40 in a little over a year.

“It’s just been really popular,” she said.

She knew that most of those who taught for in the “We the People” program were probably applying for this same fellowship and it would be tough.

Although the money is great, that’s not the only reason Freeman applied. As part of the fellowship, she will spend one month in Washington D.C., next summer. She will work closely with Constitutional scholars. “The best and the brightest in the nation,” Freeman said. “This year has just been full of excitement.”


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