Grit and Determination to Continue Learning—Darlene James ('03)

Darlene James received the James Madison Fellowship to broaden her knowledge and understanding of the United States government

A James Madison Fellowship, awarded by the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, is enabling Darlene James to earn her second master’s degree. After graduating from the McKay School in 2003, James has been teaching history during school terms and experiencing history as she travels during the summers.

“I’ve been to Boston and Philadelphia, and [I’ve] retraced the steps of Lewis and Clark,” James said. “Every summer I seek out opportunities to liven my teaching and remind myself why I love teaching and history so much.”

James, who has been teaching at Herriman High School for the past eight years, has continually sought education and community involvement. She has visited numerous historical sites with the Driven 2 Teach program for history teachers in Utah and has contributed to her community by earning an endorsement to teach driver’s education.

Describing her current interests in western American history, James remarked, “If you would have asked me five years ago, I would have laughed. Recently I’ve come to better understand the grit and will of the people who moved to the frontier. The sheer will to survive and be a hardy people is what sets [them] apart from anyone else.”

History has helped James better understand the backstory of current events as she considers the cultural contexts and development of ideas. She looks forward to learning more about how historical events, conditions, movements, and ideas have impacted current functions of constitutional government, as emphasized by her James Madison Fellowship. “History is forever changing,” she said. “This program instills hope that schools will be great and that America will have a great future.”

According to the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation, the fellowship, established by Congress, is awarded to 51 individuals throughout the nation. 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 expose the nation’s secondary-school students to an accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.

Founded by Congress in 1986, the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation is an independent establishment of the executive branch of the federal government.

Writer: Frank Young

Contact: Shauna Valentine (801) 422-8562

Alumni First Name
Darlene
Alumni Last Name
James
Alumni Graduation Year
2003