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Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue High School's student news site

Ladue Publications

Ladue James Madison Fellows

James Madison Foundation
Brad Griffith, Riley Keltner, and Christopher Saxton stand with their medals. Each teacher was awarded the James Madison Fellowship.
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At Ladue High School, three social studies teachers have been awarded the James Madison Fellowship.

Riley Keltner won the fellowship in 2019. The scholarship and free admission to a university appealed to her, as she viewed the fellowship as a way to take her career to the next level. 

“The idea of increasing my content knowledge was really important to me,” Keltner said. “I became a history teacher firstly because I love the content. I have since grown to love all of the other things about teaching, but this was an opportunity for me to get a Masters, which I just thought was incredible. And also, [it was] free of charge, that’s another big thing. I have my undergraduate degree in history, so this was a natural step for me.”

In addition to changing her career, winning the award came with a multitude of benefits. One perk that Keltner didn’t expect was the community she gained access to as a fellow. 

“One of the great parts of the fellowship is you meet one history teacher from every state,” Keltner said. “We still have a Facebook group where we all connect and share ideas. [Winning the award] is not just about what has been great for me in my classroom, but also what’s been great for me as a professional in this field.”

Christopher Saxton, who has been teaching US History and AP US History at Ladue for 25 years, won the James Madison Fellowship Award in 1998.

“I got a Master’s degree in American History,” Saxton said. “It was great, I still remember the experience even though it was a long time ago.”

For Saxton, winning the fellowship meant he could improve his teaching skills and understanding of the subjects he teaches.

“[The James Madison Fellowship is] a big award. I didn’t have a Master’s at the time so that’s what I wanted to do. It gave me a much greater depth of knowledge in teaching AP US History.”

In 2002, Brad Griffith won the James Madison Fellowship Award and went on to earn his Master’s in Government. He was able to use the experience to further his career and his passion for government studies.

“[The James Madison Fellowship] is a very intense examination of the US Constitution and constitutional history,” Griffith said. “They have it all set up where you get not only intense constitutional study but you also get the overall experience. It was really neat.”

Ultimately, Griffith viewed winning the fellowship as having a huge impact on his life and career path.

“[When] I moved to D.C., I definitely wanted to study government, but I could not,” Griffith said. “Cost of tuition is crazy, so I had to figure out where to get the money. Without this fellowship, I would not have been able to go to D.C. Who knows where my life would have taken me had I not received this fellowship.”

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Ira Rodrigues
Ira Rodrigues, Staff
Ira Rodrigues is a sophomore staff member on Panorama. This is her first year on staff. Ira loves reading, watching old movies, and anything chocolate.
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