Coeur d’Alene High School teacher Colin Donovan has a gift for bringing to life the story of America for his U.S. history students.
Now he has an opportunity to go back to school himself and delve even deeper into the country’s past.
Donovan has been awarded the prestigious James Madison Fellowship to obtain his master’s degree in U.S. history. Only one history teacher from each state receives a Madison Fellowship each year.
Donovan, who has taught at CHS for nine years, will receive up to $24,000 for tuition and books. He has looked into several graduate programs, including Washington State University and Arizona State University, and will focus on the U.S. Constitution and topics related to the founding and structure of our government.
“This will couple well with my great interest for American history and all of the amazing stories and lessons it holds for our modern times,” he said. “You can’t make a differentiation between American history and the history of the Constitution, as it is a reflection of our continued march of progress."
Donovan will attend the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation's four-week Summer Institute at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The centerpiece of the institute is a graduate course, “The Foundations of American Constitutionalism.” He will have the opportunity to visit historic sites associated with the institutions of American government and the Constitution’s framers.
To be considered for the fellowship, Donovan wrote and submitted essays on the importance of the Constitution to students, citizens in a constitutional republic and his own career aspirations and contributions to public service.
The graduate fellowships are awarded to individuals who desire to become outstanding secondary teachers of the Constitution. Donovan’s years of experience and knowledge of content make him a highly deserving recipient, said CHS Assistant Principal Libbi Barrett.
“His ability to inspire, motivate and lead is extraordinary,” Barrett said. “Colin’s passion for history has always stood out to me and is tantamount to his high level of instruction. When in his classroom, he makes history come alive. As a lifelong learner, Colin values learning and attaining knowledge, which in turn will only continue to enhance the classroom experience for our students.”
Donovan said he’s grateful for colleagues who have helped him along the way.
“I have learned from some amazing teachers, especially those who I coach with at CHS, who are great teachers first and who always have focused on the creation of relationships, which I count as the bedrock of all learning.”