WOODLAND — Julia Stepper, a history teacher at Woodland High School, has received the James Madison Fellowship, a $25,000 scholarship supporting the graduate study of American history by secondary school teachers of history, government and civics. The foundation recognizes outstanding educators who demonstrate a deep commitment to the principles of the Constitution and its role in sustaining American democracy.
The application process for the James Madison Fellowship entails an extensive and rigorous process that involves multiple essays, letters of recommendation, transcripts and other related information.
“The essay prompts focused on the study of the principles of the U.S. Constitution and, naturally, required a lot of detailed and meticulous work,” Stepper said. “In total, I wrote nine essays for the application, which took me more than a month to complete.
“I knew I wanted to be a teacher since early high school but wasn’t entirely sure of my decision since my mom, aunt and all of my cousins are teachers — education was all I knew,” she said.
Stepper, a Woodland High School graduate herself, once was a teacher’s aide for Shari Conditt, a government teacher.
“Shari encouraged me to pursue a teaching degree, so I took that moment as a sign to pursue a career in education, and here I am, teaching at Woodland High School and sharing a wall with my mentor,” Stepper said. “I am so grateful for this opportunity.”