Daniel Warner, a 2013 religion and the arts graduate, was recently awarded a $24,000 scholarship from the James Madison Foundation.
With only one award given per state each year, James Madison Fellowships support the graduate study of American history by aspiring and experienced secondary school teachers of American history, American government and civics. 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 to expose the nation’s secondary school students to accurate knowledge of the nation’s constitutional heritage.
Warner, who was accepted into the Memphis Teacher Residency and earned his M.Ed. after graduating from Belmont, has been teaching history at East High School in Memphis for the last six years. As a result of his award, Warner was recently interviewed by Facing Today, a blog focused on history education, and the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
Warner plans to use the fellowship award to attend the University of Memphis to pursue a master’s in political science so that he can further improve classroom discussions.
In the Facing Today interview, Warner recalled how Belmont classes like Christian Ethics and Poverty & Justice challenged him to examine issues like racism and poverty through a structural lens as well as through the lens of texts like the Sermon on the Mount.
“Being in settings where I was practicing my responsibility as a Christian to self, others and world, I realized there is a need for people to invest in overlooked and under resourced communities. I was really influenced by community development advocate John Perkins and started to see the role of being a teacher as potentially one of the most powerful community development roles. I also began to see it as a way to be proximate to some of the most vulnerable people in our country, as well as some of the most creative and resilient people in our country. The vision of teaching that has most sustained me is this idea of a mutual exchange between student and teacher, community and school, neighbor and neighbor.”