The DMC recently had the pleasure of hosting an intensive workshop for our inaugural Innovators in Civic Education Teaching Fellows. These educators were selected for the fellowship based upon their dedication to developing and implementing skills-focused and inquiry-led social studies curriculum. Thanks to the generous support of the Alabama Bicentennial these educators had the opportunity to learn about the C3 Framework from Dr. Lauren Colley, immerse themselves in the history of Reconstruction with Dr. Ruth Truss and Susan Dubose, Ed.D. and dive into the pedagogy of deliberation with DMC staff. Meet our 2019 Teaching Fellows below!


Justine Hamilton

Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School

Tuscaloosa City Schools

Why is civic education important for you?
We are all citizens! The skills that we acquire from civic education are a part of our daily lives. Civic education not only teaches us how to be diligent citizens, but it helps us become flexible, informed, empathetic and reflective individuals in society.

What makes you excited about this fellowship experience?
I have enjoyed learning about the deliberation process and how to implement it in my classroom. It is always a pleasure to collaborate with professional individuals who have similar goals. This has been an informative, unique workshop and I can’t wait to take it back to MLK!


Lee Pastor

Montevallo High School

Shelby County School System

Why is civic education important to you?
I am passionate about equipping students with not only the knowledge but the skills & experiences they need to become active & productive citizens. Civic education is a basic component in achieving this goal.

What makes you excited about this fellowship experience?
I have used the deliberative forum method in my classroom before, but I am excited to actually participate in creating issue guides for us in the classroom. It not only benefits teachers with more resources from which to use but also allows me to personally increase the depth of my understanding of this essential democratic process.


Jerry Darrell Strickland

Green Acres Middle School

Birmingham City Schools

Why is civic education important to you?
Jefferson said that education was the “only sure reliance for the preservation” of our country’s ideals. A civic education, touching on our republican style of governance, and our economic principles is a reflection of that sentiment.

What makes you excited about this fellowship?
The opportunity to not only teach, but to create is not to be taken lightly. The use of the deliberative model as a teaching tool has been an integral part of my classroom for the last decade. This fellowship to use my experience and knowledge allows me to lend this tool to others.