The DMC hosted its second annual Innovators in Civic Education Teacher Fellows workshop on July 23 and 24. Teacher Fellows assist the DMC in educational programming by providing valuable insight on how to create the most relevant and useful resources for educators, both in the classroom and the community.

This year, our Fellows met remotely to receive training on a variety of civic education methods and programs. DMC Education Director Gabrielle Lamplugh explored the pedagogy of deliberation, former JOIP intern and Montevallo Junior City Council member Samuel Reece spoke on the role of student-led government in communities, DMC staff contributor Jessica Holdnak discussed the ins-and-outs of crafting historic and contemporary issue guides, and Dr. John Giggie shared how he incorporates place-based learning through “History of Us,” an African American History course at the University of Alabama.


Milene F. Panzica

Montevallo High School

Shelby County Schools

Originally from Brazil, Milene Panzica serves as the ESL teacher at Montevallo High School. After receiving an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a master’s in Human Resource Development from Vanderbilt University, Milene earned a second master’s degree in English as a Second Language (ESL) at UAB. She spent over ten years working as an Adult Literacy instructor in various school systems before joining the faculty of MHS. As an instructor and an active member of the Montevallo community, Milene emphasizes the common goal of creating a learning community based on equal learning opportunities for all students.

What interests you most about civic education?
I’m very passionate about family involvement, engagement, and creating a learning community. My greatest passion is having the family involved with education, especially the parents, so the students have the same level of motivation when they go home. Working with immigrants and people speaking different languages, it’s important that the kids get enough exposure to the community and what’s out there and connect to the real world.


David Dada

Deputy Director of the City of Birmingham Mayor’s Office

Division of Youth Services

David Dada serves as the Deputy Director of the City Of Birmingham Mayor’s Office – Division of Youth Services (DYS). He is responsible for the supervision and development of DYS staff, as well as managing the development and implementation of the City’s education and workforce development strategy for youth. Previously, David served as the Coordinator of Leadership and Service at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). This role allowed David to coordinate leadership development and civic engagement opportunities for the student body. David is also a two-time UAB graduate, having received both his Bachelor’s (Psychology) and Master’s (Public Administration) degrees from the university.

What interests you most about civic education?
Working in government since early in my career has allowed me to see a different side to civic education. Education is liberating and empowering, and I have always had a heart for it. Many of my favorite memories from growing up are the teachers I have had. I really enjoy the power of people joining together and achieving a common goal for their community.