This article was published last week by the James Madison Foundation in recognition of Veterans Day. Michael Dupont, Social Studies teacher at WLC, was chosen as a James Madison Fellow in 2016. This fellowship is given to one person from each state. Dupont was chosen because he demonstrates a commitment to civic responsibilities and to professional and collegial activities and is pursuing graduate studies to further his work teaching American history and American government.
The entire WLC community congratulates Mike Dupont on this honor and thanks him for his service to our country.
Shortly after graduating from college in 2003, James Madison Fellow (’16) Michael Dupont’s Army National Guard unit was activated and deployed to Iraq. This year long deployment to the most dangerous area of Iraq, changed his life as a person and as a teacher forever.
While in Iraq, Michael worked with, and became good friends with, an Iraqi translator named Nizar. They spent many nights having long conversations and became close friends. It was during one of these conversations that Nizar explained to Michael that, in Iraq, “only the educated had to be controlled by fear, because the uneducated could be lied to and manipulated.” Through this, and other experiences, Michael came to understand that “the easiest way to take away a person’s freedom is to never teach them that it exists in the first place.” Michael returned from Iraq more determined than ever to share his experiences with young Americans in the classroom.
As a result of his experiences, Michael is a firm believer that the only way American democracy can function is with a citizenry well educated in our system of government. His goal as an educator is to open the eyes of his students, to help them understand that not everyone has the same freedoms that they do, and to never take those freedoms for granted. Michael uses his own life experiences to reel his students in and place them in a moment of history. As a result, Michael has a powerful presence in the classroom. His students cannot wait to take his class because he relates history to what is important in their life.
Wilton-Lyndeborough Cooperative Middle High School
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