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Thurston High School teacher receives prestigious fellowship

Tyler Nice, an AP U.S. History and AP U.S. Government teacher at Thurston High School is the Oregon recipient of this year’s James Madison Memorial Fellowship. The fellowship, which is awarded to one secondary teacher per state per year, is a prestigious honor for educators who have shown commitment to teaching the U.S. Constitution.

As part of the fellowship, Nice will receive $24,000 to put toward earning another Master’s degree in a constitution-related field such as history or political science or a combination of the two.

The James Madison Memorial Foundation, through which the award is given, allows for recipients to work toward their degree over the course of several summers, instead of taking time off from their teaching jobs.

The grant also pays for a four-week stay at Georgetown University in Washington D.C., where Nice said he’ll be overjoyed to walk around the historic city.

“This is a huge honor for me,” Nice said. “I thought, ‘there’s no way they’ll pick me,’ I’m still kind of in shock.”

Nice was notified in early April that he had been chosen for the award. He’s one of only two Lane County winners in the history of the fellowship, which was established 1993. The longtime educator said he will likely take classes at Ashland University in Ohio. Part of the program will be online, and part will be on campus.

Nice has been a teacher for 16 years. He was first hired at Hamlin Middle School in the Springfield in the summer of 2002 where he taught sixth grade for seven years before moving over to Thurston.

“I have a passion for learning,” he said. “That’s why teaching is so perfect for me, my biggest passions in life are to learn and grow."

Congratulations, Tyler!

Tyler Nice