Searcy teacher receives national fellowship

By Lisa Burnett Originally Published June 30, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.
Updated June 28, 2013 at 10:33 a.m.
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Nick Hillemann

Ty Hendricks received his bachelor’s degree in May 2012 before quickly jumping into a teaching position. Hendricks currently teaches seventh- and eighth-grade social studies at Ahlf Junior High School in Searcy. Recently, he received a senior fellowship through the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.

— Although Ty Hendricks of Searcy is a relatively young teacher, he is paving the way to becoming the best teacher he can be.

He just completed his first year of teaching at Ahlf Junior High School in the city.

He received a bachelor’s degree in education in May 2012 from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway.

When school is in session, Hendricks is a seventh- and eighth-grade social studies teacher, and he also teaches a Civil War elective class.

After an extensive application process, he was selected to receive a senior fellowship through the James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation.

A fellow is chosen from each state in the country to participate in the program, Hendricks said.

The fellowship will allow him to continue his education and complete a master’s degree.

He said he will enroll at the University of Central Arkansas and begin a master’s degree program in the fall.

“They choose a teacher to send back to school,” Hendricks said. “The foundation wants to help you teach.”

He will be a part-time graduate student, starting with taking three credit hours in the fall, and three each semester until he completes 36 hours.

Next summer, Hendricks said, he will get the chance to fly to Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., to take a course with the 49 other fellows selected for the program.

“We’ll get to listen to professors who do all of their research on the Constitution,” Hendricks said.

During the application process, one of Hendricks’ mentors who teachers at UCA said meeting the other fellows and forming relationships with them are meaningful aspects of the program.

Hendricks said he will learn how other teachers approach instructing their students on the subject he cares about so much.

Hendricks said he enjoys teaching his students about the history of the world.

“I like stories, and when I teach, I like getting up there and telling my students how and why events in history happened,” he said. “I like it because students tend to enjoy it more.”

Teaching is also a way for Hendricks to learn as his students learn, he said.

“Teachers always have to learn more,” Hendricks said. “We have to be role models and be what students expect us to be.”

He said the fellowship program is a great idea for both teachers and students because it draws more attention to the subjects of social studies and history.

“At times I feel like social studies is kind of pushed to the side,” Hendricks said. “Social studies offers skills that students need. It teaches you how the government works.”

Aside from being excited about the new opportunities the fellowship will offer to his students, Hendricks said he looks forward to continuing his education.

“I’m excited about the prospect of going back to college,” Hendricks said.

Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501)244-4307 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

Online Reporter Lisa Burnett can be reached at 501-378-3887 or lburnett@arkansasonline.com.

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