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 Montpelier Magazine

We the people

Twenty-five elementary, middle and high school teachers from Virginia converged on campus in July for the second "We the People" Virginia State Institute in July. Last year, JMU hosted the inaugural state institute, which prepares teachers to form in-depth lessons on the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

This year, JMU hosted the first national "We the People" institute for 36 elementary-school teachers from throughout the nation. At both institutes, teachers studied with constitutional scholars including John Patrick, director of the Social Studies Development Center at Indiana University; David Marion, director of the Wilson Center for Leadership in the Public Interest at Hampden-Sydney College; Barbara Perry, director of the Center for Civic Renewal at Sweet Briar College; Chris Arndt, JMU professor of history; and Anthony Eksterowicz, JMU professor of political science.

Joining Patrick at the national institute were Matt Gutwein, an attorney and professor at the Indiana University School of Law, and Tom Vontz, professor of education at Rockhurst University. The Virginia "We the People" institute is sponsored by JMU, Montpelier and the Center for Civic Education, a nonprofit educational corporation.