NewsCovering Kern County


Local teacher selected for prestigious congressional fellowship

Frontier teacher spends summer in Washington D.C.
Posted at 3:41 PM, Aug 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-17 18:41:46-04

A new year school year is beginning in Kern County, and one social studies teacher in northwest Bakersfield begins his year in the classroom with new perspective—and a new achievement--One he hopes will help his students appreciate the country they live in and the government that holds it together. 

James Maddox, a frontier high school AP social studies teacher receiving a letter in the mail from the James Madison Foundation in June. 

The foundation selecting Maddox as the congressional fellow—given an opportunity to represent Kern County at the national capitol. 

Maddox chosen out of hundreds of applicants to live in Washington D.C. for a month, working hand in hand with some of the most powerful legislators surrounding educational affairs. 

“I’ve been preparing for this for my whole life,” Maddox said. “I don’t know what kind of book I could have read to prepare me.” 

He said being there was the best way to experience it. 


It’s the first time a teacher from Kern County has been selected for the fellowship—Maddox, working in house majority leader Kevin McCarthy’s office. 

“I can tell you, I saw more bipartisanship, and working across then isle than I would have anticipated,” Maddox recalled of the experience. 


And it’s that message he hopes to bring back to his students. 


With an often negative cloud surrounding politics today, and President Trump’s at times controversial rhetoric, getting his students to filter out the noise hasn’t been easy. Maddox says he hopes his new perspective can help influence his students to be more active.  

“There are people out there who are willing to work with you, not based on the D or R that you are affiliated with,” he said. 

Maddox bringing back what he experienced in D.C. to his classroom at Frontier high school—Hoping to inspire future generations, and remind his students, the success of the nation, truly does rest on their shoulders. 

“I think that is a really good place to come out of their senior year of high school, and think I could really make a difference.”