Joe Gioffre Chosen as James Madison Fellow

History Department Now Has Four

Salesianum School is pleased to announce that history teacher Joseph Gioffre has been chosen as the 2012 James Madison Fellow for Delaware, becoming the fourth member of Salesianum’s history department to earn this distinction. Only one other high school in the country can claim the same number of fellows in their department.


Mr. Gioffre is a third-generation Salesianum alumnus (Michael  ’77, Joseph ’49), graduating in 1999 and joining the Salesianum faculty in 2008. He teaches U.S. History, U.S. Government, and AP U.S. History, and he is an assistant cross country, winter track and spring track coach.


James Madison Fellows (left to right): Bill McGown, Stacey Bartkowski, Bill Sutherland, Joe Gioffre
James Madison Fellows (left to right): Bill McGown, Stacey Bartkowski, Bill Sutherland, Joe Gioffre


The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation offers $24,000 James Madison Graduate Fellowships to individuals desiring to become outstanding teachers of the American Constitution at the secondary school level. Fellowship applicants compete only against other applicants from the states of their legal residence. Generally, one Fellowship per state is awarded each year.


“The department is very proud of Joe for this wonderful achievement,” said Mrs. Stacy Walls Bartkowski, Salesianum’s History Department Chair and a 1996 James Madison Fellow. “Joe is a diligent educator who constantly wants to learn more - about our country and our Constitution, and who strives to impart what he learns to his students. I know his students will benefit from all that the Fellowship will give Joe both in content and experience.”


With Mr. Gioffre’s honor, he joins Mrs. Bartkowski , Mr. William McGowan (2008), and Mr. William Sutherland (2011) as faculty members in the Salesianum History Department recognized as James Madison Fellows. Spanish Springs High School (Sparks, Nev.) is the only other school with four fellows, and like Salesianum, they reached that total this year.


‘It is exciting to know that we are one of only two schools with so many James Madison Fellows on staff,” Mrs. Bartkowski said. “This is a great honor – one of the top awards for teachers of American History in high schools – and we’ve got four! It’s times like these that parents and students at Salesianum can be assured  that Salesianum’s teachers continue to strive to be innovative and informed educators in and outside the classroom.”


Mrs. Bartkowski has taught at Salesianum for her entire 19-year teaching career. She currently serves as the department chair, and teaches World History and AP World History. Her extracurriculars include the START Team, Senior Class Moderator, Assistant School Archivist, and in 2002, she served as the editor of Salesianum: the First 100 Years, which was printed in conjunction with the school’s centennial celebration the next year. In addition to her James Madison Memorial Fellowship award, some of Mrs. Bartkowski’s accolades include the 2007 DCSS Social Studies Teacher of the Year and the 1999 National Council for Basic Education Humanities Fellowship.


Mr. McGowan, a 1997 graduate, returned to Salesianum in 2002 as a faculty member. He teaches World History, AP World History, and US History. Mr. McGowan was also awarded the Harvard Masters Workshop Scholarship by the Harvard Club of Delaware. He also serves Salesianum as the Freshman Basketball Coach, Rugby Club moderator, and Military Club moderator.


Mr. Sutherland is in his second year as a teacher at Salesianum, joining the staff in 2010. He teaches AP American Government and Politics, US Government, and US History. Mr. Sutherland was also recognized in 2010-11 as the representative of Delaware in the Presidential Leadership Academy. He is also the Model UN Moderator, coordinates intramural flag football, and is the Assistant JV Football Coach.


The James Madison Memorial Fellowship Foundation was established by Congress in 1986 for the purpose of improving teaching about the United States Constitution in secondary schools. The Foundation is an independent agency of the Executive Branch of the federal government. Funding for the Foundation’s programs comes from Congress and contributions from individuals, foundations, and corporations.


Once awarded the Fellowship, each Fellow must make satisfactory progress toward their Master’s degree and remain in good academic standing and must complete the graduate degree study within the amount of time indicated by the Fellowship. The fellowships are intended exclusively for graduate study leading to a master's degree with a focus on Constitutional studies. In addition, each Fellow is required to attend the Foundation's Summer Institute during the term of the fellowship. The four-week Summer Institute is held in Washington, D.C., each summer. The centerpiece of the Institute is a graduate course, "The Foundations of American Constitutionalism." Participants also visit historic sites associated with the institutions of American government and the Constitution's framers.


After receiving the master's degree, each Fellow must teach American history, American government, or social studies in grades 7–12 for one full year for each academic year of aid received under a fellowship, preferably in the state from which the recipient won the fellowship.