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DAR awards local teacher classroom grant

Posted on Thursday, February 15, 2024 at 3:30 pm

-Photo by Jeanne Wiles MCHS History Club students with Travis Hillis, history teacher and members of the DAR. Front Row (L to R): Kathy Smith (RLC), Johntavia Cross, Cathryne Burrham, Caroline McNutt, Brooklyn Carter, Travis Hillis, Beverly McLain (RLC Regent), Jennifer Haley (RLC Scholarship Chair), Marilynn Scheuchenzuber (RLC) Back Row (L to R): Cameron Rhiner, Gracie Stephens, Henry Pearson, Benjamin Cade Wiggins

The Robert Lewis Chapter (RLC) of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR) is proud to announce Marshall County High School history teacher, Travis Hillis, is the recipient of a 2023 NSDAR Classroom Grant. Each year the National Junior Membership of the NSDAR awards 52 Classroom Grants of $500 to teachers with projects supporting the Society’s objectives of Historic Preservation. Education, and Patriotism.  Mr. Hillis’s application was submitted by the RLC in Marshall County to the Tennessee State Committee. After being judged by the Tennessee State Committee, Mr. Hillis’s grant application was recommended for National consideration. In early February, Mr. Hillis and the Robert Lewis Chapter were notified of the grant award.

Mr. Hillis started the Marshall County History Club in January 2023. He uses student produced podcasts to stimulate interest in history as well as provide real world experience. Mr. Hillis plans to use the DAR grant to expand the online presence of The Book of Marshall podcasts. It will be used to help fund video equipment for use with the podcasts.  Mr. Hillis is excited to add this additional resource for the students participating in the History Club.  The podcast production develops technical skills of writing, editing and production. The students also learn research and interview techniques. All of these skills carry over into life after school. Each of the available nine episodes of The Book of Marshall were researched, written, produced and hosted by MCHS student historians, who seek to learn and dedicated to preserving our local history that continues to echo through their own lives. Video capabilities provide another medium to record Marshall County history.  Previous segments have delved into the life and legacy of Revolutionary War soldier Arthur Sheffield; the career of musician noted session guitarist Grady Martin; the history and origin of Fainting Goats; and the 1984 MCHS football championship among other topics.   They are currently working on a Pearl Harbor podcast.

Members of the Robert Lewis Chapter Marion Joyce, Chaplain; Jennifer Haley, Scholarship Committee Chair; and Kathy Smith, Registrar, believe the creative approach and academic performance of the MCHS History Club,, under the guidance of faculty sponsors, Travis Hillis and Laurie Crowell, are worthy of the support of this DAR program. Regent Bev McLain added the investment of these funds will reward both the efforts of these MCHS students and faculty members as well as promote and support the mission of the DAR. The Chapter is proud to note Mr. Hillis’ application was ranked number “one” out of the applications submitted by Tennessee.

These classroom grants are awarded annually. Requirements are –  applicants must be a classroom teacher for grades kindergarten through 12th grade, must be endorsed by a local DAR chapter, and complete the grant award application. Proposed projects must directly benefit students in the classroom. Funds may be used for supplies and educational resources, but the applicant must detail how these items help to further the educational goals of the DAR. The Robert Lewis Chapter encourages any teacher with a specific project to submit an application to the Chapter. This can be done be done by emailing,

The Daughters of the American Revolution is a nonprofit, nonpolitical volunteer women’s service organization whose mission is to promote historic preservation, education, and patriotism.  Since its inception on October 11, 1890, more than 1,000,000 women have joined the Society and there are currently 190,000 members in 3,000 chapters in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. International chapters are located in Australia, Austria, Bahama, Bermuda, Canada, France, Germany, Guam, Italy, Japan Mexico, and Spain. Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove and document lineal descent from a Patriot of the American Revolution is eligible. If interested in membership, please send an email to robertlewis@tndar.