Five Prince George High School seniors will have the opportunity to teach in their community upon completion of their teaching degrees as part of the school district's new Future Teacher Pipeline program, encouraging aspiring teachers to serve as educators in their hometown schools.
The first cohort of the division’s Future Teacher Pipeline Program were presented to the community alongside family and school leaders during the Monday, May 16, 2022 School Board meeting.
This program is available to graduating seniors of Prince George High School who successfully complete the school's Teachers for Tomorrow (VTFT) program, a Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) initiative that recruits high school students into the teaching profession, passing the ParaPro Assessment, and either acceptance into a postsecondary college or university with the intentions of pursuing a degree in Education or an acceptance letter into an approved teacher education program at a higher learning institution.
Upon completion, eligible students receive a letter of agreement, serving as an official employment offer as a teacher with Prince George County Public Schools, and are recognized before graduating from Prince George High School. Their employment would be contingent on district funding, availability of a teaching position in the licensed endorsement area, and timely fulfillment of employment requirements.
As they complete their teaching programs at area colleges and universities, they will have opportunities to stay connected with their hometown school division while gaining valuable work experience. As part of the Future Teacher Pipeline program, these students will be able to serve as substitute teachers in our schools while they are home on breaks and holidays. They will also have opportunities to support the district's summer learning programs by working as a summer substitute teacher or intern. Additional work opportunities would also be available to these students as they arise during the year.
When they return home and work for Prince George County Public Schools, they are welcomed with the Ruby Slipper Award, a division recognition given to those Prince George High School graduates who come home and serve the children of their hometown in our schools.
This year's cohort of students is as follows, including where they will attend school and what inspired them to pursue a career in education:
- Rose Braun - Attending Longwood University, Studying Music Education
"Music can be challenging, sometimes frustrating, and exciting all at once. It also makes me happy and gives me a voice, and I want to help others find their voice."
- Ryan Childress - Attending Longwood University, Studying Secondary Math Education
"Our Nation relies on an educated public and those who educate, now more than ever, so that's why I chose to pursue education."
- Haley Parkin - Attending Longwood University, Studying Elementary & Middle School Math
"I want to make an impact on students' life and their educational journey while they are younger and enjoy learning new things."
- Clarence (CJ) Thweatt - Attending Old Dominion University, Studying Health and Physical Education
"I see a great need for students to have a positive male influence in their lives. As a teacher, I can make a difference in the lives of students each and every day!"
- Colby Weston - Attending Longwood University, Studying Elementary Education
"I want to be a positive impact on my future students, just like my teachers and coaches have been for mine.".
"We know we have outstanding students in Prince George County who become incredible teachers, and we want them to come home to teach and be a leader for the other future teachers," Prince George County Public Schools Career and Technical Education Coordinator Matthew Weston said. "Through the support of Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff and the Prince George School Board, the Future Teacher Pipeline program provides an excellent opportunity for these homegrown talents to come home once they have completed their teacher education programs and serve our community."
“The Future Teacher Pipeline program supports the district's 2022-27 Comprehensive Plan goal of having dedicated and connected staff serving our schools,” Division Superintendent Dr. Lisa Pennycuff said. “These students will have the opportunity to work with us through our summer academy and as substitute teachers when they are home from school. Our goal is to have them work with us through their college years and return to us as teachers. We are thrilled about the future of these incredible young men and women and we are excited to be part of that future.”
“Today we celebrate our first class of future teachers receiving their letters of agreement in hopes they will return and serve our community,” Prince George County School Board Chairman Chris Johnson said. “Our board is excited to see what these students accomplish as they head to college, and we look forward to welcoming them back home to support our schools in the coming years.”
For more information about the commonwealth’s Teachers for Tomorrow program, visit the Virginia Department of Education’s website at https://doe.virginia.gov/teaching/educator_preparation/teachers_for_tomorrow/.