Schools/SCC Partner to Help Cultivate Teachers
American historian Jacques Barzun once said, "Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition."
That is why the Moore County school system is taking a proactive approach by partnering with Sandhills Community College to create a summer program called "Cultivating Teachers With a Promise" (CTWP). The program will take place on the main campus in Pinehurst this summer.
CTWP is designed to "plant a seed" in promising young students' minds to consider a rewarding career in teaching.
Sandhills Community College seeks to nurture that seed by promising students who commit to this summer program that they will be able to attend Sandhills Community College free of charge to pursue their teaching goals. SCC commits financially to the first two years of college for the students with funding from the SCC Foundation once the student has completed all other forms of financial aid.
"There is no greater, more rewarding profession than teaching," said John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College. "We want to encourage these young students that they are making a great choice -- one that promises career satisfaction that will last a lifetime."
Initial planning for CTWP began when Dr. Anita Alpenfels, human resource director for the Moore County public schools, Sandhills Community College Dean Stelfanie Williams met to discuss ways in which the school system and Sandhills Community College could develop a partnership that would encourage students to enter the teaching profession.
Several brainstorming meetings ensued. Cynthia Bell, a specialist for human resources support for the school system, and Lori Williams, SCC director of community outreach, joined the initial meetings, and plans unfolded for CTWP.
Southern Middle School Principal Mike Metcalf echoed enthusiasm for this project and agreed to administer this pioneer program at his school using an application process to select 15 students primed for teaching.
"We are excited about planting the idea of teaching as a possible vocational choice for our students," Metcalf said. "Southern Middle School has many talented students who would be an asset to the teaching profession, and now is the perfect time to provide them with the information, tools and experiences they need to begin thinking about teaching as a career choice."
Students enrolled in the program will attend an action-packed, week-long program to be held in Little Hall on the Sandhills Community College campus. Little Hall is the newest building on the campus.
"Our hope is that being on our campus for the week in one of the nicest facilities we have available will further 'water this seed,'" Dempsey said.
"For several years, the demand for teachers has far exceeded the number graduating from our state's colleges and universities," said Dr. Susan Purser, superintendent of the Moore County school system. "Moore County students are among the brightest to be found anywhere, and we certainly want to encourage them to return to Moore County and enjoy a career in teaching. This program is a wonderful way to expose students to the idea at a time in their lives when they are beginning to think about careers and set life goals."
Anyone needing more information about this program or who would like to make a financial contribution through the Sandhills Community College Foundation to secure funding for these future Moore County teachers can contact Williams at 246-4943.
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