Arkansas Teacher Corps Introduces Sixth Group of Fellows

The 2018 cohort of Arkansas Teacher Corps fellows and staff members gather at the close of Summer Institute teacher training held at Arkansas State University.
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The 2018 cohort of Arkansas Teacher Corps fellows and staff members gather at the close of Summer Institute teacher training held at Arkansas State University.

The Arkansas Teacher Corps, a program of the College of Education and Health Professions at the University of Arkansas, completed Summer Institute teacher training with its sixth group of fellowship recipients on July 14 at a celebration in Jonesboro.

The 22 Arkansas Teacher Corps Fellows recently finished seven weeks of intensive training in Jonesboro and Osceola, Arkansas, and will enter classrooms this August to serve as educators in high-need schools in south, central and northeast Arkansas.

These new teachers will receive ongoing coaching and development throughout the school year for the entirety of their three-year teaching commitment to ATC and to their school. Each Fellow will receive a $15,000 stipend, paid over three years, in addition to their teaching salary from the school district that hires them.

Faculty member Gary Ritter and former Dean Tom Smith developed the program in 2012 to address teacher shortages in economically disadvantaged areas across Arkansas.

"The University of Arkansas is a land-grant institution so our mission is to serve the entire state," Ritter said. "Our college has an obligation to train teachers to serve the schools in areas with the greatest need. ATC was built for this purpose."

Each year since 2013, the program has received about 200 requests for teachers from school leaders in high-need districts facing teacher shortages, particularly in high schools and in math and science. At the same time, ATC staff have sorted through applications from about 150 prospective teachers each year. After a thorough interview process, which includes a teaching demonstration, ATC staff award the Fellowships to roughly 25 teachers each year and train them during Summer Institute. After completing summer training, which includes student teaching in a rural Arkansas school, ATC Fellows begin work in their schools and districts.

Executive Director Shelley Aschliman praised the program's newest class of Fellows.

"Our teachers reflect the fact that this state has many accomplished and qualified people who are passionate about education, but have not pursued a traditional pathway into the field," she said.

Nearly half of the Fellows in the new cohort are people of color, Aschliman said.

"I am proud of the efforts that ATC has made to reflect the diversity of people of Arkansas," she said. "In a state where fewer than 15 percent of educators are teachers of color, it matters that students encounter diverse role models as teachers and leaders in their communities."  

This year's Fellows will teach courses ranging from business, Spanish and theater to English and physics courses in Arkansas' high-need districts. This year, the program has emphasized recruitment among STEM candidates, and it will place one-third of its newest class in science or math classes.  

In August of 2018, the Fellows listed below will begin their three-year commitment to students in Arkansas. The following list includes the names of the fellowship recipients, their hometowns, educational background, and school assignments:

  • Chantz Bellamy, Hot Springs, bachelor's degree, history, political science minor, University of Arkansas, 2017, English, Hope School District
  • Tonya Bobo, Elaine, bachelor's degree, professional studies, early childhood minor, Arkansas Tech University, 2013, elementary, Lighthouse Academies
  • Hosea Born, Neosho, Missouri, bachelor's degree, communication, political science minor, University of Arkansas, 2018, math, Hope School District
  • Trish Boyd, Charlotte, North Carolina, bachelor's degree, political science and economics, University of North Carolina Asheville, 2015, English and social studies, ScholarMade Achievement Place
  • Gregory Briggs, Wickes, bachelor's degree, parks and recreation - natural resource management, Henderson State University, 2014, math, Blytheville School District
  • Ashley Byrd, Hooks, Texas, bachelor's degree, speech communication, professional and technical writing minor, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, 2013, English, Hope School District
  • Langston Carr, Little Rock, bachelor's degree, urban planning, political science minor, Alabama A&M University, 2004, business education/Project Lead the Way, North Little Rock School District
  • Whitney Carter, Columbus, bachelor's degree, business administration, Arkansas State University, 2013, business, Forrest City School District
  • James Fox, Levittown, Pennsylvania, master's degree, public history Southern history working class culture, Arkansas State University, 2019, social studies, Osceola School District
  • Alejandro Garcia, Houston, Texas, bachelor's degree, electronic media and communications, sociology minor, Texas Tech University, 2011, business, Blytheville School District
  • Mary Guthrie, Fayetteville, bachelor's degree, English, Japanese minor, University of Arkansas, 2014, English, Osceola School District
  • Craig Hartaway, Little Rock, bachelor's degree, professional and technical writing, UALR, 2016, science, North Little Rock School District
  • Klein Lee, Olive Branch, Mississippi, public relations, marketing minor, University of Central Arkansas, 2018, elementary, Lee County School District
  • Paul McInnis, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, bachelor's degree, speech communication and theatre, Jackson State University, 2014, Theatre, Pulaski County Special School District
  • Jazmin Berlanga Medina, Green Forest, bachelor's degree, master's degree, physics and French, mathematics minor, University of Arkansas, 2010, physics and physical science,  Blytheville School District
  • Terry Newman, Monticello, bachelor's degree, educational studies, social science minor, Henderson State University, 2017, math, Lakeside School District (Chicot County)
  • Jamie Powell, Hot Springs, bachelor's degree, English, political science minor, Hendrix College, 2014, math and science, ScholarMade Achievement Place
  • Stacy Ray, Mossyrock, Washington, master's degree, community health promotion, Cleveland State University, 2017, English
  • Delaney Wells, Charleston, bachelor's degree, elementary education, music minor, Hendrix University, 2018, elementary, Dollarway School District
  • Arthur Willis, Wynne, Bachelor of Science, environmental science, Chinese minor, Rhodes College, 2017, Spanish, Forrest City School District
  • Chris Wimberly, Fayetteville, bachelor's degree, human resource and workforce development, African and African American studies minor, University of Arkansas, 2018, math, Hope School District
  • Molly Young, Paragould, bachelor's degree, Spanish and English, journalism concentration, Lyon College, 2014, English and social studies, ScholarMade Achievement Place

Arkansas Teacher Corps has the support of the Arkansas Department of Education and collaborates with school districts and community organizations. Funding for the program has been made available through collaboration between the College of Education and Health Professions, the Walton Family Foundation, and the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. The program is also supported by individual donors through the Arkansas Teacher Corps Society.

Applications for the 2019 cohort open in August; college seniors and degree holders of all ages and backgrounds are welcome to apply. Information is available at on the program website.

Contacts

Heidi S. Wells, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, heidisw@uark.edu

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