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Homegrown Teaching Scholars Program
Adds County Component

The Observer News-Enterprise  August 23, 2004

Catawba Valley community College’s Homegrown Teaching Scholars (HGTS) program recently started its second year of operation with $30,000 in local funding.

Hal “Chip” Huffman, chairman of the Unifour Foundation, Inc., recently presented the HGTS program with a $15,000 grant given to the CVCC Foundation, Inc. An additional $15,000 was donated to the HGTS program by Alexander County Schools, Catawba County Schools, Hickory Public Schools and Newton-Conover City Schools. Representatives from all funding entities were present during a student orientation and kickoff program held at CVCC.

HGTS is a comprehensive support program designed to address the shortage of teachers in Alexander and Catawba counties. Launched in Alexander County last year, the program accepted its first students from Catawba County this year. Students selected for the program receive mentoring and financial assistance and participate in enrichment activities while pursuing an associate degree in pre-teaching from CVCC. Students may then transfer as a junior to a four-year university. In return, the students agree to teach four of seven years in their sponsoring county after graduation.

“These sponsorships are an excellent example of local institutions developing solutions to local problems,” said Dr. Cuyler Dunbar, president of CVCC. “North Carolina will need 10,000 teachers each year for the next 10 years, according to the most recent estimates. Only 3,500 teachers are graduating each year in this state. These Homegrown Teaching Scholars will meet our need for teachers right here in our own community.”

“Our pilot program in Alexander County has been a great success, thanks to the support of local businesses and civic organizations,” Dunbar added. “And we’re absolutely delighted to be able to roll out the program in Catawba County with the support of the Unifour Foundation and public school systems.”

“We receive 40 to 50 applications each year, and this one really stood out,” said Huffman. “The Unifour Foundation was impressed with the collaboration among various agencies.”

A total of 38 students are participating in the HGTS program this year, including current teacher assistants, recent high school graduates and those seeking a career change. The students from Alexander county include Erica Banks, Karen Beasley, Natasha Beckner, Annette Belanger, Kathryn Campbell, Tammy Caudill, Chasity Collins, Amy Cothren, Mandy Daniels, Shaina Dyson, Patrick Elder, Mark Ford, Dana Hall, Wanda Harrington, Tonia Hertzler, Misty Jolly, Nancy Jolly, Charlotte Kerley, Linda McLain, Jennifer Mull, Lisa Orr, Whitney Waits, Anthony Walker, Chong Yang and Tammy York.

Students from Catawba County include Cindy Briles, Tony Christie, Paula Fulbright, Elizabeth Flow, Amber Grant, Sharon Kenz, Jackie Lee, Kristen Owen, Ingrid Robinson, Marjorie Wallace, Sharon Warren, Derek Wright and Sheng Yang.


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