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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - September 02, 2005

CVCC First Homegrown Teaching Scholars
Head To Four Year Colleges

Catawba Valley Community College 's Homegrown Teaching Scholars (HTS) program is celebrating its first two “graduates” this fall. Anthony Walker and Misty Jolly both of Taylorsville, are the first two Alexander County residents from the original group of Homegrown Teaching Scholars to complete their first two years at CVCC and will be beginning their final two years at area universities this fall. Wanda Harrington also of Taylorsville , who joined the program last year also graduated from CVCC and will be attending an off-campus program this fall.

Anthony Walker first heard about the HTS in the local newspaper. Anthony says he first decided he wanted to be a teacher after being required to teach a class during his ROTC program at Alexander Central High School . He enjoyed the teaching much more than he thought and when he heard about the HTS program, it just seemed to be the first step to take on his way to heading a classroom.

“I had a lot of questions about college, what it involved, the whole life,” says Anthony. “The advisors in the (HTS) program helped me ease the stress … of getting used to college… and made it a whole lot of fun. You have a whole community of people that you can talk with, and they will help you with any problems.” Anthony also received financial assistance from HTS for completing his second year at CVCC and is starting his junior year at Western Carolina University this fall. Upon graduation, Anthony hopes to teach history at his alma mater, Alexander Central High School .

A member of the U.S. Army Reserve, Misty Jolly of Taylorsville had always secretly dreamed of being a teacher. “Ever since I was in the 6 th grade I knew I wanted to be a teacher,” explains Misty. “But, I couldn't get up the nerve to commit myself to the four years in college. I was already at CVCC and had declared another major when my grandparents read about the HTS in the newspaper. And I thought I could really do it.” So, she did do it. The HTS made the transition process from her business major painless and started Misty in the direction she needed to go, as well as helped her receive two scholarships.

“The guidance is just unreal,” Misty continues. “I am starting at Appalachian State University this fall and after I get my degree, I will come back to Alexander County to teach and to start work on my master's degree. I eventually want to be a school principal and then a college professor. The HTS has given me the direction and guidance to do what I have always wanted to do, but I just didn't have the get up and go to do it. So now I am going after my dream.”

HTS is a comprehensive support program designed to address the shortage of teachers in Alexander and Catawba counties. Launched in Alexander County in 2003, the program allows students to receive mentoring, guidance and to participate in enrichment activities while pursuing an associate degree in pre-teaching from CVCC. A limited number of loans are also available for the program. Upon completion of their program of study at 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.

A total of 60students are participating in the HTS program this year, including current teacher assistants, recent high school graduates and those seeking a career change.

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Updated 04.01.2009: Web Administrator