How to Grow Our Own Teachers

Pocahontas County School Superintendent Terrence Beam tells us about a great new opportunity for high school sophomores and juniors who might want to be teachers to get a jump on their college education.

“I want to give you an update on our Grow Your Own Initiative that we are working with through the West Virginia State Department of Education,” said Beam. “This is a program that will help us recruit teachers for Pocahontas County Schools. We did have a meeting with Glenville State College and with the Pocahontas County High School Staff a couple of weeks ago to just kind of lay the groundwork for this initiative. “

“One step of this is to schedule a meeting with parents and students who may have an interest in their children attending college to become a teacher. We need to add more teachers in our state. Right now, in the State of West Virginia, there are between twelve-hundred to fifteen-hundred vacancies that cannot be filled by certified teachers. So, even if students are not certain at this point in their life that they want to be a teacher, they can get into this program. And the savings to parents to send their kids to college to get an Education Degree is going to be unbelievable. For example, a three-(credit) hour course at some colleges is in excess of $900.00. If they enter into this program, a three-hour course will cost them $75.00 -that’s a huge savings. We are trying to recruit students who want to stay in Pocahontas County, want to consider going into Education as a profession, and not come out of college with a lot of student debt. We want to try and grow our own teachers in Pocahontas County.”

We have setup a meeting for Thursday, May 5th at five o’clock at the Pocahontas County High School cafeteria. Glenville State College will be attending this to give parents and students an overview of what this program looks like, and what students will have to do to get accepted into the program. Starting in the fall, we will be offering courses for juniors and seniors who want to get into Education, that they can go ahead and take these courses -these dual credit courses and these Education courses that will help knock off a lot of their freshman year in college. As students get into this program, if they can get all of the course-work done in high school, they can actually save their freshman year in college. So, when they go on campus at Glenville, or any other college they choose to go to, they will enter as sophomores. They will spend two years in class, getting their classwork done. But, then the third year, they will come back to the school system and work as a long-term Teacher.”

“In other words, a student this year who is going to be a junior, can start into this program this fall, and by the time they graduate from Pocahontas County High School, they would have already completed their freshman year of college. They will spend two years in college, which would be their sophomore and junior years and their senior your they would actually come back here. So, it’s cutting about half the time they are on campus getting their classwork, because they will be getting some of the coursework done as high school students, and also, we hire them as a teacher in our county at 65% of the salary of a regular teacher their senior year, so it’s a fabulous opportunity financially.”

“We understand that students in high school are not sure what they want to do yet -some kids know exactly where they want to go. These courses they are going to take are courses they are going to need for other coursework in college anyway, so it would benefit them to get into the program and knock off some of the cost that they are going to have to spend when they do go to college.”

“Jeff Hunter and Rachael Clutter from Glenville State College will be here on May the fifth, five o’clock at the cafeteria to explain the program to them, explain to the parents hoe they enroll -they can actually do what is called a dual-enrollment and they can actually get enrolled in college as a junior in high school and get class credit for Glenville State College and for Pocahontas County High School.”

“So, it’s a great opportunity for our kids, and we hope that parents who aren’t sure what their children want to do, will at least come out and hear the presentation. It doesn’t cost them anything. They are not committing to anything, just gathering information. This time of year, kids are just thinking about getting out of school for this year, but their futures are coming up quickly, and they need to start thinking about what their next steps are. Personally, I have a granddaughter that’s finishing her sophomore year at Nicholas County High School, and we are getting her involved with this program at Glenville also, just to see if this is what she wants to do. And that’s what we suggest that parents do if their kids are not sure what they want to do, or if they have an interest or love to work with kids in Education, it’s a great opportunity.”

Story By

Tim Walker

Tim is the WVMR News Reporter. Tim is a native of Maryland who started coming to Pocahontas County in the 1970’s as a caver. He bought land on Droop Mountain off Jacox Road in 1976 and built a small house there in the early 80’s. While still working in Maryland, Tim spent much time at his place which is located on the Friars Hole Cave Preserve. Retiring in 2011 as a Lieutenant with the Anne Arundel County Police Department in Maryland, Tim finally took the plunge and moved from Maryland to his real home on Droop Mountain. He began working as the Pocahontas County Reporter for Allegheny Mountain Radio in January of 2015.

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