Whitley County and Corbin are among 10 school districts in the state that are receiving a one-time, $50,000 grant to further boost the Commonwealth’s teacher talent pipeline, with the goal of providing all students with a high-quality education.
The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) announced 10 Grow-Your-Own (GYO) program grant recipients at an Aug. 16 press conference.
The GYO program is designed to recruit, develop and retain teachers who already are connected to the school or community but may not have considered teaching as a profession. Or, they may need (or want) additional support to enter the profession.
Byron Darnall, associate commissioner in KDE’s Office of Educator Licensure and Effectiveness (OELE), said GYO grants can help eliminate obstacles that future educators may face.
“Local schools and districts are uniquely suited to provide this opportunity to employees that may already be active in schools but lack full certification,” Darnall said. “GYO grants directly address potential barriers that may be preventing talented people from becoming fully certified educators.”
Recruitment of new teachers to the profession is vital to address significant teacher shortages and expand teacher workforce diversity in the state.
“The department is thrilled to see the first Grow-Your-Own partnerships start across the Commonwealth,” said Commissioner of Education Jason E. Glass. “Most educators teach in the school district they attended. Helping school districts develop the interests of students who want to become teachers, giving them the experiences they need to develop their skills, is a good way to create a larger teacher workforce in the future.”
Lt. Gov. Jacqueline Coleman said she knows firsthand the importance of recruiting and retaining good teachers. “With the Grow-Your-Own program, we believe we can cultivate future educators as early as high school. That is exciting, because the road to a strong future for Kentucky education requires a new generation of highly skilled and empowered educators.”