Growing Our Own in PWCS

Fifteen PWCS seniors in the graduating class of 2020 who participated in the Growing Our Own (GOO) Teachers Program have earned the Future Educators Scholar Award. This award addressed the staffing needs and increasing demand for diverse and highly qualified teachers in the school division. The award provides a $5,000 hiring bonus that participants are eligible to receive contingent upon meeting all the GOO program requirements and being offered a teaching position in the school division. One of the requirements is that award recipients commit to a three-year service agreement with PWCS.

Congratulations to the following Future Educators Scholar Award recipients:

  • Brandon Ballenger, Freedom High School
  • Daniella Bresnahan, Forest Park High School
  • Madison Bouchard, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Gabriella Colon-Cosme, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Zulmy Hernandez, Unity Reed High School
  • Karla Hunt, Osbourn Park High School
  • Madison Kidd, Patriot High School
  • Kristin Lough, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Katherine Marks, Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School
  • Tara Minick, Patriot High School
  • Hannah Nugent, Patriot High School
  • Anabel Nunez, Unity Reed High School
  • Sebastian Ortega-Torres, Woodbridge High School
  • Lauren Rawson, Osbourn Park High School
  • Kara Siegel, Forest Park High School

These students will go on to attend an accredited college or university and anticipate pursuing their teaching certification in one of the following areas-special education, elementary education, secondary science, secondary history, or secondary language arts/English.

To be eligible for the Future Educators Scholar Award, the student must be a high school senior and agree to enroll and complete a teacher education program at an accredited college or university leading to the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) teacher certification. Students should also be enrolled or participate in one of the following, Virginia Teachers for Tomorrow (VTftT), Early Childhood Education (ECE), Today's Students Tomorrow's Teachers (TSTT)™, or Educators Rising®.

Karla Hunt, a program participant from Osbourn Park High, shared, "The GOO program has given me so many opportunities to learn more about becoming a teacher. I am grateful for the [Future Educators Scholar] award and can't wait until I return back to PWCS as an elementary school teacher."

Kelli Stenhouse, program coordinator for GOO, encourages junior and senior students to enroll in their school's Teachers for Tomorrow or early childhood education class. Stenhouse elaborated on experiences they can obtain through the GOO program, stating, "Students can expect project-based learning experiences that are creative, meaningful and hands-on. The Growing Our Own Teachers program fosters respect for teachers, the teaching profession, and provides high school role models for younger students."

The intent of the GOO program initiative is to identify PWCS high school students interested in pursuing a career in the field of education, and hiring them after they complete their undergraduate education and obtain their teacher certification, to return to PWCS classrooms as teachers and school leaders.

Learn more about the Growing Our Own Teachers Program.