Lt. Gov. Dan Mongiardo's Communications Office
Lt. Governor Mongiardo, Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday Welcome Teach for America to Eastern Kentucky

Press Release Date:  Thursday, April 07, 2011  
Contact Information:  Valeria Cummings
Bill Burger

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Lt. Governor Daniel Mongiardo and Commissioner of Education Terry Holliday announce today that the acclaimed Teach for America program is coming to Eastern Kentucky.

Teach for America announced will expand to Appalachia, with plans to bring at least 30 top college graduates to teach in some of Eastern Kentucky’s highest-need schools for the 2011-12 school year.  Teach for America recruits, trains, and supports outstanding recent graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in under-resourced schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity.

“We have great teachers in Eastern Kentucky and I’m excited that these new educators are joining their ranks,” said Lt. Gov. Mongiardo. “I am confident the excitement and enthusiasm these young teachers bring will be contagious for our schools and I thank Teach for America for its part in helping to improve the lives of Eastern Kentucky school children.”

“I’m very excited to welcome Teach for America to the Appalachian region,” said Commissioner Holliday. “One of the key recommendations from the Governor’s Task Force on Transforming Education in Kentucky was to recruit high-quality individuals to increase the pool of talented teachers. Teach for America, with its emphasis on recruiting from a variety of backgrounds, majors and professional experiences, will help us answer that call and improve educational opportunities for children.

Teach for America corps members will apply for open positions in high-need schools in the Floyd, Knox, and Martin county school districts, and the organization will open a central office in Hazard. Teach for America will continue to pursue partnerships with additional school districts over the coming weeks. 

During today’s announcement, Kentucky First Lady Jane Beshear delivered a video message welcoming Teach for America to the state.  “Governor Beshear and I are delighted to welcome Teach for America as a partner in our state’s effort to improve educational outcomes for all Kentucky students,” Mrs. Beshear said.  “For more than 20 years, Teach for America has harnessed the energy of thousands of our nation’s most promising young leaders in the effort to close the achievement gap that negatively impacts students growing up in poverty.  Teach for America is a valuable resource for many of Kentucky’s most impoverished communities that complements the work of other great educators across our state.”

A broad coalition of supportive community groups, corporations, local philanthropists, and school leaders made the Appalachia region of Eastern Kentucky an ideal location for Teach for America. Lead investors include Kentucky River Properties, Inez Deposit Bank, the Kentucky Department of Education, and philanthropists Edith Bingham, Molly Bingham, Eleanor Miller, and Paul Chellgren.

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