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Six education students received a special honor Saturday, March 23 at the annual Teacher’s of Promise Institute. According to Michelle Goodwin, associate dean for licensure programs in the education department, Dana Espenscheid, Chelsea Bauerle, Leah Holloman Andrew Napierkowski, Jeremy Perterson and Jermaine Johnson were nominated to attend the event that seeks to train and support future public school teachers.
Goodwin said that there were many reasons that these students stood out above others.
“These students were chosen because of their scholarship, work ethic, professional disposition, and their active involvement in our education program.”
The Teacher’s of Promise Foundation is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization that, according to the organization’s website, “seeks to recognize and support the best prospective public school teachers in the United States.”
For the last 10 years, the foundation has used the institute to help support the work of individuals and teams who “seek to discover, identify, celebrate and encourage high caliber teachers-to-be,” according to their website.
The nomination to attend the Teacher’s of Promise Institute is a “prestigious” honor, according to Goodwin.
“There are limited invitations allotted for each education department in Virginia’s colleges and universities,” Goodwin said. “To be chosen for one of these exclusive invitations is a rare and precious opportunity.”
Goodwin, along with Wade Whitehead, the President and Founder of TOP, notified each of the students of their nominations. According to Goodwin, to be eligible for nomination, the education majors must be approved for the teacher licensure program and be close to enrolling in their student teaching semester.
“When I was notified of my nomination I was first curious as to how and why I was chosen.” Jermaine Johnson, the vice president of Liberty’s chapter of Kappa Delta Pi, said. “After reading more of the email, I was surprised and really humbled that my faculty thought that highly of my potential as a teacher.”
According to Johnson, he did not always want to be a teacher. He changed his major twice since starting college. After spending time coaching football at his high school, that changed.
“I decided I wanted to help change the lives of teens, just as my coaches and teachers had done for me.”
Johnson said he hoped to teach high school geography or history in an urban area.
The event, according to Johnson, was meant to recognize 129 students from Virginia that excelled in their studies.
Students seeking a career in teaching mean a lot to Johnson. That is why he founded Teachers of Promise.