March 15 Conference for High School Juniors & Seniors interested in teaching career

TC_hor_logoLimestone College will host the Upstate Teacher Cadet Conference at its Gaffney campus on Thursday, March 15 from 8:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

The conference is open to all high school juniors and seniors interested in a career in education. While there is no charge to attend the conference or for the provided lunch, registration is required and can be completed online .

The conference is a coordinated effort between the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) and Limestone's Teacher Education Program. CERRA is a statewide organization with a mission to provide leadership in identifying, attracting, placing, and retaining well-qualified individuals for the teaching profession in South Carolina.

"This conference is an authentic opportunity for those who have an interest in an education career to walk in the shoes of a teacher," said Tracie Sweet, Teacher in Residence for CERRA. "When I was a high school student, I was interested in becoming a teacher but wasn't one-hundred percent sure until I participated in the Teacher Cadet Program. Since then, I have taught first grade for ten years, served as a principal, and now have the opportunity to teach future teachers. The Teacher Cadet Program offered me a chance to make a difference in the world and changed my life forever."

Piloted in four South Carolina high schools in 1985, the Teacher Cadet Program has since grown to 170 high schools in the state and serves over 2,500 high school juniors and seniors annually. The primary goal of the program is to encourage academically able students who possess exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills to consider teaching as a career. An important secondary goal of the program is to provide these talented future community leaders with insights about teachers and schools so that they will be civic advocates of education.

Dr. Penelope Saurino, Associate Professor of Education at Limestone and coordinator of the Teacher Cadet Program at Limestone, spearheaded the effort to bring the conference to the Limestone campus. "We have organized the schedule of the conference to include breakout discussion sessions about various topics including the future of technology in the classroom, tips for applying for and receiving the Teaching Fellows Scholarship, and teaching for autistic and special education needs children."

The Teacher Cadet Conference also includes a lineup of guest speakers that reads like a who's who in South Carolina education. The lineup includes:

• Greshman Brown; 2010 Milliken Educator Award Winner
• Pattie Tate; 2012 South Carolina Teacher of the Year
• Jenna Hallman; 2009 South Carolina Teacher of the Year and Program Director for Teaching Fellows and National Board
• Marcella Wine-Snyder; Program Director for ProTeam and Teacher Cadets
• Jane Turner; Executive Director of CERRA-SC
• Tracie Sweet; Region 1 Teacher-in-Residence for CERRA-SC
• Dr. Penny Saurino; Limestone College Teacher Cadet Coordinator
• Dr. Shelly Meyers; Director of Teacher Education at Limestone College

With such a rich tradition of educating some of the most accomplished teachers in the region, Limestone College seems a natural choice to host the Teacher Cadet Conference. Since 2005, 22 graduates of Limestone's Education program have been named Teacher of the Year by either their school or school district, and 23 have been named Distinguished Teachers of Reading.

The Limestone program offers degrees in teacher education in the areas of English, early childhood education, elementary education, mathematics, music, and physical education. The program continues to add new components to its roster of degree offerings. In August, Limestone was approved by the South Carolina State Department of Education to offer an Early Childhood Education degree program and has also just been approved by the South Carolina Department of Education to offer an undergraduate course in middle level curriculum and organization for add-on certification purposes.