Gaffney, Blacksburg High Students Take Part In Teacher Cadet Day At Limestone

Tuesday, October 8, 2019 - 2:45pm
Teacher Cadet Students at Library

Students from both Blacksburg High and Gaffney High visited the Limestone College campus on Wednesday, Oct. 3, as part of the Teacher Cadet Program. 

The students were met by Limestone’s Education Department Pre-service Teachers and faculty members. The primary goal of the Teacher Cadet Program is to encourage academically talented, high-achieving high school students with exemplary interpersonal and leadership skills to consider teaching as a career. An important secondary goal is to develop future community leaders who will become civic advocates for education. 

The Teacher Cadet Program seeks to provide high school students with insight into the nature of teaching, the problems of schooling, and the critical issues affecting the quality of education in America’s schools. The cadets from the two high schools in Cherokee County take a dual credit accrual course through Limestone College.

Dr. Virginia Scates, the Limestone College Teacher Cadet Partner, worked in tandem with the Education department students, faculty, and the high school cadet instructors, Holly Nix and Stephanie Ooley, to plan and facilitate the activities that allowed the students to get to know the Limestone campus community. 

Once they arrived at Limestone, the students were greeted by Scates, who also serves as the Limestone Coordinator of Elementary Education, and Dr. Jim Hale, Director of the Limestone Teacher Education Program. 

After being welcomed, the students were put into teams, led by Limestone Teacher Education students, and they took part in a Goose Chase event around the campus. The Goose Chase was an electronic scavenger hunt, and it is a platform often used by teachers to bring content to life and give students the opportunity to engage and be active while learning, Scates explained.

While they participated in the chase, students discovered admissions information, financial aid tips and tricks, sports offerings, intramural schedules, campus-wide academic majors and courses of study, religious opportunities, the history and beauty of the campus, as well as many other areas of interest.

“As the students returned to the Stephenson Dining Hall, a sense of camaraderie and a bit of competition emerged as the cadets waited to hear which high school would leave campus with the coveted Limestone Teacher Cadet Trophy and the ‘Bernie’ mascot to house in their classroom until the next campus visit,” Scates said.

During lunch, the students had time for table talk, which allowed them to ask college students and faculty, from their perspective areas of interest, questions about the Limestone Teacher Education Program, other disciplines they may be interested in studying, the campus, and college life in general. 

“I like how you can get one-on-one answers from the professors about the major that you are planning to choose,” said Blacksburg High Cadet Jordan Merritt.

Students also had the opportunity to hear from Rona Neely, Program Facilitator for the Upstate Region with The Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement. 

At the conclusion of the luncheon, it was announced that Gaffney High School was victorious in the Goose Chase. Blacksburg High School took home the honor at the 2018 event.

“Today was amazing,” noted Heidi White, a Cadet from Gaffney High. “I learned much-needed information at our lunch session. I also got to view the campus and see what Limestone has to offer, which was great.” 

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 recent Cadet Campus Day was a day of great fun and interaction with the Teacher Cadets,” Scates summed up about the event at Limestone. “Our local school district is blessed with students who are engaged, ready to learn, and passionate about education.”

ACCOMPANYING PHOTO: Gaffney High students visit the Limetone College library.