Kentucky Officials Praise Teach for America Expansion

Praise is pouring in for an initiative to place top-flight college graduates in teaching positions in three Eastern Kentucky counties.

Lieutenant Governor Dan Mongiardo, who grew up in Hazard, is excited about Teach for America’s decision to expand into Eastern Kentucky. Mongiardo says the program, which is recruiting top college graduates to teach in schools in Knox, Floyd and Martin counties, will be a boon for the area.

“We exchange our ideas with them, and they exchange their ideas with us. And we both, I believe, become better because of that. And I think this for Kentucky, especially eastern Kentucky, is going to be a starting point for big things in education,” he says.

Echoing that is Education Commissioner Terry Holliday, who says the teachers will be recruited based on the needs of schools in the affected counties.

“Tennessee’s has had a study on this and there are a number of studies are out there that show that TFA teachers have higher rates of student learning than typically prepared teachers,” he says.

Holliday hopes the partnership can be expanded in coming years.

Published by Tony McVeigh

Veteran broadcast journalist Tony McVeigh has been covering Kentucky politics since 1986, reporting for Clear Channel Communications before joining Kentucky Public Radio in 2004. His stories are aired by seven KPR affiliates, whose signals blanket the Commonwealth and parts of surrounding states. McVeigh began his broadcasting career at WRFC in Athens, Georgia, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Georgia. He has extensive anchor/reporter experience, including stints with South Carolina Network and Georgia Radio News Service in Atlanta. In 2007 and 2008, McVeigh was named Best Radio Reporter in the Kentucky Associated Press Awards. He also picked up consecutive AP Awards for Best Political Coverage. McVeigh won four Kentucky AP Awards in 2009, six in 2010 - including Best Political Coverage and Best Hard News Feature - and three in 2011. His coverage of the 2007 Kentucky governor's race topped the Political Reporting category of the Society of Professional Journalists Green Eyeshade Awards of 2008. In 2009, McVeigh placed second in Courts and Law Reporting in the Atlanta-based competition for journalists in 11 Southern states. McVeigh is also the proud recipient of an Individual Liberty Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. The Brunswick, Georgia, native is a die-hard UGA football fan who enjoys photography, astronomy, live music, hiking Kentucky's Red River Gorge and exploring the state's beautiful back roads. McVeigh and his big, fat, black cat Simon, reside in Frankfort, KY.