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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.

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Teach for America Coming to Appalachia

Three eastern Kentucky school districts have agreed to hire Teach for America instructors next fall. This will be the organization’s first operation in Kentucky and in Appalachia.

Teach for America places young teachers in impoverished and struggling schools, and about three fourths of the organization’s operations are in cities, the nearest being Nashville and Indianapolis.

Teach for America Appalachia will place 90 teachers in Martin, Floyd and Knox county schools over the next three years. Director Will Nash says he expects the partnership to extend beyond those three years, but not beyond Appalachia.

“Right now we’re focused on eastern Kentucky and we’re focused on our success there,” he says.