Teach For America Welcomes Almost 100 Local Teachers to Classrooms This Fall, As Part of National 25th Anniversary Corps and Total Leadership Force of 50,000

Incoming Connecticut Teaching Corps Among 4,100 Emerging Leaders Nationwide Committed to Expanding Educational Opportunity

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Hartford, Conn., September 2, 2015—Teach For America welcomed almost 100 new teachers to local schools this fall as part of its national 25th-anniversary corps of 4,100. As Teach For America marks nine years of partnering with the local community to expand educational opportunity, the organization’s national leadership force tops 50,000 corps members and alumni across 52 regions.

The incoming national Teach For America corps is as accomplished as ever, and among the most diverse in the organization’s history. By maximizing the diversity of its teaching corps, Teach For America ensures that it is enlisting the country’s top talent, whether they share the backgrounds of students affected by educational inequity or come from backgrounds of privilege. Known for its high admissions standards, Teach For America admitted 15 percent of applicants this year. The incoming national corps has an average GPA of 3.4 and includes more than 50 student-body presidents, more than 165 NCAA Division 1 athletes, more than 90 prestigious scholarship recipients, and more than 50 Phi Beta Kappa members. Connecticut College joins Yale University and Wesleyan University for the first time as a top provider of corps members nationally.

Among incoming local corps members, 58 percent identify as people of color or are from low-income backgrounds; over 30 percent are the first in their family to graduate from college; one-quarter applied as professionals or graduate students; and one-third have backgrounds in science, technology, engineering, or math.

Teach For America has become an important partner in the local effort to ensure that every child has access to an excellent and equitable education. The organization recruits top college graduates and professionals; prepares them to teach in urban and rural public schools, where they work for at least two years alongside other faculty to make a meaningful difference for their students; and develops them as leaders in education and other fields who are committed to ensuring that our country lives up to its highest ideals for every child.

Teach For America corps members go through the same hiring process and are paid in the same way as other new teachers. Most corps members also receive an AmeriCorps education award, which can be used to repay student loans or certification costs, or to pay for further education costs. Additionally, through AmeriCorps, corps members can put qualified loans into forbearance while teaching.

“We are excited to welcome a talented and diverse force of leaders who are passionate about expanding educational equity and excellence in Connecticut,” said Nate Snow, executive director of Teach For America–Connecticut. “We know these teachers are committed to providing the best educational opportunities possible for their students.”

Teach For America shares with its local partners a belief in the importance of engaging talented and committed individuals from all backgrounds to bring diverse perspectives and experiences to the classroom. The organization continues to be one of the largest sources of African American and Hispanic teachers; in Connecticut, nine percent of incoming corps members identify as African American, and twelve percent identify as Hispanic. In addition, seven percent of incoming corps members identify as multi-ethnic/multi-racial, and six percent as Asian American or Pacific Islanders. Five are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces or spouses of active or veteran members of the military.

"Working with Teach For America gives us an additional source of promising teachers from diverse backgrounds," said Dr. Patricia Garcia, superintendent of Windham Public Schools. “We have highly experienced long-time teachers, we have educators who are career-changers, and we have teachers who join the profession from a variety of educator-preparation programs, all working to give our students a high-quality education. Teach For America corps members and alumni are important partners in this work."

Nationwide, Teach For America will mark its first quarter-century this fall with a diverse community of 50,000 leaders committed to expanding opportunities for students and addressing the systemic barriers to educational equity. A total of 8,800 Teach For America corps members will be teaching in 52 urban and rural regions while more than 42,000 alumni of the program are working from an array of sectors to ensure that all children have an equal chance in life. Locally, 70 percent of Teach For America alumni work in education, including Monica Maccera Filppu, principal of Great Oaks Charter School in Bridgeport; Julie Goldstein, principal of Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford; and nine-year teacher Syeita Rhey, a third grade teacher at Global Communications in Hartford.    

Teach For America remains one of the country’s most studied educational-leadership-development organizations, with a growing body of research indicating the positive impact of corps members and alumni in classrooms, schools, and communities. As Teach For America welcomes the new local corps of almost 100, the organization is poised to enter its tenth year of impact in Connecticut with an evolving, increasingly localized program to help ensure that all of the state’s students have access to a great education. 

About Teach For America
Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the effort to end educational inequity. This fall, 8,800 corps members will be teaching in 52 urban and rural regions across the country while more than 42,000 alumni work across sectors to ensure that all children have access to an excellent education. Teach For America is a proud member of the AmeriCorps national service network. For more information, visit www.teachforamerica.org and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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