Columbia County encourages a future fueled by teachers

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

COLUMBIA COUNTY, GA (WRDW/WAGT) – Some say teachers fuel the future.

People like Columbia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway.

"To me, anyone who wants to make a difference in this world, to have a positive impact on our community, our state, our nation, teaching is the perfect profession for that,” Carraway said.

For 15 students in Columbia County, they’re committing their future for the sake of others.

"They are going to go off to college and hopefully they will come home and teach in Columbia County when they get their degree,” Carraway said.

Columbia County and Augusta University are partnering to encourage students to pursue a future in education.

"There's a national shortage for teachers,” Judi Wilson, interim dean for the College of Education at AU.

Wilson is concerned because Georgia is short a whopping 1,300 elementary teachers and 600 special education teachers. There’s also 3,000 non-certified teachers working.

"We're trying to remove as many barriers as possible for people to get into the teaching profession and stay there,” Wilson said.

It's why they're integrating education pathway programs at Columbia County high schools. Students will meet with professors at AU, shadow teachers in elementary schools, and even earn college credit.

But there’s another big incentive.

"Anyone who commits to get a 4-year degree and to teach from our school district, when they come back, we will assure them to be members of our interview process,” Wilson said.

The process insures a future here in Columbia County.

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