Rural Schools Partnership News


Congratulations to the Ozarks Teacher Corps Class of 2018

May 21, 2018

Congratulations to the 2018 graduating class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps. Funded and coordinated by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, this intentional effort is dedicated to the recruitment, preparation, and placement of rural teacher-leaders. Students from Missouri State University, Missouri State University-West Plains, Drury University and Evangel University are eligible to apply for the program.

The Ozarks Teacher Corps was established in 2010 in conjunction with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Rural Schools Partnership. Accepted students commit to returning to their hometown or a similar rural Ozarks community to teach for at least three years. Corps members receive an annual scholarship and participate in a wide range of seminars, where they learn about a variety of rural topics. The overarching goal of the program is to develop teacher-leaders who will serve as catalysts for positive change.

The Ozarks Teacher Class of 2018 includes the following with their Missouri Ozarks hometown:

  • Alicia Lindeman, Aurora
  • Ashley Vannada, Dora
  • Bailey Soper, Ash Grove
  • Briona Warden, West Plains
  • Colleen Winkleplect, Myrtle
  • Dylan Johnson, Elkland
  • Karley Bassham, Sainte Genevieve
  • Laura Thompson, Iberia
  • Catalina Salas, Verona
  • Blane Redus, Marionville

The Ozarks Teacher Corps and the Community Foundation of the Ozarks' Rural Schools Partnership anchor the Rural Schools Collaborative Missouri Ozarks Hub. These efforts are also an important part of the growing Rural Teacher Corps Network, a key initiative of the Rural Schools Collaborative. The Ozarks Teacher Corps is coordinated by Dr. Julie Leeth, Education Liaison for the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Rural Schools Collaborative board member.

With a placement and retention rate of 93%, the Ozarks Teacher Corps has been lauded nationally by media such as Education Week, Council on Foundations, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio. Read more about the Ozark Teacher Corps' place-based efforts here.

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