Young Educators' Advisory Council

Dreaming Together for a Sustainable Rural Future

The Young Educators' Advisory Council (YEA) is made up of outstanding rural educators from across the nation. Serving two-year terms, YEA members advise RSC on how to support the recruitment, placement, hosting, and retention of young rural teacher-leaders.

Meet our 2022-2024 Young Educators' Advisory Council

Shawntasia Butler

Shawntasia Butler

4th & 5th Grade FMD Teacher, Rodburn Elementary School
Morehead KY, Appalachia Hub

Joining YEA excites me because I want to be a part of a group who is doing so much to support new rural teachers. Rural teachers often miss out on opportunities or feel isolated, especially new rural teachers. It's nice to have a group that provides information on resources, jobs opportunities, grants, etc. It's also exciting to connect with other young rural teachers and see what they are doing in the classroom.

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McKenzie Campbell

McKenzie Campbell

4th Grade Teacher, Hedding Elementary School
Abingdon IL, Illinois Hub

What excites me about joining the YEA Council is the opportunity to have a community of other teachers with similar goals and experiences. It also excites me to have the opportunity to help other teachers through their beginning years in this profession by sharing my experiences. There are joys and struggles in teaching and I hope to be able to share all of it.

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Osbaldo Gonzalez

Osbaldo Gonzalez

3rd Grade Dual Language Teacher, Nyssa Elementary School
Nyssa OR, Pacific Northwest Hub

I grew up in Ontario, Oregon and spent most of my life here. I come from an agricultural culture and Mexican immigrant parents. The community I was raised in was low-income, and at times challenging. With the help of my family, friends, and teachers I was able to be a first-generation college graduate in my family.

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Nick Foertsch

Nick Foertsch

Social Studies Teacher, Milnor Public School
Milnor ND, North Dakota Hub

I'm excited to rejoin the Young Educators' Advisory Council to continue the work that we have set forward in the first two years to show people the wonderful opportunities that teaching rural can bring.

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Sidney Freeman

Sidney Freeman

Secondary Science Teacher, University Charter School
Livingston AL, Alabama & The Black Belt Hub

Joining the Young Educators' Advisory Council excites me because, as a rural teacher, I have seen first hand the struggles that are faced in those first years. I would love the opportunity to give input that would then help future educators in rural settings. My first year was a challenge but I developed several strategies for overcoming struggles. I also would love the opportunity to brainstorm with other teachers and provide support where needed.

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Maximillion Frommelt

Maximillion Frommelt

STEAM Teacher, Dodgeville High School
Dodgeville WI, Driftless Region Hub

What excites me about joining YEA Council is that right here, and right now, education is at a fundamental pivoting point. People now more than ever are starting to realize not only the value of education but are starting to ask how it can be better. Voices from new educators hold power and can help to illuminate the culture of education and the complexities that arrive from starting a career as an educator. By having a group of new educators who can showcase how they are changing the face of education, we can not only shine a light on how education is changing, but how we, as the next generation, are leading that charge.

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Bridget Larsen

Bridget Larsen

Middle School Science, Glenwood R-8 School
West Plains MO, Missouri Ozarks Hub

It is my pleasure to be serving on the YEA Council. I aspired to join this council in an effort to give back to the education community, especially fellow rural educators. It takes a special person to be a rural educator, and beginning with a solid foundation and building a strong and healthy network is vital to our success. I look forward to learning from my peers, as well as helping others to the best of my abilities.

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Abigail Parker

Abigail Parker

Kindergarten Teacher, Coloma Elementary School
Coloma WI, Driftless Region Hub

What excites me the most about the YEA Council is creating connections with other young educators in rural areas across the country. As a first-year teacher, there are many times I have felt alone. Rural areas tend to be less populated, thus fewer people are going through my exact situation. I currently teach in a small community and I am longing for more connections with other educators teaching in similar areas as I am.

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Emma Rage

Emma Rage

K-2nd Grade Teacher, Kensel Public School
Kensel ND, North Dakota Hub

The last two years on the YEA Council has been the greatest catalyst for me as an educator. I have learned a lot about myself as a teacher and as a peer to those in rural communities. After YEA Council meetings, I was inspired to make a change for the next generation of teachers and for the current educators. I have also experienced many fun and new experiences that have made me excited about what rural schools are doing in my state.

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Theressa Smith

Theressa Smith

Middle School Science Teacher, Poison Spider School
Casper WY, Northern Rockies Hub

I was on the YEA Council for the last two years and I'm excited to grow our YEA family. I always feel so energized and supported after our meetings. I love the work that we do and it's important! Being able to connect with other rural educators is just honestly the best part of YEA. Knowing that we are all on a similar journey and can support each other, without judgement, is such an incredible feeling. I get so excited knowing that our work is going to help others on this same journey and will hopefully inspire more to join us.

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Strengthening Teacher Retention

Resiliency Guide Logo

Rural Teacher Resiliency Guide

The key to making it through the first few years as a rural teacher is a lot of support. We’ve got a guide on how to find it and how to give it.

Created by our 2020-2022 YEA Council Cohort, the Rural Teacher Resiliency Guide features advice from early career rural teachers, teacher stories and interviews, a cheat sheet for the first three years, helpful links, and advice on how administrators and community members can best support and welcome new teachers. New generations of YEA Councilors keep the Guide updated and relevant by contributing their unique perspectives and experiences.

Visit the Resiliency Guide

YEA Council Alumni