Appalachian Future Educators: Catalyst Initiative Update

Read about MSU's Appalachian Future Educators program, which grew from RSC's Catalyst Initiative.

October 1, 2021 |

We're so excited to share this update from our Appalachia hub partners at Morehead State University! We are so thankful for their participation in the 2021 Catalyst Initiative to recruit, prepare, and retain rural teacher-leaders. Check out similar projects and learn more about Rural Teacher Corps.

Morehead State University alumnus Dr. Ralph W. Hamilton, Superintendent of Schools for Morgan County, KY recently visited with the Appalachian Future Educators and other MSU Education students, faculty and staff on September 29, 2021. Dr. Hamilton’s presentation and discussion provided all present insights on the challenges, demands and rewards of being a rural educator. He shared with attendees some essential traits of successful educators, especially noting the importance of being life-long learners and having a deep commitment to student success.

The event was sponsored by the Appalachian Future Educators Scholarship Program and the Appalachian Regional Education Hub of the MSU Volgenau College of Education, and made possible with funding from a Catalyst Grant from the Rural Schools Collaborative.

The Appalachian Future Educators Scholars Program (AFE) Scholars Program provides scholarships, support and mentorship for students from Eastern Kentucky who are interested in teaching. The program’s purpose is to enhance the pipeline of qualified educators and educational leaders returning to the 22 counties in MSU historical service region. Through this program the Volgenau College of Education is strengthening partnerships with school districts in identifying, recruiting, and mentoring students from the region so they can return and give back to their home communities as rural educational leaders.

For more information about the event, the AFE Scholars Program, or the Appalachian Regional Education Hub, please contact the Dean of the Volgenau College of Education Dr. April Miller (, or AFE Program Director Dr. Christopher Beckham (

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