Appalachian Future Educators Program Reaches New Heights

Morehead State University's Rural Teacher Corps continues to shine with new programs, resources, and opportunities for students and the local community.

June 1, 2023 |
AFE Spring 23 After school Project

Appalachian Future Educators with local students during a spring event. Photo Courtesy of Becky Roach

Rural Schools Collaborative firmly believes that the intentional recruitment, preparation, and retention of high quality rural teacher-leaders is essential for building strong schools and thriving communities. Since our founding in 2015, we’ve supported the planning, development, and growth of these intentional efforts, which we call a Rural Teacher Corps, throughout our partnership regions and beyond.

The Appalachian Future Educators program at Morehead State University, our Kentucky Lead in the Appalachia Regional Hub, is one such program we’ve been privileged to collaborate with since it was a part of our inaugural Catalyst Initiative Grant program in 2021. The Catalyst Grant is made possible through the generosity of an anonymous donor and provides $25,000 in flexible planning funds for an institutional partner to create their own Rural Teacher Corps program.

After its launch through the Catalyst program, AFE has continued to thrive, attracting a growing contingent of rural teachers-to-be at MSU with its dedicated focus on place-based learning opportunities and vibrant student community-building. We’ve been thrilled to track AFE’s progress since its launch. Recently, AFE Coordinator Dr. Becky Roach has been able to create the program’s very first newsletter documenting the incredible amount of new activities and outreach the program was able to do this spring semester, including local school outreach, building regional and global connections, and crafting the group’s official symbols:

After-School Service Project

AFE Scholars hosted an after-school carnival for the students of the Haldeman Community Center as their spring community service project (pictured above). On April 27th, the students and scholars enjoyed a day full of laughter and fun for their last day of the program. AFE facilitated many different games and activities for the students such as face painting, ball toss, costumers, and their favorite: pie the teacher. AFE Scholar, Madison Woosley, planned and organized the event.

AFE Selects Official Symbols

New Appalachian Future Educators Logo
New Appalachian Future Educators Logo

During their final business meeting, AFE Scholars approved their official logo. The Motto Committee, Madison Woosley, Beth Werner, and Kaylee Elam, selected several inspirational mottos to symbolize the mission of AFE. AFE members adopted the Appalachian saying, “As the twig is bent, so shall the tree grow” to symbolize the positive impact teachers have on the lives of their student.

AFE Students Study Abroad

AFE Students studying abroad in South Korea.
AFE Students studying abroad in South Korea. Photo Courtesy of Becky Roach.

AFEs Ryan Holderby and Betty Kilgore visited South Korea over their spring break as part of the study abroad program for the Volgenau College of Education. The trip, led by Volgenau faculty, Dr. Mee Ryoung Shon, left from the Cincinnati airport on March 10th and students stayed in country 8 days. They completed field experience in the Busan National University Daycare with preschoolers and met students from the Busan National University. After Busan, students went to Seoul, where they visited the Jogyesa Buddhist temple and Gyeongbokgung Palace.

AFE Student Presents at KY State Capitol

AFE, Sarah Miller, presented her scholarly work as an Undergraduate Research Fellow at the Kentucky State Capitol. Her poster, focussed on implementing an effective classroom management system. Through a combination of interview and surveys, educates identified two elements that build the foundation of every classroom management system: both relationships with students and clear classroom procedures.

AFE Sarah Miller presenting at the Kentucky State Capitol
AFE Sarah Miller presenting at the Kentucky State Capitol. Photo Courtesy of Becky Roach

Thank you to Dr. Becky Roach for sharing this newsletter with Rural Schools Collaborative and continuing to guide these great learning opportunities for the AFE scholars!

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