Appalachia

Our Appalachia Hub is anchored by Morehead State University in collaboration with the National Rural Education Association.

In addition to supporting the mission of RSC, our partners at Morehead State University- Ernst & Sara Volgenau College of Education and the National Rural Education Association form the Appalachia Hub, which covers the Appalachian regions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina. Antony D. Norman, Provost for Morehead State University, serves as the Appalachian Hub's primary contact.


Antony D. Norman, Provost for Morehead State University, views the University's teacher education program as an integral ally to the surrounding region.

Antony D. Norman, Morehead State University Provost

In fact, MSU’s work in preparing teachers to serve the region is historic. The University got its start as a normal school, or an institute began exclusively to train educators. For this reason, Norman sees education as the “heartbeat of Morehead.” And as he’s seen and heard from colleagues and community members, “our rural educators and rural schools continue to be a central mission of the university.”

One program that exemplifies the strong work of the MSU Ernst & Sara Volgenau College of Education is the MSUTeach program. This program offers the opportunity for STEM students to receive a teaching certification along with their Bachelor of Science degree. As Norman points out, the benefits of this program can have a large impact.

“Since most of our students are from Eastern Kentucky and the region, every math and science teacher we create is a real strong possibility that we’re impacting right back into those communities we want to serve.”

MSU was also the recipient of RSC 2021 Catalyst Initiative Grant funding to spur the development of their own rural teacher corps effort. The University used its planning grant to roll out the Appalachian Future Educator Scholarship Program.

Dr. Ralph W. Hamilton, superintendent of Morgan County Public Schools, visits with MSU’s Appalachian Future Educators

This program recruits students from MSU’s 22-county service region in eastern Kentucky, and provides them with a scholarship, mentoring opportunities, and other support as they progress toward becoming teacher educators in rural Kentucky. The program’s purpose is to enhance the pipeline of qualified educators and educational leaders.

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.

Michael Melton, Whitesburg, KY

The Many Roles of a Rural Teacher: Our Third Podcast Episode from Appalachia

In this episode of Voices from the Field: The I Am A Rural Teacher Podcast, we talk with Michael Melton, a high school social studies and law teacher in Whitesburg, Kentucky.

Michael Melton has been teaching for over 20 years, and has held so many roles. Not only inside the walls of a public school building, but in the community of Whitesburg, Kentucky as well.

"I've been a principal. I've been an elementary principal, high school assistant principal, an elementary athletic director, a high school athletic director."

He serves on the board for the Kentucky high school athletic director association, he officiates college and high school basketball...

"I've been a baseball coach, football coach, volleyball coach. I still drive a bus. I'm an old, regular Baptist preacher or minister."

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