Teacher Academy helps students and assistant teachers pursue careers in education

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PASCAGOULA, Mississippi (WLOX) – The Pascagoula-Gautier School District Teachers Academy is partnering with local universities to help launch careers in education.

About 25 teachers and assistant teachers working for the district are products of the Teacher Academy program.

“Students will get 12 hours of credit from the start of their primary education. Then they’re kind of sped up too, ”said instructor Erika Reynolds.

Reynolds says the district is also collaborating with William Carey University and the University of Southern Mississippi.

“They work with them so that they can still keep their jobs as an assistant teacher,” Reynolds said. “While graduating from school.”

The program aims to help assistant teachers like Ella Pitts gain classroom experience. Pitts says teaching at Beach Elementary has given him an experience that will help him advance in his career path.

“I want to take the Teacher’s Assistant program through USM or Carey, so I would continue with that work,” Pitts said. “Then I would go straight to a teaching license and go straight to another school as a full-time teacher. “

Students who enroll in the Teacher Academy will gain classroom teaching experience while still in high school. First-grade teacher Melanie Verrett says she strongly encourages any high school student curious to become an educator to take advantage of the Teacher Academy.

“I really felt like my toolbox was filled with Ms. Reynolds and the college. It really helped me prepare for what I was getting myself into, ”said Verrett, who teaches at Beach Elementary.

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