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OPS announces ‘Grow Your Own’ scholarship recipients

Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 10:31 AM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - Owensboro Public Schools announced “Grow Your Own” scholarship winners on Tuesday.

The school district was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Kentucky Department of Education that was used for students to get education classes through Western Kentucky University.

The “Grow Your Own” program was designed to recruit, develop and retain teachers in the community.

The scholarship was created in part to combat a statewide teacher shortage.

This week, OPS officials announce that all seven program applicants will get scholarship assistance to complete their journey in becoming certified teachers in the district.

“It’s really exciting that we have some folks here that have been a part of our district for a while now in other capacities, but ones who have really had that full classroom experience as a classroom teacher,” Jared Revlett, the public information officer for Owensboro Public Schools said.

“We’re really excited that we’re gonna get these seven folks through this program and have them come back as full-time teachers,” Revlett said.

The district originally committed to funding five scholarships for this program, but additional funding was provided by the Hager Foundation and the Marylin and William Young Foundation to allow the district to be able to fund all seven scholarships.

The scholarships will fund half of the program’s total cost and WKU has discounted the rate for all seven participants as part of the partnership for the “Grow Your Own” program.

“I’ve been with the school system for the last 12 years, I was an instructional assistant,” Jerome Taylor, one of the staff members taking part in Grow Your Own said. “I enjoy kids and I enjoy being in the school system, so I decided to go ahead and take that leap of faith.”

WKU will offer discounted tuition to these staff members taking part in Grow Your Own.

All seven had already received emergency certification to teach this year. Next year, they will be fully certified.

The scholarship recipients will be recognized at the regularly scheduled board meeting on October 28, 2021.

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