Fresno Rural Teacher Residency Program wins statewide recognition

ABC30 Central Valley
ABC30 Central Valley

A local teacher pipeline program is gaining statewide recognition.

"We don't do these programs and initiatives for awards, but it's very humbling to know this program is recognized throughout the state of California," said Deputy Superintendent Dr. Hank Gutierrez.

Developed by the office of the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools, the Fresno Rural Teacher Residency Program partners with aspiring educators at Fresno State and helps them work toward their teaching credentials.

"What this program does, is it take students who are Fresno state students but grew up in Mendota or Firebaugh and now they're able to go and teach in their home communities," said Gutierrez.

20 students graduated from the program this spring and were placed in jobs in Kerman, Firebaugh, Mendota and Golden Plains Unified.

"It's really phenomenal because 85 percent of these residents live or grew up in the community where they serve as teachers," added Gutierrez.

And now the program is being recognized with not one but two awards: The California School Boards Association Golden Bell Award and Apple for Excellence Award.

"What we like to call equity in action to combat the teacher shortage problem," said Gutierrez. "This program allows rural districts to have a continual cycle of the highest quality of teachers."

The office plans to add 4 more school districts to the program next year. If you're an aspiring educator and would like to learn more visit their website.

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