Teaching the (future) teachers: High school juniors to attend first-ever Rowan Urban Teacher Academy

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Twenty-seven high school juniors from throughout South Jersey will gain first-hand knowledge of the teaching profession--and the educational challenges that exist in urban schools--during the first-ever Rowan University Urban Teacher Academy, which runs Aug. 3-14.

Twenty-seven high school juniors from throughout South Jersey will gain first-hand knowledge of the teaching profession--and the educational challenges that exist in urban schools--during the first-ever Rowan University Urban Teacher Academy, which runs Aug. 3-14.

The students, who hail from Gloucester, Camden, Burlington, Cumberland, Salem and Atlantic counties, will spend two weeks on Rowan's campus as they learn about teaching and also about the particular challenges that face urban educators.

"Through the Rowan Urban Teacher Academy, we're hoping to encourage today's high school students to become tomorrow's teachers in areas where the needs are most acute," says Steve Farney, assistant dean in Rowan's College of Education. Studies show, he says, that there will be a national shortage of teachers over the next decade.

"Teacher shortages will be particularly acute in urban schools and in subjects such as science, special education, world languages, early childhood education and bilingual education," Farney says.

Students will spend two weeks at RUTA from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. Sessions will be led by Rowan College of Education faculty, community educational leaders and urban teachers. Classes will be held on Rowan's campus in Glassboro and also in Camden, where students will spend time in the city's schools meeting with students, teachers and community leaders.

Students will work in small groups to plan and teach mini-lessons to elementary school children and each RUTA participant will keep a portfolio and write a summary report about their experiences in the teacher academy, according to Farney.

A ceremony recognizing students who have successfully completed the program will be held on Friday, Aug. 14, at 10 a.m. in Room 3091 of Education Hall.

Participants in the Rowan Urban Teacher Academy include:

Gloucester County

Jada Brooks, Clayton; Shakira Jones, Sewell; Britney Lotsey, Clayton; Kelly Newkirk, Westville; Caitlin Donahue, Turnersville; and Robyn Sauer, Glassboro.

Camden County

Sindy Bonilla and Ashley Brown, Lindenwold; Melissa Calabrese and Michelle Falcone, Cherry Hill; Alexandra Cheney and Margaret Finley, Haddonfield; Samantha LaMaina, Oaklyn; Ciarra Martin, Erial; Shana O'Donnell, Collingswood; Iliana Ramirez, Blackwood; Francesca Schiavo, Blenheim; Matthew Steen, Glendora; Morgan Stinson, Somerdale; Jaimie Stone, Runnemede; Sally Villa, Camden.

Burlington County

Anna Banik and Megan Brown, Moorestown; Gabriella Francesconi-Velez, Mount Laurel.

Atlantic County

Angela Pustizzi, Milmay.

Cumberland County

Angel Thompson, Cedarville.

Salem County

Megan Cowan, Pittsgrove.

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