Amarillo ISD program gets to 'CORE' of teaching shortage
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Flickr/Eric E Castro

Amarillo Independent School District will throw its full support behind graduating seniors who are interested in teaching by guaranteeing them future employment if they complete a new program.

Applications are being accepted for the district's Cultivating Our Rising Educators, or CORE, scholars program. The district is looking for 20 students who will benefit from a mentorship-heavy, four-phase program that leads to a bachelor's degree and teaching certification from West Texas A&M University.

The goal is to create a pipeline of future teachers for the district said Zuleyma Carruba-Rogel, parent engagement and talent acquisition coordinator for AISD.

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"What we want to do is make sure those students who have a passion and heart for teaching, that they have the structure and the support to achieve that goal and get into the classroom," Carruba-Rogel said.

Amarillo ISD, like other districts across the Texas Panhandle and the state, is experiencing shortages of teachers. The CORE program is just one tool the district is using to recruit new teachers.

Students start off with a mentor for the rest of their senior year, and mentorship will continue through their studies at WT. They will receive professional development and other resources, eventually observing and student-teaching in Amarillo ISD classrooms as they near completion of their WT degrees.

Upon achieving a teaching certificate, CORE participants are guaranteed a teaching job in the district if they meet employment requirements.

Initial applications are due by 5 p.m., on Feb. 28. More information on the multi-step application process is available on Amarillo ISD's website.



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.

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