Education

Lakeland Aims to Diversify Teaching Staff

fe4ccb0d596762934bdb_2926.jpg
Administrators would identify 20 eighth-grade students who have displayed leadership skills to participate in the program: 10 from Walter Panas High School and 10 from Lakeland High School. Credits: File
fe4ccb0d596762934bdb_2926.jpg

SHRUB OAK, N.Y.-Looking to diversify its workforce, the Lakeland School District is considering funding an eight-year program that would develop prospective teachers at the high school level, support their college educations and recruit them back to Lakeland as educators.

The program would specifically target “culturally diverse and economically challenged” students. Every year, administrators would identify 20 eighth-grade students who have displayed leadership skills: 10 from Walter Panas High School and 10 from Lakeland High School.

“It’s really in response to the need for more diversity in our staffing here in Lakeland,” Jean Miccio, the district’s assistant superintendent for education, said at the Feb. 15 school board meeting.

Sign Up for E-News

Students in the program—called Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers—would also be granted scholarships for college.

“I think that we see these students in front of us all the time,” Miccio said, “and for us to be able to identify them, tap them on the shoulder and say, ‘Hey, we see some great leadership skills in you and we would like to help cultivate that and help to get you to college and get a career for yourself, and then to come back here to Lakeland and teach for us.’ It’s a wonderful program and a great opportunity.”

The program would be headed by Miccio and Frank Accetta, director of guidance and counseling. They are asking the Board of Education to annually budget $63,000, or $3,150 per student. Miccio said the program would be eligible for aid.

If the board agrees to fund the program, Miccio said, she could start identifying eligible students for the 2018-19 school year. Lakeland could also immediately begin hiring educators who have gone through the program at other schools.

Today’s Students, Tomorrow’s Teachers is a nonprofit organization founded in 1994 by Dr. Bettye H. Perkins. According to its website, the program has grown from seven students in one Westchester County high school to nearly 880 participants across the United States. The program has created 150 teachers in nine states. There are 21 partnering colleges that have agreed to assist in supporting students with a minimum 50 percent tuition scholarship.

Partnering colleges include: Manhattan College, The College of New Rochelle, Manhattanville College, Fordham University, Marist College, University of Connecticut, SUNY Geneseo, Pace University, Iona College and Sacred Heart University.

In ninth grade, students in the program would shadow high school teachers; in 10th grade, they would shadow teachers and tutor other students; and in 11th and 12th grades, they would “co-teach” classes.

“Each year they do something new and more complex,” said Dr. Tammy Cosgrove, assistant superintendent for human resources. “During the summer, there are also seminars for them that they go to, to learn how to be teachers, how to be leaders.”

Students would be required to sign a contract, committing to return to work at a school that participates in the program.

Superintendent Dr. George Stone said the need for diversity was raised by students.

“The District Youth Council did raise the question about how we could become a more diverse teaching staff to mirror the multicultural nature of our population as it’s changing,” Stone said.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Yorktown

Catching up with Westchester County Executive George Latimer

George Latimer, our new county executive, has been in office now for a little over half a year. I thought it might be a good time to check in with my friend to see how things were going. You can see the interview in its entirety on Channel 74 (Optimum) at 9 p.m. Wednesday nights.

What happened last November?

The election last November brought change throughout Westchester County. In my ...

You’ll Get a Kick out of Musical Classic ‘Anything Goes’

I’ve loved Broadway musicals since I was smaller than a piano bench. That’s one reason I enjoy writing about local productions in this space. The more people who go to musicals, the happier it makes me.

I didn’t realize how old-fashioned about musicals I could be, though, until my wife Elyse and I at long last saw “Wicked.” It only took us 15 years to get there.

Loose Ends

July 20, 2018

Real life is not the movies.

Things are not wrapped up in a neat bow, motivations are not explained, and things often don’t make sense.

Two weeks ago, a man driving “triple digits” in a Dodge Charger exited the Taconic State Parkway at Underhill Avenue, blew through a stop sign, and t-boned an SUV, injuring a mother and her 19-year-old daughter. Here is ...

The Adventures of Superdog

I was always very impressed that my dog could bark on command and come when I called his name, until I read in the newspaper about a dog that saved his owner’s life by calling 9-1-1. Apparently, when his owner had a seizure, the dog pushed a speed-dial button for 9-1-1, barked into the receiver for help, and then opened the door when the responders arrived.

Honestly, though, it’s ...

If You See Something, Say Something

July 11, 2018

I am writing this letter because I see something different with the new Yorktown Town Board. I see an open government instead of a dictatorship with rubber stamps. I see the new Town Board working together for the best interests of the residents in Yorktown.

The auditor suggests in his report to not start a capital project without having the money first. A bad example is the Granite Knolls ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, July 21, 12:00 PM

Club Fit, Jefferson Valley

Yoga for Women with Cancer

Health & Wellness

Wed, July 25, 7:30 PM

Carmel Cinema 8, Carmel

Film Screening on Suicide

Health & Wellness

Three from Houlihan Lawrence Named ‘America’s Best Real Estate Agents’

July 20, 2018

John Kincart, Douglas Dill and Annette Cicinelli have been named among America’s most productive sales associates as a part of REAL Trends America’s Best Real Estate Agents, the newly issued ranking report produced by REAL Trends and sponsored by Zillow Group. They are now members of the “America’s Best Real Estate Agents.”

REAL Trends America’s Best Real ...