Teach for America Puts 23 UK Grads to Work in Nation's Classrooms

by Whitney Hale

Last spring, Teach for America selected 27 recent graduates of the University of Kentucky to serve in America's inner cities and rural communities. The UK group, the largest in school history, is among 5,800 new corps members selected for Teach for America, a national program in which outstanding college graduates commit to teach for two years in disadvantaged urban and rural public schools.

Teach for America places its recruits in the nation's highest-need elementary and secondary schools in many of the country's lowest income communities, both rural and urban, in an effort to close the achievement gap between economically advantaged and disadvantaged children.

This year’s corps is the largest in Teach for America’s history. During this school year, more than 10,000 first- and second-year corps members will reach students in 46 regions across 36 states and the District of Columbia.

Of the 27 recent UK graduates selected to serve Teach for America, the following 23 have accepted teaching positions with the program:

  • Michael Baird, of Corbin, Ky., a theatre graduate who will serve in St. Louis, Mo.;
  • Lindsay Baranowski, of Prospect, Ky., a music performance and Spanish graduate who will serve in Milwaukee, Wis.;
  • Shannon Bauer, of Louisville, Ky., a history and English graduate who will serve in Indianapolis, Ind.;
  • Justin Buren, of Louisville, a political science graduate who will serve in Houston, Texas;
  • Jennifer Chadwick, of Louisville, an architecture graduate who will serve in Houston;
  • Molly Coon, of Indianapolis, an architecture graduate who will serve in the Delta;
  • Kari Cornett, of Pineville, Ky., an English graduate who will serve in Appalachia;
  • Lesley Cornett, of Whitesburg, Ky., a secondary English education graduate who will serve in Alabama;
  • Anna Davis, of Ft. Mitchell, Ky., a psychology graduate who will serve in Indianapolis;
  • Megan Day, of Granger, Ind., a family sciences graduate who will serve in Alabama;
  • Erin Fehrenbach, of Lexington, a biology graduate who will serve in Dallas, Texas;
  • Jenna Goblirsch, of Elizabethtown, Ky., a kinesiology graduate who will serve in Chicago, Ill.;
  • Bruce Herring, of Louisville, a sociology graduate who will serve in Atlanta, Ga.;
  • Lauren Ison, of Greenup, Ky., a chemistry graduate who will serve in Houston;
  • Angel Jackson, of Radcliff, Ky., an English and history graduate who will serve in Indianapolis;
  • Brooke McCloud, of Bowling Green, Ky., a journalism graduate who will serve in Nashville, Tenn.;
  • Allison McVey, of Cynthiana, Ky., a history and international studies graduate who will serve in Nashville;
  • Eleni Minor, of Lexington, an economics graduate who will serve in southwest Ohio;
  • Brian Pierce, of Mt. Washington, Ky., an architecture graduate who will serve in South Carolina;
  • Josh Ridgeway, of Winchester, Ky., a social work graduate who will serve in Indianapolis;
  • Lindsey Smith, of Monticello, Ky., a secondary English education graduate who will serve in Alabama;
  • Clay Stanley, of Louisville, a kinesiology graduate who will serve in New Orleans, La.; and
  • Austin Wilson, of Louisville, a mathematics graduate who will serve in Oklahoma.

The 2012 class of Teach for America recruits is up two corps members from previous groups selected to serve from UK.

Teach for America recruits represent a full range of academic majors, including math, science and education; some with work experience from a variety of career sectors including finance, technology, military and nonprofit. Twenty-three percent are the first in their family to graduate from college, 35 percent received Pell Grants and 23 percent are graduate students or professionals.

Teach for America participants receive a first-year teacher's salary and are awarded an AmeriCorps education grant up to $11,100 (dependent on federal appropriations). The award can be applied to student loans or the pursuit of further education.

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