Five Ohio Valley Students Named Underwood-Smith Fellows | News, Sports, Jobs
Five future teachers who graduated from local high schools this year are among 25 future educators named Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars for 2021.
Students will receive up to $ 10,000 per year – or $ 40,000 in total – for their four years of college education as they prepare for a future teaching career in West Virginia. The money can be used to pay for eligible university expenses, including tuition and fees, room and board, and textbooks.
Recipients will also be matched with a practicing teacher in their field of choice to help them navigate the college path to becoming a teacher.
The following 2021 Underwood-Smith Fellows, recent graduates of local high schools, are all pursuing studies in primary education.
Kamryn Baba, Brooke High School, will attend the University of West Virginia.
â« Isabella Forget, Wheeling Park High School, will also be a student at WVU.
â« Maura Hicks, WPHS, will attend West Liberty University.
â« Lauren Marquart, a third WPHS student, will attend WVU.
â« Lakyn Parker, John Marshall High School, will be a student at WLU.
“The program for your area (on the border of Ohio and West Virginia) is particularly helpful,” said Jessica Tice, spokesperson for the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. âThis is the first program of its kind open to students nationwide.
Applicants don’t necessarily have to be West Virginia residents, but they must be students who show an interest in coming to the state and staying here to teach, she explained. While none of this year’s fellows were from out of state, there were some among the 2020 applicants, according to Tice.
Scholarship recipients must agree to teach at a public school in West Virginia in an area of ââcritical need – such as math, science, elementary education, or special education – for a period of five years afterwards have obtained their university degree, according to the criteria of the program.
The scholarship can be used at any qualifying nonprofit public or private college or university in West Virginia offering teacher preparation programs approved by the West Virginia Board of Education in Mathematics, Science, Education elementary or special education.
The Underwood-Smith Teaching Scholars program was updated in 2019 by the West Virginia legislature to meet the growing need for qualified educators in the state, explained Brian Weingart, senior director of financial aid for the WVHEPC. . Lawmakers doubled the amount of the scholarship from $ 5,000 to $ 10,000 per year for a period of four years, he said.
In addition, more and more students are receiving the scholarship. Previously, the program was limited to only 30 students at a time. Now, 25 scholarships are awarded each year for a total of 100 students enrolled in the program once it is fully implemented.
Applications for next year’s scholarship open July 15. Information can be found at www.underwoodsmith.org.