04/24/06 — 10 Wayne County students earn North Carolina teaching fellowships

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10 Wayne County students earn North Carolina teaching fellowships

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on April 24, 2006 1:48 PM

Ten area high school seniors and one alternate have been chosen to receive North Carolina Teaching Fellows Scholarships, representing four of the school system's six high schools.

Designed to attract talented high school seniors to become public school teachers in North Carolina, the program was created in 1986 by the General Assembly. It remains one of the top teacher recruiting programs in the nation.

Each Teaching Fellow receives a $26,000 scholarship loan from the state, payable in $6,500 annual increments. The full loan is forgiven upon completion of four years of teaching in a state public school or U.S. government school. In addition, all recipients take part in unique academic and summer enrichment programs during the college years.

Chosen from Wayne County are Samuel David Fornecker, Maryanne Brantley Garris, Mary Catherine Miller and Naomi Christina Villanueva, all from Eastern Wayne High School; Travis Fredrick Ellis from Goldsboro High School; Zachery Hal Hardison, Jamie Nicole Mills, Shannon Brittany Sprinkle, and Aleisha Danielle Stanley from Rosewood High School; and Mitchell Graham Kohnen from Spring Creek High School.

One alternate, Jessica Jayne Cunningham from Eastern Wayne High School, was also chosen for the scholarship.

This year, 1,978 high school seniors competed for the 500 scholarships. Recipients rank in the upper 7 percent of their senior classes and scored an average of 1198 on the SAT. Among the recipients, 20 percent are males and 31 percent are minorities.

Since 1987, scholarships have been awarded to 8,358 graduating high school seniors. There are currently 3,008 Teaching Fellows in 98 of the state's 100 counties.

"We are proud of the students selected as North Carolina Teaching Fellows and their desire to choose teaching as a profession," said Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of the Wayne County Public Schools. "These students exemplify the attributes needed to become excellent educators. We look forward to these future teachers coming back as Wayne County public school teachers in four years or less."