On January 31, 2024, the Baldwin County School District marked a significant stride in addressing the teacher shortage in rural and middle Georgia. The formal signing ceremony, held at the Baldwin High School Fine Arts Center, featured Dr. Ivan Allen, President of Central Georgia Technical College, and Cathy Cox, President of Georgia College & State University, who delivered impactful speeches underscoring the importance of their partnership in the groundbreaking "Grow Your Own" Teacher Program.
The collaboration between these esteemed post-secondary institutions and the Baldwin County School District signifies a collective commitment to actively contribute to the success of the innovative "Grow Your Own" Teacher Program, designed to create a sustainable and replicable model for building a robust teacher pipeline. The significance of this partnership lies in the shared vision of building a community that values education and understands its role in shaping a better society. It also represents a commitment to fostering a generation of critical thinkers, compassionate citizens, and lifelong learners.
Earlier this month, Dr. Noris Price, Superintendent of Baldwin County School District, and Jason Flanders, Baldwin High School Principal, joined Dr. Christopher Blake, President of Middle Georgia State University, in a signing ceremony that marked a pivotal milestone in their dedicated effort to address the critical teacher shortage comprehensively and strategically.
The Baldwin County "Grow Your Own" Teacher Program features key components, including early exposure to the teaching profession for potential middle and high school students through a prescribed Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education (CTAE) pathway. Students enrolled in the CTAE Teaching as a Profession Pathway will not only gain hands-on teaching experiences but also have the opportunity for paid work-based learning in Baldwin County schools, setting the stage for a transformative educational journey.
As the program unfolds, students will graduate from high school with an associate's degree or college credits from Central Georgia Technical College or partner institutions in the middle Georgia region. They can seamlessly transition to an institution of high learning to complete their undergraduate degree in education. Successful candidates who meet Professional Standards Commission (PSC) requirements, including a background check and passing a GACE ethics test, become eligible for employment interviews in the Baldwin County School District. The Baldwin "Grow Your Own" Teacher Program will provide a direct path for our high school students to complete their undergraduate degree and teacher certification and to become employed in the Baldwin County School District.