MIDDLEBURY, Vt.-Thirteen recent graduates of Middlebury College have made the commitment to teach for two years in urban and rural schools across the country with Teach For America.
Founded in 1990, Teach For America is a national corps of outstanding college graduates representing all academic majors and career interests who seek to expand educational opportunities for youngsters in low-income communities.
Admission to the teacher corps is highly selective. In 2009 a record number of 35,000 individuals applied and just 4,100-the largest number in Teach For America's history-were accepted and assigned to public schools across the United States.
With 13 recent graduates, Middlebury College ranks sixth on Teach For America's list of small colleges (fewer than 3,000 students) in terms of providing teachers to the program this coming fall. Just ahead of Middlebury on the list are Barnard, Holy Cross, DePauw, Kenyon, and Spelman Colleges. In 2008 Middlebury supplied Teach For America with 11 corps members.
Service in Teach For America was more popular and more competitive in 2009 than at any time in its history, the New York based organization said.
Nine percent of Middlebury's senior class applied to Teach For America and about one-quarter were accepted and enrolled. At 130 leading colleges and universities in the U.S., more than five percent of the graduating class applied. Among universities with more than 10,000 undergraduate students, Michigan, Texas, Cornell, Berkeley, and Wisconsin topped the list of acceptances, and among schools with between 3,000 and 10,000 undergraduates, Harvard, Yale, Georgetown, Columbia, and Northwestern contributed the most graduating seniors to the program,
The 2009 Middlebury graduates accepted and enrolled into Teach For America are listed below with their hometowns, academic majors, and where they have been assigned to teach:
- Charlotte Bemis, Concord, Mass., geology, Denver, Colo.
- Ruby Bolster, Durango, Colo., Latin American studies, New Mexico
- Sheyenne Brown, Bronx, N.Y., theatre, Newark, N.J.
- Sarah Emmons, Williamstown, Mass., economics, Tulsa, Okla.
- Brooke Farquhar, Sandy Spring, Md., English, Memphis, Tenn.
- Alexandra Fisher, San Francisco, history of art and architecture, New York City
- Harriet Fox, Canton, Mo., political science, New York City
- William Rainey Johnson, St. Louis, Mo., chemistry, Las Vegas area
- Justine Katzenbach, Amherst, Mass., theatre, Greater New Orleans
- Rachel Korschun, Atlanta, Ga., environmental studies, San Francisco Bay area
- Katherine Sparkes, Wayne, Pa., history, New York City
- Sarah Tucker, Newton, Mass., sociology/anthropology, Washington, D.C., area
- Yijie Zhu, Beijing, economics and mathematics, Houston
Teach For America applicants indicate their preferences for regions of the country, grade levels, and subject areas. The organization helps prepare its new teachers through a rigorous, five-week summer institute offering opportunities for practice, observation, coaching, and study in the foundational knowledge, skills, and mindsets needed to be highly effective beginning teachers.
In the coming academic year, more than 7,300 first- and second-year Teach For America corps members will teach in more than 100 school districts in 27 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit the Teach For America Web site.