Homegrown teachers graduateKesha Williams
December 19, 2005 An initiative started to increase the number of teachers in the state's classrooms has proven fruitful. Homegrown Teachers, a partnership between Elizabeth City State University and Halifax Community College, and the College of the Albemarle-Manteo yielded its first graduates during the university's 141st commencement. Tammy Evans, a Littleton, NC resident, and Debra Walls, a Roanoke Rapids, NC resident, are the first of what education administrators hope will be a long line of new teachers. Homegrown Teachers allows community college graduates to complete two additional years of courses and earn their bachelors degree from ECSU. The university offers the final two years of courses on site of the community college as a convenience. That convenience allows many of its students to continue working full time while taking courses. It also eliminates a lengthy commute that might discourage some qualified applicants from participating. Evans and Walls were two of the first four recipients of the ECSU Wachovia Teacher Prep Scholarship awarded to qualifying recipients. The scholarship covers tuition and fees for the recipients. Jennifer Redwine and Bernard Zdancewitz, both from Halifax County, also received the scholarship in 2005.