Georgia Southern Hosts Future Georgia Educators Event
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Posted by: Meg Thornton
More than 200 Students from South Georgia Region to Attend
ATLANTA - School districts across Georgia worry that the next generation of educators will not meet demand. That's especially true in areas of Georgia that are already struggling to fill teacher vacancies. The state's largest independent professional educator's group has teamed up with high schools and universities across Georgia to identify and recruit students into a career in education. Georgia Southern University is hosting the first Future Georgia Educators Day this year on Thursday, Sept. 28, in the Nessmith-Lane Conference Center.
Future Georgia Educators is a high school co-curricular program sponsored and supported by the Professional Association of Georgia Educators (PAGE). The association is 91,000-plus members strong and is making a committed effort to encourage students to choose a career in education.
About 150 students attended last year’s fair at Georgia Southern, and more than 200 have registered for this year. The school districts who will have students participate this year include Bulloch, Burke, Candler, Savannah-Chatham, Fannin, Liberty, Screven, Toombs, Troup and Wayne. Colleges represented at the event include Armstrong State University, Augusta University, Brewton-Parker College, Savannah State University, Valdosta State University and more. Three Georgia Teachers of the Year (Pam Williams, 2011; Jemelleh Coes, 2014 and Casey Bethel, 2017) who are Georgia Southern alumni will also be on hand to offer their advice to students.
“This is a beneficial event that really connects students interested in a career in education to the colleges and universities that can help them reach that goal,” said Mary Ruth Ray, a PAGE college services representative and coordinator for FGE events. “FGE Day presentations and the connections made between college representatives and high school students help those students who are thinking about teaching to make a stronger commitment to this career path.
Ray, who also serves on the Tattnall County Board of Education, said that the development of future teachers is critical for school districts as recruitment and retention of teachers has become more difficult due to shortages in critical fields and declining enrollment in teacher preparation programs.
FGE Day events are scheduled around the state on eight college campuses throughout this school year: Georgia Southern University; University of North Georgia; Middle Georgia State University; Valdosta State University; University of West Georgia; Georgia Southwestern State University, University of Georgia; and, Clark Atlanta University.