W.Va. to Kick Off Inaugural Troops to Teachers 5K Run/Walk

June 17, 2009

CHARLESTON, W.Va. – The West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia Army and Air National Guard will put their best foot forward with the inaugural 5K run and walk to raise awareness about veteran benefits and encourage veterans to become teachers.

The event takes place Saturday, June 27, at Coonskin Park near Charleston beginning at 8 a.m. Registration starts at 7 a.m. There is no entry fee.

“This event is an excellent opportunity for educators, students, veterans and others to share their experiences while supporting the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces,” said state Superintendent Steve Paine. "Those who serve in the armed forces have a wealth of knowledge, talent, skills and experience that they can share with West Virginia students once they complete their service. Many veterans have science, math and engineering backgrounds that we desperately need in our classrooms.”
The federally funded Troops to Teachers program is designed to place veterans in classrooms across the country, including West Virginia. The program provides participants with aid in getting certified in their states and matching them up with school districts interested in hiring them. West Virginia leaders highlighted the benefits of the program at Piedmont Elementary School.

Across the country, the Troops to Teacher program is offering what many educators say our schools need most: mature, mostly male or minority role models, who are highly motivated and willing to work in challenging environments. It also is addressing shortage areas in math, science, career and technical education and special education.

Runners and walkers wishing to participate can register online at http://wvde.state.wv.us/troopstoteachers/events.php. All participants will receive a complimentary set of Troops to Teachers dog tags. The first 100 participants to register also will receive a free T-shirt.
For more information, contact Robert Mellace in the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Professional Preparation at 1-800-982-2378, or contact the Office of Communications at 304-558-2699.

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