Troops to Teachers Making Strides with Inaugural 5K Run/Walk

June 29, 2009

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

  “This event was 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.

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.

“I’m very pleased that the National Guard is working with the state Department of Education to sponsor this inaugural 5K run,” said Adjutant General Allen Tackett. “Troops to Teachers is a great program that will give veterans another career option while helping local school systems recruit high-quality teachers.”
All participants received a complimentary set of Troops to Teachers dog tags. The first 100 participants to register also received 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. Here is a link to the race results:


You can also view the picture gallery.

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