Our scholarship committee is pleased to announce that we have selected our first ever $5,000 Graduate Scholarship for Teachers winner: Aaron Valley! Our scholarship committee reviewed many deserving teacher applicants but Aaron stood out from the crowd. He will receive $5,000 to put towards earning his Master’s degree from Missouri Baptist University.
Unfortunately, even though Aaron is a retired Marine Intelligence Professional, he can’t find a full-time teaching position as a Business & Marketing teacher right now. Therefore, he’s decided to go back to school to get his Master's to help improve his chances of finding full-time employment in his school district. In the meantime, in order to continue to work with students, Aaron started cross country and powerlifting teams at the high school and middle school of his town. The Cross Country and Powerlifting teams don't need personal equipment, making them an easy sell to administrators. Students of his program are winning and placing well in Conference tournaments, giving them a renewed interest in school. Several of Aaron’s athletes were on their way to becoming dropouts before Aaron recruited them to his teams. He is actively making an impact in his community despite his struggles.
When told about his scholarship award, Aaron said, “This scholarship is incredibly important to me! It has been very challenging to find meaningful employment after retiring from the Marine Corps because military education doesn't easily translate into a civilian career. This scholarship is helping me to obtain a Master's Degree in Education so I can continue being a productive and prosperous contributor to our society.”
There were five outstanding finalists who did not win the first Graduate Scholarship for Teachers. To recognize that there are still many teachers in need of our help, we decided to award each finalist $100. The five finalists were: Holly Hinh, LaShunda Faison, Jilane Richardson, Anna Burnley, and Philip Giarrantana. We encourage the finalists and every one that applied to reapply for our next round. The deadline for the second round of the $5,000 Graduate Scholarship for Teachers is May 30, 2016.