Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers Celebrates 20th Anniversary

WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. From Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers. May 3, 2014:

More than 400 distinguished guests including local, county, state and federal officials, prominent educators, supporters and current and future teachers joined Friday in kicking off the 20th Anniversary “Living the Vision” Celebration of Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers ™(TSTT) at the organization’s Annual Recognition Breakfast. The event, which precedes Teacher Appreciation Week May 5th- 9th-, was held at the Westchester Marriott Hotel, Tarrytown.

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Dr. Bettye H. Perkins, Ed.D, TSTT’s founder, President and CEO, said that the milestone will be observed with a year-long series of TSTT-sponsored high-profile education forums that will feature addresses by prominent individuals. It is TSTT’s strategy to expand its ground-breaking and successful mentoring program nationally.

“Our theme “Living the Vision”, speaks to the fact that TSTT is fulfilling its mission  to mentor, train and place students of color back in their communities as caring, competent and committed teachers who can help to close the achievement gap and reverse the increasing shortage of teachers of color in our nation’s schools,” Dr.Perkins explained.

In a video keynote address, Congressman James E. Clyburn of the 6th Congressional District, South Carolina, said that TSTT had emerged as a viable and valuable national teacher mentoring program to address the need of creating a new generation of teachers of color who will inspire their students to succeed. “Failing to do that, America is at risk of losing its competitive edge at home and on the international stage,” warned Congressman Clyburn.

Dr. Perkins invited Congressman Clyburn to be the keynote speaker because of the inspiring role he played in her life.

It was also announced that Congressman Clyburn had agreed to serve as Chairman of TSTT’s 20th Anniversary Committee and that he would do all he can to assure TSTT’s future success by lending his voice of support, especially in the year ahead when there will be a big fundraising push by the ground-breaking teacher mentoring non-profit. “We are so grateful for his participation on TSTT’s behalf. It speaks to the recognition that TSTT has gained on the national stage by attracting the attention of prominent educators and influential policy makers like Congressman Clyburn,” Dr. Perkins stated.

Anniversary “Living the Vision” Celebration

TSTT began in 1994 with only seven students as part of a strategy Dr. Perkins recommended to the  Ossining School District to help recruit teachers of color to meet the needs of an increasingly diverse student population. “TSTT has grown dramatically. Today, there are over 115 TSTT alumni teachers who are changing the lives of more than 150,000 students in 10 states, and more than 800 high school and colleges students who are on their way to becoming teachers in four states,” she stated.

Underscoring the critical mass that TSTT has reached in becoming a national model is the recent significant expansion of its program in Greater Boston area and suburbs. “Our program has proven to be relevant in both small suburban school districts and large urban school districts. What they all have in common is a lack of teachers that mirror the diversity of the student population. TSTT is committed to correcting that imbalance,” stated Dr. Perkins.

As in the past, the Recognition Breakfast provided an opportunity for TSTT to salute its collaborative partners and supporters, leaders in education, dedicated TSTT teachers and its future educators.

The 2014 honorees were Dennis McDermott, Retired Vice President of JP Morgan Chase Foundation who will be presented with the Legacy Award;

Rev. Dr. Verlin D. Williams of Union Baptist Church, White Plains, recipient of the Leadership Award. Entergy was presented with the Corporate Award.

In addition, eight teachers were honored as Perkins Scholars and presented with the 2014 golden apples for reaching their 10-year milestone as TSTT mentored teachers.

They joined 35 TSTT teachers who reached their 5-year milestone and 59 teachers who have taught for three years. In addition, 23 graduating college seniors and Master’s Degree Candidates were inducted into TSTT’s Hall of Fame while 67 high school seniors in four states who comprise the 2014 graduating class were acknowledged. (Note: The accompanying lists of this press release provide the names of TSTT teachers and students from the organization’s Westchester/Hudson Valley, Connecticut and Virginia regions who were acknowledged at the May 2 event. TSTT’s other teachers and students in the Worcester and Greater Boston, Massachusetts and upstate New York regions will be recognized in separate ceremonies during Teacher Appreciation Week).

Among those participating in the awards ceremony were U.S. Congresswoman Nita M. Lowey (17th District); State Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins (35th District); Deputy Westchester County Executive Kevin Plunkett; Ken Theobalds, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Entergy and Michael Haberman, Managing Director, Northeast Region, Global Philanthropy, JP Morgan Chase

Marc Laffer, President of the New York State Teachers Union, presented  a check in the amount of $6,000 as part of its ongoing support for TSTT.

Dr. Perkins praised TSTT’s collaborative partnerships with 41 school districts  that participate in the program and 24 colleges and universities that have provided students with much needed financial assistance by way of scholarships as much as 50% of the tuition costs.

About Today’s Students Tomorrow’s Teachers™ TSTT is an innovative career development model that addresses teacher shortages by recruiting culturally diverse and economically challenged high school students, mentors and trains them throughout college, and then helps place them as effective teachers in schools in their communities.

TSTT was founded in 1994 by Dr. Bettye H. Perkins, President and Chief Executive Officer. as an early teacher preparation program.  According to Dr. Perkins, “Our goal is to close the achievement gap and to ensure that these deserving young people will ultimately be equipped to become highly effective teachers, role models, and leaders in their communities.”

For more information visit:  www.tstt.org.

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