A New generation of teachers
Kai Washington-Brown is a May 2021 graduate of the elementary education program and a recipient of the Teachers for Tomorrow scholarship. Upon receiving her bachelor's and master's degrees, Kai plans to become an elementary educator.
She says, "The Teachers for Tomorrow program was key in solidifying my career choice. The scholarship, to me, serves as a reminder of the hard work I tried my best to show during my time in the program, [and] it provided me the opportunity to meet others who share a passion for education."
Nancy Sullivan Ray ’55 and her husband, Dr. John Ray, have given back to Radford for more than 34 consecutive years and are supporters of the Teachers for Tomorrow program.
Teachers for Tomorrow aims to combat the critical shortage of teachers in hard-to-staff schools by allowing high school students with an interest in teaching to explore the profession through specific courses and teaching-related experiences. The program also serves as a long-term recruitment strategy by promoting the hiring of local candidates who are more likely to remain within their school divisions. Being from Southwest Virginia, Ray was excited to support the partnership between the College of Education and Human Development at Radford and the Teachers for Tomorrow program, which may encourage future teachers to anchor their careers in the area. This partnership has enabled students from regional high schools to visit Radford, meet students and faculty, attend classes, take tours and participate in workshops.
"Hopefully, some of those students will decide to come to Radford. We’re hoping it’s a recruiting tool and that a lot of those students will decide to come back to their home areas to teach," says Ray.
Native to Roanoke, Virginia, Washington-Brown plans to do just that: return to Roanoke to teach. She says her goal is to give back to the community that has given so much to her.