Education Students Honored as ‘Best and Brightest’

'Teachers of Promise' with EMU instructor Lori H. Leaman “Teachers of Promise” (l. to r.) Andrea Gahman, Rachel Swartzendruber, Jennifer Holsopple, Jeremy Dayton and Julianne Burkholder with EMU instructor Lori H. Leaman. Photo by Jim Bishop

Five Eastern Mennonite University seniors preparing to become teachers have been recognized by state education organizations for their achievements.

Named “Teachers of Promise” by the state of Virginia were:

  • Julianne C. Burkholder, Linville, Va., early childhood education major with English as a Second Language (TESL) endorsement. She will teach preschool at Fulks Run (VA) Elementary School this fall.
  • Jeremy P. Dayton, Harrisonburg, elementary education, PreK-6 major, will teach second grade at Stone Spring Elementary School, Harrisonburg.
  • Andrea N. Gahman, Souderton, Pa., elementary education, K-6, with a TESL endorsement, will be employed as a second grade LEAP teacher at Keister Elementary School, Harrisonburg.
  • Jennifer E. (Jen) Holsopple, Archbold, Ohio, history major, secondary history and social science major with an English endorsement, will be an eighth grade geography teacher at North Fork Middle School, Quicksburg, Va.
  • Rachel A. Swartzendruber, Indianapolis, Ind., special education K-12, teaching 9-12 grade students in areas of learning disabilities and emotional disturbance at Broadway (VA) High School.

The students were honored during a two-day institute held late March at James Madison University in Harrisonburg.

Teachers Remain in State

The “Teachers of Promise” initiative, sponsored in part by the Virginia Department of Education and supported by the Virginia Milken Educator Network and the Governor’s Teacher Quality Enhancement Grant, is designed “to honor the best and brightest future educators” and “to encourage outstanding teacher candidates from Virginia’s teacher education programs to remain in the state.”

In an effort to support its strongest teacher candidates, the state provides guidance for the new Teachers of Promise by providing them with mentors who are veteran teachers who have been recognized as “Teachers of the Year” in Virginia.

Lori H. Leaman, instructor of education at EMU, attended the institute with the five students. “The institute felt like an affirmation of EMU