State Recognizes EMU ‘Teachers of Promise’

EMU Teachers of Promise 2007 Teachers of Promise (l. to r.): Katrina Martin, Kendal Swartzendruber, EMU professor Lori H. Leaman and Shannon Yoder. Absent: Rachel Sims.
Photo by Jim Bishop

Four Eastern Mennonite University seniors preparing to become teachers have been recognized for exemplifying the necessary traits for an exemplary career in public education.

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

  • Katrina J. Martin, Peachtree City, Ga., an elementary education major with PreK-6th grade licensure. She is seeking a teaching position this fall with either Harrisonburg City or Rockingham County school systems.
  • Rachel A. Sims, Perkasie, Pa., a mathematics major seeking licensure in grades 6-12 with TESL minor;
  • Kendal L. Swartzendruber, Keezletown, Va., a special education major with certification in mental retardation and emotionally disturbed.
  • Shannon D. Yoder, Harrisonburg, Va., a history and social science major seeking licensure in grades 6-12.

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

‘Touching Children’s Lives’

“The ‘Teachers of Promise’ seminar was a meaningful event that encouraged me as I prepare to enter the profession,” said Martin. “The seminar also was a good reminder that the teaching career is about much more than simply teaching academics – it is about touching children’s lives.”

The Teachers of Promise Institute is sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education, the Virginia Milken Educator Network and the James Madison Center. This institute offers a quality professional development opportunity for pre-service teachers from all of the commonwealth’s 37 accrediting institutions.

Participants are selected by their university on a competitive basis and represent the commonwealth’s most promising and gifted pre-service educators.

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.

Teaching: ‘a true profession’

Lori H. Leaman, assistant professor of education at EMU, attended the institute with the four students.

“The institute felt like an affirmation of EMU