Caption: Eastern Mennonite University’s Teachers of Promise with Professor Lori Leaman include (from left) Austin Mumaw, Malea Gascho, Erin Nafziger, Ruthie Beck and Isaac Driver. The Teachers of Promise Foundation, in its 13th year, brings together 100 top candidates from teacher education programs around the state for one weekend in Richmond. (Courtesy photo)

Five pre-service ‘Teachers of Promise’ recognized from Eastern Mennonite University

Five senior education students from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU) were selected by education faculty to attend the March 18-19 Teachers of Promise Foundation Institute in Richmond, Virginia. The annual event brings together 100 outstanding pre-service teachers from Virginia for recognition, mentorship and professional development.

The 2016 Teachers of Promise are

  • Austin Mumaw, elementary education, from Goshen, Indiana;
  • Erin Nafziger, mathematics, 6-12, from Archbold, Ohio;
  • Isaac Driver, elementary education, from Harrisonburg, Virginia;
  • Malea Gascho, art, PreK-12, from Pigeon, Michigan;
  • Ruthie Beck, history and social science, 6-12, from Archbold, Ohio.

The honorees “exemplify strong potential for impacting students in the classroom, high academic standing, commitment to the teaching profession, and embody EMU’s teacher education mission to ‘teach boldly in a changing world through an ethic of care and critical reflection,’” says department chair and professor of education Cathy Smeltzer Erb. “I am confident that these future teachers will positively influence the lives of each student in their classrooms as they create and advocate for just and equitable learning environments.”

EMU’s education program values experiential learning, offering early practicum experiences that help candidates determine their professional path. Teacher candidates choose from 15 different licensure programs.

Among 2014-15 graduates, 100 percent of those seeking a teaching job were employed in education after graduation. The education program is one among five private colleges in Virginia accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (now known as the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation).