For two decades, TSTT has been successfully addressing the serious diversity gap in the nation’s schools by developing and implementing a pioneering and viable program to attract and mentor high school students of color to pursue the noble profession of teaching.
TSTT’s plan to build on its track record in addressing the serious shortage of teachers of color was one of the highlights that underscored the “Strengthening the Vision” theme of the 20th Anniversary Recognition Breakfast and Diversity in Education Forum.
Bettye Perkins, founder, president and CEO of TSTT, said that the president’s initiative resonated very strongly with TSTT. “It is designed to address one of the most serious issues facing our society— that nearly one-fourth of black and Hispanic males between ages 16-24 are neither employed nor in school. Like the President’s Alliance, TSTT’s Male Teacher of Color Initiative is focused on education as the answer to achieving economic stability. We are going to accomplish that by attracting, preparing and financially supporting young African-American and Latino boys in under-served communities to become tomorrow’s teachers who are caring, competent and committed to their students.”
Underscoring the focus on teachers of color at TSTT’s 20th Anniversary celebration were the two prominent educators who spoke at the Diversity Leadership Forum, Pedro Noguera, Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at NYU and executive director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and co-director and author of seven books and more than 150 articles and monographs, and Jose Luis Vilson, math educator, blogger and activist in New York City.
The male-diversity theme continued with the presentation of the first Trailblazer Awards to Emerly Martinez, the first TSTT teacher from the Ossining School District, who today is assistant principal at the Bedford Central School System and to Jeffrey Cole, the first TSTT teacher to become an administrator and who currently is assistant superintendent for special education for the New Rochelle School District.
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