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RV Teaching Assistants Chosen to Receive Grant Funding

Congratulations are in order for Rondout Valley Teaching Assistants Michelle Neville and Katlyn Harder, who will soon be gaining the experience and education they need to become licensed teachers, thanks to a New York State initiative that aims to address the teaching shortage.

The two applied for a chance at this special opportunity, along with other Ulster County teaching assistants, and were selected to benefit from a $269,595 grant that Ulster BOCES received from the New York State Department of Labor. 

Harder has been a teaching assistant for 12 years, and is currently working at the Intermediate School. She recently graduated with a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood and Special Education from Grand Canyon University and her main goal is to become a teacher and have a classroom of her own. "I aspire to mirror the secure learning environment I experienced in school. My goal is to craft such a space for students, contributing to the development of essential programs that pave the way for their success," she shared. She expresses her gratitude to the District for selecting her for such an amazing opportunity.
 
For three years, Neville has been a teaching assistant at the High School. Her goal has always been to obtain a master’s degree, but it hasn’t been in the cards during the past few years. “I was shocked when I received the news. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not pass up,” she said. “My goal is to be a positive influence on young children and continue to be a person they can rely on for support.”   

The grant allows teaching assistants to pursue a master’s degree in education from Empire State College while they are receiving mentoring from teachers in their respective school districts. The grant will also cover tuition, books, technology fees, and stipends for living expenses, including childcare if needed. Upon completion of the program, participants will have opportunities to fill teaching vacancies in Ulster County school districts.