Business > Wiregrass producing Georgia Teachers

| June 5, 2015

VALDOSTA – Wiregrass is not only producing, business managers, industrial electricians, or medical assistants; Wiregrass is also helping produce Georgia’s teachers. Wiregrass has been serving as a program provider for the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy (GaTAPP) program. Over the past two years 14 candidates have completed the program under the direction of Wiregrass. This year, all 8 candidates have passed and exceeded the national average on the new teacher education preparation assessment, edTPA.

“We are very proud of how well our candidates performed on the edTPA which measures their classroom effectiveness as a teacher. We have a strong, experienced GaTAPP faculty at Wiregrass who work with our candidates to ensure student learning in the classroom,” said April McDuffie, GaTAPP Coordinator and Associate Vice President of the Ben Hill-Irwin Campus.

The GaTAPP program enables those individuals with a Bachelor’s degree of higher to transition into the teaching profession through an alternative path. An associate degree is acceptable in certain Career Technical Agricultural and Education (CTAE) areas. Wiregrass is the first technical college in the state of Georgia to be approved to offer the GaTAPP program.

Applications for the 2015-2016 GaTAPP program are now being accepted. To be eligible for GaTAPP, the teacher candidate must have secured a provisional teaching position in the PreK – 12 education classroom. GaTAPP candidates will begin with a two-week summer course on July 6 – 16 and take various courses/seminars throughout the school year. The program is conducted through extensive training, classroom observations, and field experiences. The candidates can take 1 – 3 years to complete all requirements for certification. Wiregrass is approved for the GaTAPP comprehensive path in all subjective areas. However, as an expert in technical and career education, Wiregrass is a leading GaTAPP provider for CTAE teachers.
Since Wiregrass has been overseeing the program the first cohort of 6 completed candidates earned their clear renewable certificate in the following areas: business education, early childhood education, health and physical education, secondary English, and secondary mathematics. The cohort that began July 2014 consists of candidates in the following areas: agriculture, early childhood education, foreign language- Korean and Spanish, middle grades mathematics, secondary biology, secondary math, and secondary social science.

The 8 candidates for this year and the schools were they teach are: Georgina Kassum, Spanish teacher at St. Johns Catholic School, Valdosta; Corinne Auguste, Pre-K teacher at Kids-R-Us, Brunswick; Young Ran Song, Korean teacher at Highland Academy, Valdosta; Eric Wingate, Math teacher at Williams Middle School, Moultrie; Pamela Ross, Agriculture Teacher at Lowndes Middle School, Valdosta; Nora Eakin, Math teacher at Lowndes High School, Valdosta; Chris Merritt, Social Science teacher at Cook High School, Adel; and Willis Colson, Science teacher at Georgia Christian Academy, Valdosta.

For those interested in learning more about this program contact April McDuffie at 229-468-2103 or visit

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