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FCS recognizes 38 graduates of BT3 program

Franklin County School’s (FCS) Beginning Teachers Program (BT3) graduated 38 teachers May 22 who are now eligible for full licensure after completing three years of full-time experience.

The FCS program assigns a mentor, as well as a master teacher, who is available to support and guide the beginning teacher through the initial three-year period leading up to full licensure.

Three graduates of the BT3 program spoke about their experiences during the ceremony:

Logan Bourden, Long Mill Elementary School, said she learned it is important to connect with mentors and take their advice to heart. She also said it is important to stay positive and love the kids.

Jimmie Smith, Franklinton Middle School, said he has received amazing support and greatly values hearing from the students and parents who reach out to tell him that what he does has made a difference in their lives.

Shelbi Collmar Wheeler, Louisburg High School, said she has received full support from her mentors, master teacher, administrators and principal. She said it is extremely important to build relationships with mentors and find ways to reach and care about all the students in the most effective ways.

Freda Clifton, Director of Professional Learning with FCS, emphasized the importance of beginning teachers maintaining their relationships, participating in continuing education and remembering the district is available to provide the support they need.

Michael Zalewski, Director of Human Resources with FCS, said he loves to recruit beginning teachers because of the energy and enthusiasm they bring to the job. He asked the BT3 graduates to remember why they became a teacher. He also said they are greatly appreciated by the students, parents, administrators and district. Finally, he asked them to pay forward the relationships and mentorships they have enjoyed as beginning teachers to the next generation of educators.