Sailors to Teach, Mentor Students After Successful Navy Careers

Story Number: NNS090327-18Release Date: 3/27/2009 3:02:00 PM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Kristan Robertson, USS Carl Vinson Public Affairs

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- An informative seminar about the Defense Activity for Non-Traditional Education Support program Troops to Teachers (TTT) was held at Naval Station Norfolk March 23 at the Navy College Annex.

The seminar, open to USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) and all other military commands, was held to explain the importance of the TTT program and its benefits to military personnel who are retired, within one year of retiring or honorably discharged with six or more years of service.

"It's a good idea to help transition military personnel into a career," said Joe Wargo, director of Virginia Troops to Teachers, "by using their experiences of leading, instructing and even management during their time served."

The program was established in 1994 to help recruit quality teachers for schools that serve low-income areas throughout the United States and to help relieve teacher shortages while assisting military personnel in making a successful transition to a second career in teaching.

"For anyone considering a career in education after the military, it is a great opportunity," said Ensign Anitra Joseph, Vinson's educational services officer, "because of the benefits and easy transition."

A $5,000 stipend is provided by TTT to assist eligible participants pay for an approved teacher licensure program in any state-accredited college. The participants must have a bachelor's degree or a minimum of six years experience in a vocational or technical field and one year equivalent of college-level education.

For participants hired to teach in a school where 50 percent or more of the students are eligible for free lunch or where a higher percentage have disabilities, a $10,000 bonus is available. No monies accepted will interfere with the GI Bill benefits of the TTT participant. However, a three-year contract to continue to work in a poverty-level school is required.

"I encourage Sailors that will be getting out soon, to take a look at the program and contact a Troops to Teachers representative at Old Dominion University for any insight and outlooks for areas where teachers are needed," said Joseph.

Current critical subjects in which teachers are needed most are mathematics, science and special education, but all subjects from pre-school to 12th grade are open to suit the qualifications of the participants. The stipend does exclude training principles, guidance counselors and private-school teachers.

There are both traditional and alternative routes to receiving licensure through the program, each designed to find the best means suitable for participants.

"It's really a way to give back, using your leadership to provide young kids with guidance and to lead by example," said Wargo.

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