The Dr. Jo Watts Williams School of Education introduced the Teach for Alamance program, a new graduate program for the School of Education. 

Matthew Trez ’23 did his student teaching in Alamance County and fell in love with it. Now, he is still giving back to his community and plans to stay here. The program also gives fellows job opportunities even after they are done with the graduate program. 

“As of now I plan to continue in ABSS,” Trez said. “It’s a tight knit community, and I’ve gotten a lot of support since I started at ABSS.”

The Teach for Alamance program offers a full scholarship to Elon’s Masters of Education in Innovation program in exchange for a two-year commitment to teach in Alamance County Public Schools. As of now, the program consists of three fellows — including Trez — who are placed in Alamance County Public Schools.

Trez was placed in Turrentine Middle School where he teaches eighth-grade English language arts and social studies.

In addition to Trez, there are two other graduate fellows in the Teach for Alamance program, Zoë Rein ‘23 and Matthew LaFuria ‘23. Zoë Rein was originally planning to wait until she had more experience before she went to grad school. 

“I actually decided to apply on the advice of Matthew LaFuria, another grad student,” Rein wrote in a statement. “However, a spot opened up at the school I student taught at, and I decided to stay knowing that I would have the added bonus of the grad program.”

Teach for Alamance is the second program in the School of Education to bring teachers to schools in North Carolina. In 2018, Elon University was chosen to be a part of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, which also brings teachers into public schools across North Carolina. 

“I think the North Carolina fellows do a great job already of making sure that we keep that talent in state,” Trez said. “I think the graduate program is an excellent avenue to recruit young teachers who are coming right out of Elon.”

In addition to the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program, Elon has other opportunities for students to work in ABSS schools. 

“There is actually a current initiative called Alamance Scholars that aims to lead high schoolers interested in education to jobs in ABSS,” Rein wrote. “Students can study at ACC for two years, transfer to Elon, then graduate with a guaranteed job in ABSS.”

Teach for Alamance is another opportunity for Elon University to send qualified teachers into Alamance County Public Schools.

“We're at a really interesting point where so many districts need more teachers than ever, so I'm excited to see what partnerships Elon helps to make this really tough job achievable for prospective teachers,” Rein wrote.

While the program gives teachers an opportunity to give undergraduate students a job and an opportunity to pursue a graduate degree, Rein and Trez have found enjoyment in their jobs.

“The kids definitely had been the part that I enjoyed the most and cherished the most,” Trez said. “Having a part in their formation is something that's really, really special.”

While Trez has found enjoyment in working with kids, Rein appreciates being able to be so immersed in her work environment. 

“I think my favorite thing about the program is that I can reflect so easily on my teaching practices because I am teaching,” Rein wrote. “I'll read something meaningful and realize I need to change or alter my own methods or, I'll talk to another teacher and hear about what works for their classroom.”