Inaugural TAP Talks Engage Future Educators

The Columbia County School District hosted the inaugural TAP Talks, on Wednesday, March 29, at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center.

More than 250 students who are currently engaged in the Teaching as a Profession Pathway heard education talks from current and previous Columbia County School District Teachers of the Year. Students also had the opportunity to learn about scholarship opportunities, dual enrollment options with Augusta University, and got the chance to network with the Human Resources Department of the Columbia County School District, and Augusta University. 

Since 2019, the Columbia County School District has worked in collaboration with Augusta University to meet the shortage of teachers, by inspiring those students who are participating in the teaching as a profession pathway.  For the first time, students in the Columbia County School District will be offered the opportunity to earn up to 12 college credits from Augusta University, in pursuit of an education degree, before they even graduate from high school.

“One of the best things we can do to ensure student achievement and success in the classroom for all students is to make sure we have an amazing teacher in front of every student in every classroom and every building in the Columbia County School District,” said Brooks Smith, Columbia County School District Director of Career, Technology and Agriculture Education (CTAE).

“We are responsible for growing our own teachers to ensure that the next generation of students are going to have an amazing next generation of teachers,” Smith said.

In addition, five individual $1,000 scholarships from Health Center Credit Union, will be awarded to one graduating senior from each high school who is currently in the teaching as a profession pathway. The scholarships will be awarded at the annual Future Georgia Educators Signing Day event held during the Columbia County School District’s End of Year Celebration for first-year teachers, in May.

“We are excited to have the opportunity at TAP Talks to inspire these outstanding students who will one day be outstanding educators,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Tony Wright. “Building that solid pipeline of educators is crucial, and we want them to be great at what they do, as well as enjoy the journey, so hopefully they will come back and teach with us.”

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More than 250 students from high schools across the district attended the inaugural TAP Talks event at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center. The students are currently engaged in the Teaching as a Profession Pathway offered in all five high schools.

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District Teachers of the Year take questions from students during a panel discussion during TAP Talks at the Columbia County Performing Arts Center. 

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Over 250 high school students across the Columbia County School District participated in TAP Talks on March 29, 2023. TAP is Teaching as a Profession, and TAP Talks is part lecture, part recruiting, where students learn from and interact with those connected to the teaching profession. There are over 400 students in the program; four years ago, there were zero. Columbia County School District is committed to encouraging interested students to pursue careers in teaching, become great teachers, and hopefully, one day, return to district schools.
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