Sections    Saturday September 22nd, 2018
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Pendergast Community Foundation awards scholarships to iTeach students


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  • Nedda Shafir/Pendergast Elementary School District

The Pendergast Community Foundation Has Awarded Two $10,000 Scholarships To Arizona State University ITeachAZ Students Cassandra Graffious And Sarah Schaffran For Their Academic Scholarship, Leadership, Dedication And Service To Students. Photo Courtesy Pendergast Elementary School District

The Pendergast Community Foundation has awarded two $10,000 scholarships to Arizona State University iTeachAZ students Cassandra Graffious and Sarah Schaffran for their academic scholarship, leadership, dedication and service to students.

According to Heather Villarruel, the iTeachAZ Coordinator for the Pendergast School District, “iTeachAZ is an extremely rigorous program that requires teacher candidates to spend their entire senior year student teaching under the guidance of trained mentors. Students also  attend university courses and receive teacher evaluations on the elements of highly effective instruction.”

Pendergast Community Foundation awards scholarships to iTeach students iTeachScholarshipHP

The Pendergast Community Foundation has awarded two $10,000 scholarships
to Arizona State University iTeachAZ students Cassandra Graffious and Sarah Schaffran for their academic scholarship, leadership, dedication and service to students. Photo courtesy Pendergast Elementary School District

Arizona State University states, “ITeachAZ graduates are expected to stay in the profession longer, save districts money, and reduce the impact of turnover in the highest-need districts meaning children have continuity in teaching staff.”

Fortunately, the Pendergast Elementary School District has an iTeachAZ program. Currently, 20 teacher candidates are in various Pendergast schools providing a combined total of over 10,000 hours of
additional support to students this semester.”

“The two students, Cassandra and Sarah have compelling stories and are deeply committed to the education profession, shares Dr. Roger Juarez, President of the Pendergast Community Foundation. Well-prepared teachers are a good investment. Arizona State University’s Mary Lou Fulton Teacher’s College iTeachAZ teacher preparation program strives to increase the effectiveness and longevity of educators. We are proud to invest in these future educators.”

In their own words, Sarah Schaffran shares, “I was born completely deaf in Cedar City, Utah on November 16th, 1992. It was not until the age of four that I heard my first sound. Being deaf caused quite a few developmental delays and I had to receive speech therapy all the way through the fourth grade. I am proud to be the first college graduate in three generations.

Thanks to this scholarship, I will be able to afford my higher education and I will be graduating with a dual certificate in Elementary and Special Education in December 2016. I plan to teach full time as soon as possible while pursuing my master’s degree in Early Elementary Education. This scholarship means the world to me and I am honored and grateful to be a part of the Pendergast community.”

Cassandra Graffious is also ardent about her career and shares, “I am 22 years old and entering my senior year in the iTeachAZ accelerated program through Arizona State University. I have been fascinated with teaching ever since high school. I cannot think of many other professions that give the opportunity to make a difference in children’s lives everyday. I am proud to say that I am a first generation college graduate and it brings me even greater pleasure knowing that I will be making a difference in students lives the same way that two teachers made a difference in mine. I will obtain a Bachelors degree in Elementary and Special Education in December 2016. Words cannot begin to express how many ways the Pendergast Elementary Community Foundation scholarship will support me in pursing my educational goals and dreams for the future.”

For more information, please contact Nedda Shafir at nshafir@pesd92.org or 602-684-4806 – cell.