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Emily Petty Receives Ozarks Teacher Corps Scholarship

Emily Petty, of Ava, is a new member of the Ozarks Teacher Corps scholarship program, which will provide a $4,000, two-year renewable scholarship ($8,000 total) in return for her commitment to teach in a rural district after her graduation from Missouri State University-West Plains.
Petty, studying elementary education at Missouri State University-West Plains, is one of nine college students awarded scholarships in the new Ozarks Teacher Corps group recognized at the April 23 Rural Schools Rendezvous in Fair Grove.
In return for the scholarships, which cover their junior and senior years, the students commit to teaching for at least three years in a rural school. The students also will serve as teacher interns and explore rural education issues as part of their studies.
“I want to return to a small school district because I want to be the change in a student’s life,” Petty said. “I want to be influential as they grow up, expand, and learn what a great person they are.”
The Ozarks Teacher Corps scholarships are made possible by the Chesley and Flora Lee Wallis Scholarship Fund, created by generous donors committed to ensuring advanced education for Ozarks students. The fund supports students involved in the Rural Schools Partnership, an initiative of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks dedicated to strengthening rural schools as anchors of their communities.
The Ozarks Teacher Corps was inaugurated in 2010 with its first group of recipients; since then, most of the program’s members have graduated with 32 accepting positions teaching in rural Ozarks school districts, and another 5 on the path to doing so. The OTC students meet as a group four times a year for field experiences and training opportunities.