LOWNDES CO., GA (WALB) - Pamela Ross, Eric Wingate, and Corinne Auguste didn't originally go to school to become teachers, but they were all teachers as of Monday thanks to the GaTAPP program offered through Wiregrass. They were Members of the latest class to complete the program.
As of Monday, Wiregrass Georgia Technical College was the only technical college in the state that had been certified to offer the program. GaTAPP stands for Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy.
"They go through and learn the pedagogy to teach; how do you teach a student, how do you assess a student, how do you plan for instruction," said April McDuffie, Wiregrass's GaTAPP Coordinator.
As of Monday, Pamela Ross was teaching agriculture education at Lowndes Middle School. She decided to use her agriculture degree to become a teacher after taking some time off to raise her kids and after seeing what her husband did as an ag educator himself. "When I reached the point where i was tellin' him, 'oh, you've got to try this with the kids' I knew that's what I needed to be doin'," Ross explained.
Eric Wingate said he was planning to go into law enforcement after college, but then he started volunteering at his local YMCA and that changed his mind. "Every day, I liked to go out there; I looked forward to it. A lot of people told me I should think about education," said Wingate.
He was teaching math to sixth graders at Willie J. Williams Middle School in Moultrie.
Corinne Auguste used to work in nursing, but decided to start teaching because of her love for children. "The only regret I have is that I didn't start teaching sooner," Auguste responded when asked if she had any regrets about switching from nursing to education.
She was an early childhood education teacher at Kids are Kids Academy in Brunswick.
Ross said if it wasn't for the program, she likely wouldn't have gone into teaching. Wingate and Auguste said they both probably would've gone into teaching eventually, but said the program made the transition much easier.
Applications for the upcoming class session, which, as of Monday, was set to begin on July 6th, were being accepted through June 30th.