Return to Headlines

District Paraprofessionals Working to Become Classroom Teachers

March 7, 2022

Six Azle ISD paraprofessionals have been selected to participate in the district’s new Grow Your Own Program in partnership with the Texas Education Agency.

The Grow Your Own grant program aims to elevate the teaching profession in Texas by developing high-quality Education and Training courses at the high school level and by creating grant-funded teacher pipelines to increase the pool and diversity of Texas’ future classroom leaders. With an emphasis on small and rural school districts, this effort addresses challenges Texas currently faces in terms of recruiting and retaining teacher candidates in hard-to-staff areas.

Azle ISD is participating in the Grow Your Own Program Pathways 1 and 2. Pathway 1 focuses on the recruitment of future educators by offering Education and Training courses with potential dual-credit opportunities to current high school students. Pathway 2 focuses on the recruitment and support of paraprofessionals, instructional aides, and long-term substitute teachers currently employed by the district to transition to certified, full-time teaching roles.

Through this partnership, staff remain employed by the district and work towards a role as a classroom teacher. The district’s goal is to promote a long-term recruitment and retention program by targeting already proven and dedicated staff who desire opportunities for advancement. 

Candidates were required to submit an application to the district’s Human Resources Department and meet all program requirements in order to be accepted. Once accepted, candidates are eligible for a stipend and will be enrolled in an ESC Region 11 training program cohort.

Congratulations to the following employees on being accepted for this program:
Maria Ledezma Enriquez – Cross Timbers Elementary
Stacey Leigh Rogers – Hoover Elementary
Kassandra Gamblin – Silver Creek Elementary
Tiffany Pack – Silver Creek Elementary
Aubrey Lynn Ramos – Walnut Creek Elementary
Anna Woodward - Walnut Creek Elementary

Learn more about the Grow Your Own program.