Homegrown teachers help during teacher shortage

Posted at 11:20 AM, Dec 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-17 11:20:03-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- There is a shortage of teachers nationwide, but the Lee County School District has come up with an innovative solution: home grown teachers.


It's been 8 years in the making, a high school teaching academy that essentially guarantees its graduates a job.

At 22, Amanda Preston is a teacher at Franklin Park Elementary in Fort Myers.

She graduated from Ida Baker High School's Teacher Academy.  She got a bachelor's degree in education at Florida Southwestern State College, then came straight back to the Lee County School District with a guaranteed contract.


She's the first graduate of the Lee County home grown teacher program to come to work at the school district.

Principal Bethany Quisenberry said after interviewing 60 applicants for the position it was an easy decision.  "Her knowledge of class room management strategies were far above many of the applicants we had."

The Lee County School District is so pleased with Amanda's progress as a teacher, it has decided to create teacher academy programs at two more Lee County High Schools.