Ashley Vannada and Briona Warden of West Plains and Colleen Winkelpleck of Myrtle are among eight teaching students in the region to be selected for the Ozarks Teacher Corps (OTC) Class of 2016-2017. Vannada is a student at MSU-WP and is dual-enrolled with MSU-Springfield. Warden and Winkelpleck are students at MSU-WP.
Upon selection for the OTC scholarship and program, participants, who are incoming juniors at MSU, MSU-WP, Ozarks Technical College, Drury University, or Evangel University, receive a $4,000 per year scholarship for their junior and senior years.
OTC seeks to develop a core of strong teaching candidates to explore rural education issues, serve internships in small schools, and commit to teaching in their respective home communities for at least three years. It is made possible by the Chesley and Flora Lea Wallis trust, a $1.7 million charitable fund offered through the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
The program is in its sixth year. To date, 58 teaching students have been accepted into the corps.