Forgivable Loan Helps Potential Educators

Feb. 25, 2013 ~ The Grow Our Own Program is a great way for potential educators to earn their teaching degree with the help of a forgivable loan from the Olathe Public Schools and Olathe Public Schools Foundation.

Applications are being accepted for the 2013-14 Grow Our Own Program in which graduates or current employees of the Olathe Public Schools earn their teaching license and return to the district to teach for at least two years. Applications are due by noon on March 30, 2013.

"We appreciate very much the foundation's commitment to our students, our employees, and our community," Executive Director of Human Resources Jim Payne said. "I am confident that these new teachers will make great contributions to the lives of our students."

The goal is to find qualified applicants for hard-to-fill teaching positions and increase the overall diversity of the district's teaching staff to better mirror the diverse student population.

Those who are accepted into the program must earn their teaching license through a partnering university and agree to teach in the district for two to five consecutive years, depending on the amount of the loan. Partnering universities are Baker University, Emporia State University, Johnson County Community College, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas State University, Kansas University, MidAmerica Nazarene University, Ottawa University, Pittsburg State University, and University of Saint Mary.

The program also includes college/university field experiences within the district and job placement assistance upon completion of teaching license requirements. Mentors within the district will stay in contact with each Grow Our Own participant throughout their educational training.