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The following story is an excerpt from Iredell Free News. A link to the full story is at the bottom.

Statesville High School and Western Carolina University have formed a new partnership through a program called Students to Teachers Through Educator Pathways (STEP) to help recruit students from diverse backgrounds into the teaching profession.

“We are the only school in the State of North Carolina that is using this program and has partnered with Western Carolina,” said SHS teacher Brooke Campbell. “That is huge for our area.”

The goal, she explained, is to help students understand that teachers can be from diverse backgrounds.

“Most students have never had but one teacher of color in their education experience. So that was the initiative of doing the partnership with Western Carolina,” she said, adding that WCU will help with surveys and other strategies.

This program is also an effort to address the nationwide teacher shortage, Campbell explained.

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