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Press Release



May 16, 2008

Pair of Cowley students receive Grow Your Own Teachers award


Cowley College students Lisa Renee Alford and Rodney Ruralcaba were recently named recipients of the Grow Your own Teachers award.

Alford and Ruralcaba were two of the 11 award recipients. The primary purpose of the Grow Your Own Teachers (GYOT) Program is to increase diversity in the teaching staff of the Wichita Public Schools.

The students will have the final two years of their education paid for and are guaranteed a job in the Wichita school district upon graduation.

Both Alford and Ruralcaba are members of AmeriCorps and serve as paraprofessionals at Mead Middle School in Wichita, Monday through Thursday. They take classes at Cowley College on Friday.

Cowley adjunct instructor Fran O’Keefe has taught Alford and Ruralcaba in her Introduction to Paraprofession and Introduction to Education classes.

Ruralcaba credits O’Keefe and Cowley with helping him receive the award.

“Without the help and encouragement of the staff and faculty I would have given up at the end of this year,” Ruralcaba said. “I would like to say thanks Cowley and especially Fran O’Keefe.”