Louisville Teacher Residency Program Celebrates First Class

28 new teachers sign contracts with JCPS

The inaugural class of graduates from the new Louisville Teacher Residency  program signed their first contracts to teach in Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) classrooms today. The program is a collaboration between JCPS and the University of Louisville (UofL) College of Education and Human Development to recruit and train more teachers of color for JCPS schools.

Of the 28 students receiving their Master of the Arts in Teaching degree from UofL, 21 are teachers of color. The students received a reduced tuition rate, $30,000 stipend and were paired with a mentoring teacher from JCPS. The accelerated degree program required students to teach four days a week with instruction from UofL professors on the fifth day. It allowed students to complete their master’s degree in just one year. In return, they have agreed to teach in a JCPS Accelerated Improvement School, or a school approved by the district, for five years.

“We are committed to recruiting, training and retaining more teachers of color” said Dr. Marty Pollio, JCPS Superintendent. “The Louisville Teacher Residency program is a key piece in our equity effort, putting more teachers in classrooms who look like our students.”

Sixty percent of JCPS’ enrollment is students of color.     

JCPS’ newest teachers come from a broad range of backgrounds. For several, teaching will be a second or third career. They range in age from 23 to 60.

Jamaia Daugherty, 23, received her bachelor’s degree from UofL in 2020. When the opportunity arose to complete a master’s degree in one year with most expenses covered, she jumped at the opportunity.

Photo of Jamaia Daugherty

“I’m so glad I did the residency program” Daugherty said. “There is NO other teaching program in the state that prepares you to provide an equitable education to a diverse group of students like this one does.”   

The interim dean of UofL’s College of Education, Dr. Amy Lingo, sees the first year of the teacher residency program as a huge success on many levels.

“This has expanded our relationship with JCPS, furthered UofL’s commitment to equity, and brought talented people into teaching who might not have otherwise considered it as a career” Lingo said. “We look forward to watching them make their mark with the students in our community.”