February 22, 2002

New Teacher Assistance Center Eases Transition for Beginning Educators

A pioneering program to help ease the shift to the classroom for entry-level teachers now has new facilities.

The Sweetwater District has officially opened the New Teacher Assistance Program Center at Montgomery Adult School. The district and the Sweetwater Education Association jointly developed the program and more than 650 teachers have received training and support through the service since its launch in 1996.

Supporting Teachers: Sweetwater opens New Teacher Assistance Program Center at Montgomery Adult School to support first- and second-year teachers. L-R: Maida Torres-Stanovik, area superintendent, Maria-Teresa Gonzalez, director of professional development, Board members Jim Cartmill and Greg R. Sandoval, teacher Jane McGill and Loren Tarantino, former director of professional development. Torres-Stanovik and McGill helped pioneer the program.

Aimed at first- and second-year teachers, the program now operates in conjunction with the state Beginning Teacher Support & Assessment program.

Beginning educators meet regularly with seasoned teachers, attend seminars and gain the tools necessary to ensure their success-and retention.

"The New Teacher Assistance Program makes a difference in the lives of beginning teachers each day through the many educators whose exemplary practices have earned them the distinction of becoming resource teachers," said Maria-Teresa Gonzalez, Sweetwater's director of professional development. "These true professionals share a passion for education and welcome the opportunity to pass on their collective knowledge to those who are new to the field. A program needs advocates and partnership. This program is blessed with both."

The San Diego City Council and County Board of Supervisors each issued proclamations declaring February 8 as "Sweetwater Union High School District New Teacher Assistance Program Day" in the city and county of San Diego.

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