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Ozarks Teacher Corp Announced

Drury students selected for scholarship

Date: April 19, 2010

Subject: Ozarks Teacher Corp Participants Announced

Contact: Gary Funk, president, (417) 864-6199

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks (CFO) and its Rural Schools Partnership are proud to announce the inaugural class of the Ozarks Teacher Corps. The Ozarks Teacher Corps is a cadre of talented teaching candidates who will explore rural education issues, serve as teacher interns in small schools, and commit to teaching in their respective home communities for at least three years. In addition, awardees will be members of the national Rural School and Community Trust’s Rural Schools Innovation Network, maintain excellent academic credentials, and receive an annual scholarship of $4,000. This program is made possible by the Chesley and Flora Lea Wallis Scholarship Fund, a $1.7 million Community Foundation of the Ozarks’ charitable fund.

The inaugural Ozarks Teacher Corps includes 18 Ozarks college students at the sophomore and junior levels. A minimum of eight new participants will be added each spring. Over time, the Ozarks Teacher Corps will develop a growing network of educator-activists who recognize the importance of rural education to a sustainable American society. CFO officials also believe this effort has the potential to attract and leverage additional funders. David Pointer of Gainesville, CFO chairman-elect said, “I feel this program addresses a critical need by helping rural communities' best and brightest return to, and thereby strengthen their local communities.” These sentiments were echoed by Dr. David Brown, associate dean of Missouri State University’s College of Education: “Rural schools are the heart of rural communities and it is vitally important to have well trained role models as teachers who understand these communities, the families and the culture unique to each.”

This year’s students come from Drury University, Missouri State University, Missouri State University-West Plains, and Ozarks Technical Community College. The inaugural members and their respective hometowns, colleges, and majors are as follows:

Class of ‘12

  • Kathy Bradshaw (Norwood) Drury, Secondary English
  • Rachel Buck (Monett) OTC/Drury, Elementary Education
  • Derrick Collins (Dora) MSU-West Plains, Secondary Business
  • Rachel Dean (Hurley) MSU, Middle School Math/Science
  • Chelsea Fox (Dora) MSU-West Plains, Elementary Education
  • Rhiannon Hadley (Birch Tree) MSU-West Plains, Elementary Education
  • Nicole Matney (Willard) OTC/MSU, Secondary Mathematics
  • Mykie Nash (Nixa) OTC/MSU, Elementary Education

Class of ‘11

  • Lauryn Albrecht (Republic) Drury, Elementary Education
  • Albert Bryant (Everton) Drury, Secondary Mathematics
  • Lucas England (Koshkonong) MSU-West Plains, Secondary Social Studies
  • Suzanne Feldman (Buffalo) Drury, Secondary Mathematics
  • Jessica Joiner (Lebanon) Drury, Elementary Education
  • Morgan Mais (Marionville) Drury, Elementary Education
  • Lita Meeks (Monett) MSU, Elementary Education
  • Whitney Packwood (Billings) Drury, Elementary Education
  • Melissa Payne (Sparta) Drury, Elementary Education
  • Glenda Wahlert (Cassville) MSU, Elementary Education

The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a public foundation established in 1973. It supports asset development, community-based grant making, organizational collaboration, and leadership initiatives throughout southern Missouri. The Community Foundation of the Ozarks is comprised of 41 affiliate community foundations and more than 1,700 charitable funds totaling approximately $146 million.

For more information please visit and


Community Foundation of the Ozarks
425 E. Trafficway
Springfield, MO, 65806
(417) 864-6199
Fax (417) 864-8344