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Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy paraprofessional Brandy Petty works with 4-year-old pre-kindergarten students in a bi-lingual classroom. Petty is getting her college tuition paid for as she pursues a teaching degree.

COPPERAS COVE — CCISD expects to hire 140 new teachers for the 2019-2020 school year. With a shortage for school teachers nationwide, CCISD is growing its own teachers through its classroom aides by offering a paraprofessional education assistance program. Brandy Petty, who works as a paraprofessional at Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, was quick to put in her application in 2016. She will obtain her degree this year and begin her student teaching next year.

“Being a single mom, it is not easy to successfully work, raise children, and go to school, but I have been fortunate to be a part of a district that believes in its employees and helps to build them up however it can,” Petty said. “To hear Dr. (Joe) Burns tell my principal often that I am going to teach for CCISD one day, and then ensure that there is money for me to reach that goal, speaks volumes.”

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