DENTON (UNT), Texas – Two new co-directors have been named for the University of North Texas' Teach North Texas program, which prepares science and math teachers for the classroom.
The two new co-directors are Rudi Thompson, UNT associate professor of biological sciences, and Pamela Harrell, associate professor of teacher education and administration.
They will be replacing Mary Harris and John Quintanilla, who have co-directed the program since 2008.
Thompson, who helped to organize the program when it was established, said Harris and Quintanilla have done a great job of directing Teach North Texas for the past seven years, and she and Harrell aren't going to try to fix what isn't broken.
"Mary and John have grown the program phenomenally," said Thompson. "Now I get the opportunity to come back and participate again. I'm taking the ball and continuing down the field."
Thompson said she and Harrell plan to add more teacher certifications in the fields of math, earth sciences, computer science and physics. They also want to bring in more technology - like iPads and Swivl products - that can enhance learning in the classroom.
Thompson said eight out of 10 Teach North Texas graduates are still teaching, which is an excellent rate in a field where most STEM teachers leave the classroom after three years.
According to Thompson, teaching secondary level STEM subjects is difficult and schools are continually calling Teach North Texas for more teachers.
"The need is there, the jobs are there and the pay is good," Thompson said.