By Sharon Stevens Education Reporter
O'Fallon, Mo (KSDK) -- A program to recruit teachers is bearing fruit in one local school district.
The first graduates of the Grow Your Own Teacher program in the Fort Zumwalt School District are now in the classrooms.
Fort Zumwalt educators made them an offer they couldn't refuse. Educators promised to pay part of their college tuition; the students agreed to teach in the district.
Kelsie Kestler, 22, is a special education teacher at Rock Creek Elementary School.
Special education, math, science and foreign language teachers are in demand in many school districts but are often hard to find.
Through Grow Your Own Teacher, districts can recruit and mentor high school students such as Kestler to fill the void.
Kestler received $24,000 to help with tuition and signed up to teach in the district for four years.
If students do not complete the program, then they have to pay the money back.
Kestler said it was great to be guaranteed a job right out of college.
The Grow Your Own Teachers program is financed through the Fort Zumwalt Education Foundation.
Kansas and Illinois also participate in the Grow Your Own Teachers program.