Troops to Teachers opens Alaska office

Posted: Monday, August 26, 2002

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An office aimed at helping retired military personnel become teachers opened last week at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage.

It is the 24th office nationwide for the program, called Troops to Teachers.

The program was created in 1994 when the military was downsizing. Since then, more than 3,000 people who left the military have become teachers.

The federal program aims to forge classroom teachers out of active and retired military personnel, relieving teacher shortages.

''It's going to be good for kids. It's going to be good for our retiring active duty military, our Guard and for the whole state of Alaska,'' said Bill Petrozzi, Alaska's program coordinator.

The program sidesteps typical teacher certification programs, giving credentials to eligible participants who would, otherwise, have to spend one to two years getting certified.

Shirley Holloway, the commissioner for the Department of Education and Early Development, said the program could give Alaska more teachers within the next school year.

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