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How DPS is Helping Paraprofessionals Grow

Brandy Barhite works with a preschool student at Beach Court Elementary
Pictured above: Brandy Barhite works with a preschool student at Beach Court Elementary. (Photo courtesy of Chalkbeat)

Thanks to the generosity of Denver’s voters, Denver Public Schools is expanding a program that offers full-scholarship opportunities to paraprofessionals interested in becoming teachers.

Check out Chalkbeat’s feature on Beach Court Elementary’s Brandy Barhite, one of 20 DPS paraprofessionals who received a full-ride scholarship to pursue a bachelor’s degree and teaching license. The opportunity to become a teacher is changing Barhite’s life. “I thought, ‘I love my job as a para, but I can make a greater impact if I get my degree and go into teaching,’” she told Chalkbeat.

The 2016 voter-approved $56.6 million Mill Levy includes funding to grow and sustain the scholarship program so paraprofessionals like Barhite can pursue higher education while continuing to serve Denver’s kids.

DPS has partnered with Guild Education and Western Governors University, a nonprofit fully-accredited college, for the program. Now, DPS is asking you to nominate outstanding paraprofessionals for the scholarship. If you know a great para, fill out the nomination form before the March 10 deadline.