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For Immediate Release
Tuesday, June 19, 2001
Contact:Jonathan Palumbo, 781-338-3105

MA Accelerated Teacher Training Program Begins June 20 in Worcester

Malden - The 230 mid-career and recent college graduates who will become public school teachers this fall will hear from a special guest tomorrow on the first day of their seven-week accelerated training program.

Erin Gruwell, a two-time California Teacher of the Year and nationally-acclaimed author of "The Freedom Writers Diary" from Long Beach, and two of her students, will speak to the MINT participants about the challenges facing them.

Commissioner of Education David P. Driscoll said, "This is a great experience for Massachusetts to have Erin Gruwell speak to our new teachers in the MINT training. She has gained local recognition in her home state, national recognition with her book and next year international recognition when Universal Studios makes her book into a movie. She has a lot of knowledge, experience and extraordinary success teaching teenagers who come from poor neighborhoods, and those are the types of lessons that will prove valuable for these new teachers."

Ms. Gruwell has taught at the Woodrow Wilson High School in Long Beach, California since 1994. Her hard work and dedication has led to nearly 150 of her students going on to college. Her work is chronicled in the book, "Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World Around Them."

She has been featured with her students on "The Rosie O’Donnell Show," "Primetime Live," and "The View." Currently, a documentary following her and her students is in progress and there are plans to turn their story into a full-length feature movie.

Also speaking at the event will be 2001 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, Marianne Moran. Ms. Moran has been teaching for over 26 years, and currently teaches math at Methuen High School in Methuen.

MINT is the training piece of the Massachusetts Signing Bonus Program for new Teachers. The program offers $20,000 to highly qualified individuals who come over from other fields or have studied other subjects in college. This year, over 110 people were selected to receive the signing bonus and training, while more than 110 more were selected to participate in the training.

For more information on MINT visit the Department of Education website.

Last Updated: June 19, 2001
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