Over 30 members and a host of VIPs from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and the Rural Schools Partnership visited Aurora on Friday, October 27, to explore the aspects of place-placed learning and place-based grantworks in the Summit City.

The Ozarks Teacher Corps features top teacher candidates from a variety of rural schools throughout the Ozarks. Those selected participate in a wide range of seminars, sessions and projects designed to explore the various issues facing rural educators today. They also agree to return to their hometown school districts as teacher-leaders upon completion of certification and the Ozarks Teacher Corps platform.

Alica Lindeman, an AHS graduate, is a member of the current Teacher Corps group. Among those greeting and talking to these visitors were Brian Fogle, director of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks and an Aurora High School graduate; Kim McCully-Mobley and Brad Boettler, both local educators with a background in place-based learning and place-based grantworks for projects such as the Houn' Dawg Alumni & Outreach Center at the old armory, and Julie Leeth, a former educator/administrator and CFO liaison who helps coordinate the Ozarks Teacher Corps program.

The program is made possible through the CFO and Rural Schools Partnership with funds from a $1.7 million charitable trust established in the name of Chesley and Flora Lea Wallis.

Earlier in the day, the entourage visited Pate Early Childhood Center to learn about the Dawggie Bag program, the Chew Chew Change program and also visited with Pate Principal Dr. Mykie Nash, a former Ozarks Teacher Corps member.

Members of the new AHS PDEV/Dual Credit Leadership Class spoke about the service projects they are working on in their school and community. These projects include a wide range of events and efforts to designed to improve quality of life issues for those of all ages. Class members include Luke Shoemaker, Ally Brighton Grosenbacher, Jessica Bussard and Bree Hopper.

Also extending hearty Houn' Dawg welcomes to the group were Rob Brown, AHS principal; Dr. Lori Wilson, assistant superintendent, and Gary Funk of the Rural Schools Partnership. Funk plans to return to Aurora to feature the school and community's commitment to history, culture, tradition and progress in his group's publications. "I am just so impressed with the work the students are doing in this community," Funk stated.