East St. John Elementary teacher sponsored by Marathon in program

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

Marathon Ashland Petroleum recently announced that it will once again sponsor a Teach For America teacher at East St. John Elementary School by helping to defray the costs associated with having the Teach For America program in St. John the Baptist Parish.

Teach for America is a non-profit organization that places and supports outstanding recent college graduates as teachers in urban and rural public schools. St. John the Baptist Parish currently has 15 corps members teaching in the district.

Marathon Ashland Petroleum representative Todd Madere presented a $6,000 check to Matt Mellon and Sarah Hunt Young, two third-grade Teach For America teachers at East St. John Elementary, who accepted on behalf of the Teach For America program.

“We’re very pleased to continue our supportive relationship with East St. John Elementary and the parish school system to provide outstanding classroom instructors for our students,” said Madere, the human resources representative for Marathon Ashland Petroleum, LLC, Louisiana Refining Division.

East St. John Elementary Principal Willette Wallace praised Mellon and Young for their work in the classroom, and she acknowledged the positive impact of other Teacher For America teachers in St. John the Baptist Parish over the past five years.

“Teach For America has provided us with some outstanding teachers. We’re most thankful to Marathon Ashland Petroleum for its financial support of this effort,” Wallace said.

Bebe Ryan, director of development for Teach For America Louisiana, said Marathon’s donation will help pay for costs associated with recruitment, training and support of Teach For America corps members. Teach For America teachers commit two years to teach in low-income communities, and they commit themselves to becoming life-long advocates for expanding opportunities for children.

“Corps members go above and beyond traditional expectations to impact the lives of children growing up in low-income communities. Beyond their two years, corps members take their insight and added commitment to assume leadership roles from inside education and from every other sector to work toward the fundamental changes necessary to provide more equal opportunities for all children in our nation,” said Ryan.

Ryan noted that 145 Teach For America teachers are currently working throughout the Greater New Orleans region.

For more information on Teach For America, go to www.teachforamerica.org.