Golden Apple Launches New Program To Help Address New Mexico Teacher Shortage Crisis


The Golden Apple Foundation for Excellence in Teaching, a leading nonprofit committed to preparing, supporting, and mentoring aspiring teachers, announced today it is accepting applications for the inaugural cohort of the Golden Apple Scholars program in New Mexico (“Scholars Program”).

The teacher preparation, financial assistance, and mentoring program will build a pipeline of highly effective teachers to help address the teacher shortage crisis in New Mexico. A 2021 report from the New Mexico State University’s Southwest Outreach Academic Research Evaluation & Policy Center found that there are over 1,000 vacant teaching positions, nearly double the number of vacancies in 2020.

“New Mexico communities and school districts have a deep wealth of talent and ambition. Golden Apple’s Scholars program is targeted toward rising high school and college students who have the determination and drive to be highly effective teachers in New Mexico K-12 schools,” President of Golden Apple Alan Mather said. “By recruiting Scholars from within their communities — whether they are urban, suburban, or rural — and then having them return to those communities to teach, we can make a material difference in the state’s teacher shortage. This is an all-hands-on-deck moment and participating in the Scholars program will prepare aspiring teachers for both immediate and lasting success in the classroom.”

New Mexico residents who are high school seniors, freshmen or sophomores in college, or enrolled in community college are eligible to apply now at through May 13. The inaugural cohort will include 50 Scholars, who will receive extensive classroom teaching experience, instruction from award-winning New Mexico educators, job placement assistance upon graduation from college, a stipend, and mentoring throughout every step of their journey. 

“Now is an excellent time to join the education profession in New Mexico. New educators can have a substantial positive impact on the lives of hundreds of future PreK-12 students,” CEO of Golden Apple Alicia Winckler said. “The Scholars cohort also becomes a real source of support for participants as they enter the teaching profession. The early years of teaching can be difficult but having a network of peers and mentor teachers is invaluable.” 

Golden Apple believes in the importance of preparing future educators who mirror the experiences of the students they will eventually serve. Over the past several months, Golden Apple leadership traveled throughout the state meeting with local education leaders to discuss their communities’ needs. 

The Golden Apple Scholars program in New Mexico builds upon over 30 years of similar efforts in Illinois, where the program has consistently improved teacher retention rates. 82 percent of Scholars who begin teaching stay in the profession for more than five years, a higher retention rate than any other teaching preparation program. 

Golden Apple will be hosting Scholars Institutes this summer across New Mexico. The curriculum includes direct teaching experiences with students and instruction and mentorship from highly qualified senior teachers.

Visit for more information, or to apply to the inaugural Scholars cohort.

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