AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Region 16 hosted their Why Teach event on Tuesday in hopes of inspiring students to choose a career path in education, where over 230 students from across the Panhandle attended the all-day event.
“We are here today to share with them the exciting possibilities for them in a career path of education,” said Region 16 Specialist Karla Weatherly.
Students shared stories about their favorite teachers, events and moments from their educational experience with their peers.
"We hope for them to have memories that will help them go on to help other students to have wonderful memories of their school days and of their teachers that they have teaching them," said Weatherly.
Each year Region 16 hires over 450 new teachers in the Panhandle.
“We have a lot of momentum in the Panhandle of Texas right now and what we need is for the next generation to step up and be owners of that,” said Amarillo Mayor Ginger Nelson. “They have the opportunity to participate but we need them to stay here. We need them to choose to live here and we especially need them to invest in the next generation that is coming behind, so we really need more teachers.”
Andy Pena, a senior at Perryton High School, is one example of someone Region 16 has reached.
"The reason why I want to be a future educator is that ever since I was little, I always wanted to do something to help people. I do plan on coming back home," said Pena.
Region 16 hopes many students will follow Andy’s lead to learn, teach and stay in the Panhandle.