PACE Program Picks Up Speed

When Rohn Butterfield lost his job last year, he decided to become a science teacher.

"When my name came up that I was certified," he said. "I started to receive calls from all over, all over the Panhandle."

This after Butterfield completed the Panhandle Alternative Certification for Educators (PACE) program at West Texas A&M University.

"That certificate, I always joke and say we can auction them off to the highest bidder," said Susan Dennis, PACE Program Director.

More people are bidding than ever before.

So far this year, the program has received 101 applications, up 30 from last year. The largest pool of applicants are in two critical need subjects.

"If you have science or math, you can go pretty much any place you want because they are in such desperate need," Butterfield said.

Dennis says these teachers are more sought after because they bring with them valuable work experience.

"When his students ask 'How will I ever use this?' He knows how you use physics, how you use geology. He was a geologist," she said.

"I've had other jobs and other careers, but I feel like this is my calling and this is the right place," Butterfield added.

A secure place, where he says it is great to be needed.

New this year to PACE

  • They will accept applications year round. But if you want to make this summer's classes, the deadline is April 1st.
  • After completion, applicants can pursue a Master's Degree in Education with only 24 more credits.
  • The program will begin offering online courses this fall.
  • For more information visit the PACE website.