Starting a teaching career is tough — Bruce and Susan Anderson know from experience. After graduating from Central College in 1970, they taught a combined 70 years in Des Moines Public Schools. Now the Bruce and Susan Berical Anderson Education Grant gives a head start to every graduate of Central Teacher Academy (CTA).
“My late wife Susan and I wanted to pay back — or forward — all the wonderful years of teaching and educational opportunities we both had from our years at Central and teaching in Des Moines,” Anderson says. “Before she passed away, we made the decision to support the future teachers in Central’s education program.”
The Andersons have supported the CTA program since 2009. The new grant provides $300 to each CTA graduate who completes the program in good standing — a gift to support their transitions into successful teaching careers.
“Susan and I talked about the toughest parts of becoming a teacher,” Anderson says. “One is when you secure a contract to teach in the fall but don’t start earning a paycheck until that time. It is our hope to give something to every graduate so you can look and feel good starting your career in education.”
This spring, Anderson surprised 15 graduates of the program with the first awards of the annual grant.
“I love the opportunity to visit Central’s CTA students and challenge them to have fun, work hard and develop a fire in their belly for making a difference in the lives of every student,” says Anderson. “Rewarding the education graduates gives me great pleasure that we are fulfilling Susan’s wish for a future of life-long learners.”
Central Teacher Academy pairs exceptional students with mentor teachers in local schools, completing three years’ classroom experience before graduation. The program offers more real-world preparation than most other colleges, and nearly 100 percent of Central’s education graduates are hired within six months of graduation.