District Five partners with Call Me MiSTER Program to offer summer internships

Lexington-Richland School District Five is hosting the inaugural Call Me MiSTER (Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models) Summer Internship in the Columbia area this summer.

“School District Five has been very fortunate to be able to partner with the Call Me MiSTER program and Clemson University to provide an internship for MiSTERS who are aspiring to become teachers,” said School District Five Director of Personnel Dr. Reggie Wicker. “This internship provides these MiSTERS an opportunity to work inside the district and get a good feel about what it is like to be a teacher. We’re providing them an opportunity with an outcome of hopefully one day they will become a part of our district and even if they don’t come work for the district we are able to provide them valuable experience that will help prepare them to be future teachers in our state.”

The purpose of the Call Me MISTER (CMM) program is to assist with the recruitment, training, and certification of diverse students who are planning to teach in South Carolina’s public schools. The program seeks to help build a more diverse group of educators by providing academic, social, and financial support to under-represented individuals interested in the field of education.

During the School District Five CMM Summer Internship, MiSTERs actively participated in engaging with students for a period of five weeks, either through the Summer Reading Camp at Harbison West Elementary School or the Summer SOAR program at Irmo Middle School. This exceptional opportunity allows education majors to interact with students, work alongside experienced teachers, and further develop their skills.

“I am so excited to be able to do this experience before I start teaching in my own classroom because it gives me a leg up and makes it where I can come out the gate being the best I can be,” Call Me MiSTER intern Alex Young said. “I know that because of this experience, I will have less of a learning curve than what I would have had if I did not have this experience.”

Antonio Riley, Jr. is a rising senior at the University of South Carolina Beaufort and said this opportunity is helping him network and learn new skills.

“I am a sponge and I like to take everything in that I can,” said Antonio Riley, Jr. “I am preparing for my internship back at school so I knew that by entering the internship I would be getting great leadership from the wonderful staff in School District Five and get an opportunity to practice inside the classroom more before I step out into the real world and have a classroom of my own. This experience is helping me build connections with not only my fellow MiSTER brothers but also district staff.”

This year the district is hosting six CMM interns and hopes to expand and add more interns next year.

“Our goal next year is to double this year’s number if possible in order to provide opportunities for these young men to get immersed in our community and our school district,” Wicker said. “Our hope is they will learn from our staff as well as be positive role models for our students.”

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