Crane Teacher Academy

Crane District Introduces Pathway to State Certification through New Teacher Academy


Yuma, AZ – The Crane Elementary School District has become a new approved site for the Educator Preparation Program (EPP), an initiative between the Arizona Department of Education and the State Board of Education to recruit and retain Arizona teachers. As an EPP site, Crane Schools will introduce the Crane Teachers Academy (CTA), a voluntary two-year initiative that provides a pathway available to Crane employees that are teaching in elementary or secondary classrooms with an Emergency Teacher Certificate in Arizona and are seeking a Classroom-Based Standard Teacher Certificate in Elementary or Secondary Education.  


A highlight of the CTA is that it is provided at zero-cost to the participants whose Bachelor’s degree is not in Education and allows them to receive quality professional training so that they can a) receive an institutional recommendation for a standard teaching certificate; and b) remain in the district upon successful completion of the program. The academy will provide a coursework of asynchronous and synchronous professional development modules scheduled around the teacher’s current work schedule while under contract with an emergency teaching certificate or alternative teacher certificate. CTA participants will also be eligible for governing board approved classroom teacher salaries and benefits. Participants will be assigned an instructional mentor who will act as an in-class and on-site support system. Minimum expectations include, but are not limited to, attendance to monthly meetings, learning modules, and coaching cycles with the Crane Professional Development Team.


Laurie Doering, Superintendent of Crane Schools, is looking forward to the implementation of the program. “With the teaching shortage across the nation, we must support alternative pathways for certification. It’s necessary.  I am proud of the coordinated, sustained and intentional efforts by staff to build this comprehensive, strategic training plan to certify future teachers.   The Crane Teachers Academy reinforces our collective commitment to building a new future for our program members in an affirming, supportive environment.”


Lupe Lewis, Executive Director of Human Resources is excited that the program will benefit people who are interested in pursuing a career in education. “Our Crane Teachers Academy is the perfect solution for the college graduate that didn’t go to school for a degree in education but has the desire to teach.  The academy was created to provide a quality educator preparation program while removing barriers related to tuition cost and participation in a traditional education program.  Becoming an educator should not be a costly process; our program ensures that our emergency/alternatively-certified teachers have access to a tuition-free program that will lead them to standard teacher certification in Arizona.


The application will open internally this spring with a start date of July 2023 before the 2023-24 school year begins. For more information about the program, please email [email protected].