Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto goes through a worksheet with a student at Picnic Point Elementary School. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto goes through a worksheet with a student at Picnic Point Elementary School. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Pilot program in Mukilteo schools gets local teachers in local schools

Four teacher residents, all former paraeducators, are getting special education endorsements — and getting paid as student teachers.

MUKILTEO — It’s a Friday morning at Picnic Point Elementary as student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto leads a special education classroom in a rousing singalong and dance about going into space.

“We’re going on a rocket ship, we’re going to the moon,” he sang.

Becoming a certified teacher is like a lunar landing for Wisnubroto, 28, a former paraeducator and 2013 Kamiak High School graduate and basketball player.

A pilot program is making that one giant leap possible.

Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto helps a Picnic Point Elementary student work on a calendar activity. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto helps a Picnic Point Elementary student work on a calendar activity. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Mukilteo School District is partnering with the Washington Education Association, a statewide teachers union, in a teacher residency program. The teaching residents have mentors and financial support, such as paid student teaching. They earn a teaching credential and a special education endorsement.

The program helps certify educators who reflect their diverse learners and communities. It also helps fill the need for special education teachers.

The state education association might be the first union of educators nationwide to implement an apprentice program like this. This school year’s program has 15 teacher residents in three school districts: Mukilteo, Federal Way and Walla Walla. The program is expanding to nine districts for the 2024-25 school year.

In addition to Wisnubroto, teacher residents in Mukilteo are Claire Xie, Curtis Adkins and Hanna Kinyk, all former paraeducators.

Residents have a teaching mentor, field supervisor and coach over the residency year. Districts provide a minimum of $35,000 compensation for the year, plus benefits.

This removes one barrier to certification, said education association spokesperson Julie Popper.

A photo of student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto as an astronaut on a class board. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

A photo of student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto as an astronaut on a class board. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

“Especially aspiring educators of color getting into teaching and staying into teaching,” Popper said. “Part of it is addressing the financial burden of unpaid student teaching. But a large part of it is getting mentorship as a student teacher but also as an early career educator. Once teachers are certified and get into the classroom the next hurdle is dealing with the increased attrition, particularly for teachers of color in the first few years of teaching.”

Wisnubroto, who has a bachelor’s degree in early childhood and family studies, said he always wanted to be a teacher.

“My senior year of high school I started tutoring at Columbia Elementary, but I didn’t know which pathway to go to get into teaching,” he said.

He started the residency program last summer and will finish in August. He is engaged to marry a Mukilteo district teacher.

Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto helps a student cut a piece of paper. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Student teacher Joshua Wisnubroto helps a student cut a piece of paper. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

His four nine-week rotations are at an elementary school, a middle school and two high schools.

“I will have four categories of the special education classroom, so more exposure and more experience,” Wisnubroto said. “It’s definitely a non-traditional schooling.”

His next rotation after Picnic Point is at Mariner High School teaching special education learning strategies classes and co-teaching inclusive English classes.

“Totally different from an autism room in an elementary,” he said. “This program helps teachers be more committed in the long-run and be more classroom-ready.”

Applications for residents in the 2024-25 school year are being accepted at washingtonea.org/events-training/residency.

Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree or higher prior to the program start date. Mukilteo applicants must be current district employees. Other districts do not require this.

After completing the program, residents receive a conditional job offer in their residency school district. They must commit to working as a certificated teacher in their district for three years upon offer of employment.

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Ariel Garcia, 4, was last seen Wednesday morning in an apartment in the 4800 block of Vesper Dr. (Photo provided by Everett Police)
How to donate to the family of Ariel Garcia

Everett police believe the boy’s mother, Janet Garcia, stabbed him repeatedly and left his body in Pierce County.

A ribbon is cut during the Orange Line kick off event at the Lynnwood Transit Center on Saturday, March 30, 2024 in Lynnwood, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘A huge year for transit’: Swift Orange Line begins in Lynnwood

Elected officials, community members celebrate Snohomish County’s newest bus rapid transit line.

Bethany Teed, a certified peer counselor with Sunrise Services and experienced hairstylist, cuts the hair of Eli LeFevre during a resource fair at the Carnegie Resource Center on Wednesday, March 6, 2024, in downtown Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Carnegie center is a one-stop shop for housing, work, health — and hope

The resource center in downtown Everett connects people to more than 50 social service programs.

Everett mall renderings from Brixton Capital. (Photo provided by the City of Everett)
Topgolf at the Everett Mall? Mayor’s hint still unconfirmed

After Cassie Franklin’s annual address, rumors circled about what “top” entertainment tenant could be landing at Everett Mall.

Featuring a pink blush over a yellow background, WA 64 combines qualities of Honeycrisp and Cripps Pink (aka Pink Lady) for a firm, crisp, sweet and tart bite. A naming contest for the new apple runs through May 5, 2024. (Photo provided by Washington State University)
Hey Honeycrisp, this new breed of apple needs a name

Enter a naming contest for WA 64, a hybrid apple with the same baby daddy as Cosmic Crisp.

Lynnwood
Lynnwood woman, 83, killed in wrong-way crash following police pursuit

Deputies said they were chasing a man, 37, south on Highway 525 when he swerved into northbound lanes, killing an oncoming driver.

A memorial with small gifts surrounded a utility pole with a photograph of Ariel Garcia at the corner of Alpine Drive and Vesper Drive ion Wednesday, April 10, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Death of Everett boy, 4, spurs questions over lack of Amber Alert

Local police and court authorities were reluctant to address some key questions, when asked by a Daily Herald reporter this week.

People walk along the waterfront in front of South Fork Bakery at the Port of Everett on Thursday, April 11, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Port of Everett inks deal with longtime Bothell restaurant

The port will break ground on two new buildings this summer. Slated for completion next year, Alexa’s Cafe will open in one of them.

The new Amazon fulfillment center under construction along 172nd Street NE in Arlington, just south of Arlington Municipal Airport. (Chuck Taylor / The Herald) 20210708
Frito-Lay leases massive building at Marysville business park

The company will move next door to Tesla and occupy a 300,0000-square-foot building at the Marysville business park.

The Temple of Justice is shown Thursday, April 23, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, file)
WA high court: DUI breath tests valid, machine results not at fault

A state Supreme Court ruling reversed an earlier Kitsap County decision that found alcohol breath tests inadmissible as evidence.

People fill up various water jug and containers at the artesian well on 164th Street on Monday, April 2, 2018 in Lynnwood, Wa. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Washington will move to tougher limits on ‘forever chemicals’ in water

The federal EPA finalized the rules Wednesday. The state established a program targeting the hazardous chemicals in drinking water in 2021.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
US 2 to partially close late Friday near Lake Stevens

The state Department of Transportation will detour drivers during the 10-hour closure between Highway 9 and Highway 204.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.