October 2, 2013
Mike Mayton and his wife, Cathy, have a long track record in philanthropy and, when they heard about the newly established Arkansas Teacher Corps Society., they knew they wanted to be involved.
“For a very small amount of money, there is no doubt you are going to change at least one person’s life in the school where the teacher goes,” Mike Mayton said. “With a gift of $5,000, you can instill a dream in some child’s life in Arkansas. That’s a huge bang for your buck. If one person goes to college or one person thinks of a career path they had not considered possible before, that makes it so worth it.”
The College of Education and Health Professions created the Arkansas Teacher Corps Society with three suggested giving levels: $5,000 to sponsor a teacher for one year, $10,000 to sponsor a teacher for two years and $15,000 to sponsor a teacher for three years. The college established the alternative certification program called Arkansas Teacher Corps last year, and faculty and staff trained 22 fellows who are now teaching in high-need districts in south and central Arkansas.
Mike Mayton is an attorney with offices in Little Rock and West Memphis. Cathy Hamilton Mayton serves as executive director of the Episcopal Collegiate School Foundation in Little Rock.
Cathy Mayton is a vice regent of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association of the Union, and Mike Mayton is a national trustee of the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. He is also an honorary member of the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors. The Maytons are both trustees of the Stella Boyle Smith Trust. Mike Mayton is a graduate of the Sam M. Walton College of Business and the UA School of Law. Cathy Mayton has a bachelor’s degree from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College.
Education is important to them.
“This program really hit home for us,” he said. “The main reason it did for me is, having grown up in a small town, rural environment, I know how important education is. It is the only way I had out. I knew that obtaining a good education would open doors for me and give me the opportunity for a better life.”
Mayton grew up in Taylor, a town of 700 people that borders Louisiana. The couple heard about Arkansas Teacher Corps through their friend, Vicki Saviers, who chairs the college’s campaign steering committee and serves on the Arkansas Board of Education. They met the Arkansas Teacher Corps Fellows at a reception Saviers and her husband hosted in Little Rock.
“We were just so taken with the whole program and the young people who spoke that night,” Mayton said. “Any time there is a project that reaches out to a small community in the state, it gets my attention, especially when it concerns education.”
Mayton said another attractive feature of the program is that it brings bright, enthusiastic young people to Arkansas to teach and also may help keep bright, enthusiastic Arkansans in Arkansas.
“We are very excited about this program,” he said. “It is really raising the bar in Arkansas.”