What will I learn at the Academy of Future Teachers?

  • This program offers a sequence of courses that provides coherent and rigorous content aligned with challenging academic standards and relevant technical knowledge and skills needed to prepare for further education and careers in the Education & Training career cluster; provides technical skill proficiency, and includes competency-based applied learning that contributes to the academic knowledge, higher-order reasoning and problem-solving skills, work attitudes, general employability skills, technical skills, and occupation-specific skills, and knowledge of all aspects of the Education & Training career cluster.

    The content includes but is not limited to competencies and skills needed to become a professional in the field of education.  This includes an understanding of education in the United States, the ability to work effectively with all students, educational technology, classroom management, student assessment, communication skills, and other skills needed to support the learning activities of students. 

    Why choose AFT?

    • Career-based magnet programDelray Covington teaching the plant cycle
    • Opportunity for field experience
    • Welcoming environment 
    • To build a community
    • Work on curriculum that is tailored to your personality
    • The program helps students be more marketable


    What makes AFT Special?

    • Learn with like-minded people and do not feel judged
    • Stay in a cohort all 4 years 
    • Build a closer relationship with your teacher
    • Hands-on experience in a lively classroom
    • Get a different insight into a teacher’s perspective
    • Learn how to be more extroverted
    • Interact with people outside of your academic classes

Required Course Work

  • AFT1 (9th): Introduction to Teaching Profession

    • Experience a program with like-minded people 
    • Learn to be an expert public speaker
    • Learn the fundamentals of teaching
    • Teach mini-lessons (up to 10 minutes)
    • Join the Florida Future Educators of America

    AFT2 (10th): Human Growth and Development

    • Learn about multiple intelligences, learning styles, and the different types of ESE students
    • Learn to make dynamic activities for your future students
    • Teach a full lesson by the end of the school year
    • Experience how the Senior students teach a full lesson

    AFT3 (11th): Foundations of Curriculum and Instructions

    • Focus on developing instructional materials
    • Learn to incorporate technology to promote learning 
    • Develop classroom management skills
    • Spend 50 hours of work in local elementary, middle, or high school in Alachua County 

    AFT4 (12th): Principles of Teaching Internship

    • Become an experienced teacher by interning 150 hours in a local elementary public school 
    • Learn tactics and tools to become an expert
    • Explore multiculturalism in curriculum and classroom activities
    • Get personal tips and counseling for college and career placement

What will my schedule look like?

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What to expect in the future?

  • Industry Certification

    As a part of the Career and Technical Education requirements for Academies that receive the Federal Perkins Grant, our program will offer an industry certification related to the educational industry. In the 2022-2023 school year, AFT offered WordPress to all grade levels and successfully certified 49 AFT academy students. Keep an eye out for new certifications in the near future that will make students more marketable in the work force.

     AFT Teamwork


    Becoming an Alachua County Teacher

    Students who graduate from the Alachua County Public School District’s Academy of Future Teachers (AFT) at Gainesville High School who obtain a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an accredited educational institute and are eligible for a Florida Department of Education Teaching Certificate, and who successfully obtain employment as a teacher within the Alachua County Public School District, will be placed on Step 1 and advance a year of experience and skip Step 0 on the approved salary schedule.

Florida Bright Futures Gold Seal Vocational Scholarship

    • 3.0 Weighted Academic GPA
    • Complete 3 courses in the same CTE Pathway with an unweighted 3.5 GPA
    • 30 Volunteer Hours
    • ACT: Reading 19, English 17 and Math 19 or SAT: Reading 24, Writing and Language 25 and math 24 or P.E.R.T: Reading 106, Writing 103 and Math 114
    • Covers 100% of program of study up to 72 hours for an AS, AAS, CCV, PSAV or 60 hours of ATD

Application Requirements

    • Must be a current 8th grader or 9th grader
    • Must have at least a 2.5 GPA
    • Must have a passion to want to work with people
    • Have the desire to be an aspiring teacher
    • Requires a 4-year commitment
    • Must have a good attendance record
    • Must have a clean disciplinary record
    • Complete short essay response that reflects desirable characteristics of an educator

    Please visit the CTE Application Website for dates and other important information.


Student Program Focus

    • Public Speaking
    • Lesson Planning
    • Classroom Management
    • Leadership Skills
    • Team Building Skills


2020-2021 AFT Open House Video


Our Program Director

Phone: (352) 955-6707


Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelors in Forensic Anthropology Masters in Special Education and Reading Teaching Certification Areas: Reading, ESE, ESOL, and Middle Grades Integrated Curriculum Girls' Weightlifting Assistant Coach (L1 Certified)

Mrs. Katherine Martinez-Malo, Director

Mrs. Martinez-Malo joined Gainesville High School in 2019. Before GHS, she worked at Buchholz High School for over 13 years as a reading teacher helping at-risk students attain their high school diplomas. Prior to BHS, Mrs. Martinez-Malo began her teaching career at PACE Center for Girls, where she taught social studies and fostered her love for helping students achieve their best selves. During Mrs. Malo's educational career, she has taught various subjects such as social studies, math, career and business, intensive reading, gifted reading, ESE, and AFT. Mrs. Malo attended the University of Florida, where she earned a Bachelors's with high honors in Forensic Anthropology and a Master's in Reading and ESE.

Her husband of 25+ years is a multimedia teacher at Gainesville High School, and her daughter is an Alachua County Teacher for the Visually Impaired. She also has a son who is currently attending Santa Fe College in the nursing field.

Mrs. Malo believes in the power of sports and extracurricular activities. She actively supports the Girl's Weight Lifting team as an Assistant Coach. 

Mrs. Martinez-Malo came to Gainesville High School with hopes of being a part of the Academy of Future Teachers Program and is thrilled to be the Director for years to come. Her goal is to help Alachua County "grow their own teachers." She also hopes to inspire students to become passionate, innovative, confident and caring teachers in their future careers.