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Local districts also have majority of female teachers

May 24, 2004|by ANDREW SCHOTZ

andrews@herald-mail.com

Among teachers in at least two Tri-State public school districts, men are greatly outnumbered.

In Jefferson County, there are 416 women and 110 men, Associate Superintendent Beverly Hughes said.

Washington County Public Schools has 1,122 women and 360 men as teachers, according to Human Resources Director Don Francis.

The gap is greatest in elementary schools, which have 642 women and 54 men, he said.

Whether school systems can do anything to change that is open to debate.

"Our priority is to get the most qualified teacher," and gender is not a consideration, Hughes said.

Washington County Public Schools officials want to reduce the disparity, but can only hope it happens.

"There's no conscious effort (to recruit male teachers) - partly because it's against the law to do it," Francis said.

One possible exception, he said, would be a teacher working with a female student who has a disability and needs personal care. That role might not be appropriate for a man, he said.

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"We would love to be able to balance that as best as we can - not just with male teachers, but with minority teachers, with minority male teachers. But we sometimes can't do that because of the applicant pool," Francis said.

"The candidate pool is overwhelmingly female to begin with," said Carol Mowen, a spokeswoman for the school system.

Greg Hoover, director of elementary education in the Greencastle-Antrim (Pa.) School District, said his district gets a flood of applications for each open position, so recruiting isn't necessary.

He agreed that administrators look foremost for the best candidate.

The school system might try to find a man to teach in a grade that is otherwise taught by all women, but that's rare, Hoover said.

The breakdown of male and female teachers in the Greencastle-Antrim School District was not available.

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