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Teachers wanted in Washington County

About 250 potential applicants attend recruitment fair

About 250 potential applicants attend recruitment fair

February 12, 2008|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

HAGERSTOWN - About 250 potential Washington County Public Schools teachers attended a teacher recruitment fair at the school system's central office Monday.

Recruiting coordinator Lori White said it is the first time a recruitment fair has been held at the Hagerstown central office. One or two recruiters typically travel to colleges to speak to applicants. White said that having the fair here allows candidates to get a "one-stop shop," speaking with representatives from human resources, curriculum and other areas.

She says she hopes that more recruiting fairs are held at the central office on Commonweatlh Avenue. White said there are about 20 recruiting trips planned this year to area colleges.

Washington County Public Schools Superintendent Elizabeth Morgan said she was pleased with the turnout.

"The larger the (number), the better chances of securing the best," she said. "That's what we want. We want the best to teach our kids."

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White said officials are looking to hire teachers for the county's elementary, middle and high schools in several areas. About half of the approximately 200 new teachers that are hired will be elementary school teachers, while the other half will teach in middle and high schools, White said.

Jackie Dickson, 24, teaches in Baltimore County and said she is getting married and planning to move to West Virginia this summer. She attended Monday's teacher recruitment event because she said she heard good things about Washington County Public Schools.

Dickson, an elementary school library/media specialist, said she knows that a new elementary school and two larger replacement elementary schools will be opening this year.

"I was very excited to see what (Washington County Public Schools) had to offer," she said.

Chris Lantz, 23, is finishing his master's degree in education from Frostburg State University at the University System of Maryland at Hagerstown. He said he'll graduate in May and is student teaching in Washington County.

He taught at Bester Elementary and will begin teaching at E. Russell Hicks Middle School next week.

"I grew up here," Lantz said. "I did my student teaching here. I enjoy it."

He completed an online application at Monday's teacher recruitment fair.

White said Monday was the first time online applications have been used, and they can be accessed on the school system's Web site at www.wcboe.k12.md.us.

Dee Shumaker retired in July as principal of Smithsburg Middle School. She worked in Washington County Public Schools for 36 years before her retirement.

She was helping officials screen recruits Monday during some preliminary interviews.

She said the applicants are well-prepared and well-qualified.

"But other counties are competing for these folks just like we are," she said. "The competition is fierce."

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