The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

The news site of Blue Valley High School

BV Tiger News

Exemplary Educators

Administrators discuss teacher-retention, hiring

Hiring and retaining teachers has been difficult for schools across the country. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2019-2020, 4% of bachelor’s degrees issued were in education, compared to 19% in 2000-2001.

Heavy workloads, staff shortages, lack of education funding, low salaries and safety concerns are all issues potential teachers consider when deciding whether or not to enter the field.

According to Eric Punswick, the Chief Human Resource Officer for Blue Valley School District, the retention rates of teachers has stayed steady in comparison to trends from 5 to 10 years ago, but there has been a noticeable change in hiring.

“With fewer teachers enrolled in teacher education programs in our nation’s universities and colleges, we have seen a decline in the number of applicants,” Punswick said.

Assistant Principal Brad Page notes that because of the lower number of applicants, finding teachers who specialize in certain subjects can be even more difficult.

“It’s no secret that science teachers are hard to find,” Page said. “Good science teachers are really, really hard to find.”

Even with the shortages, Blue Valley still has high standards for its staff.

“We look for exemplary educators,” Punswick said. “They must hold a valid teaching license and be the right fit for the role.”

Besides the obvious requirements, BV also looks for teachers who are interested in the community.

“We want to have teachers that want to get to know our students and want to create really strong relationships,” Page said. “We want candidates that want to have a sense of community so that they’re going to be here for a long time so that they’re not just jumping back and forth from different jobs.”

BV has started a New Teacher Academy in order to help new teachers adjust to their often-overwhelming start. Each new teacher has a teacher buddy to help with tasks around the building.

“We want to set up something so that our teachers are going through an orientation process that isn’t disorienting,” Page said. “We can show them our community. We can help them every step of the way in their first year.”

Fortunately, the school is recognized for being a good place to teach, with Page crediting that to the students and staff.

“People know how special of a place it is — our students are overwhelmingly kind, engaged and really high achievers,” Page said. “My first year, I felt so welcomed by our kind staff and I was like, ‘Wow, this place is different.’”

About the Contributor
Gaby Ayres
Gaby Ayres, Staff Writer
Gaby Ayres is a junior in her second year on the newspaper staff. She spends most of her time reading her bookshelf (sorted by genre) and fawning over her two cats. In school, she plays the violin and participates in Model UN, among other things. For the future, Gaby aspires to work in chemistry or bio-chem!