Columbia County hires more than 200 teachers ahead of school year

Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 7:36 PM EDT
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EVANS, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - In one week, students in Columbia County and Richmond County elementary schools will be back in the classroom.

The Columbia County School District hired more than 200 teachers as many counties battle shortages.

We spoke to a teacher and district leaders about these shortages.

A third-grade teacher at Cedar Ridge Elementary School tells us how she’s preparing for this year.

Allie Doyle is in her second year of teaching.

“It’s just exciting to get back in the room,” she said.

Teaching is something she’s always wanted to do.

“My mom is a teacher, and I pretty much grew up in her classroom just walking around playing with her books and just using her things she would use in her room, using her whiteboard and doing school with my friends and so I always loved that,” said Doyle.

She never imagined she would begin her career during a shortage.

“At my mom’s school, we always had teachers and lots of new teachers, so it’s something I never really considered going into this field,” she said.

The school district is no stranger to teacher shortages. It’s something they’ve battled for over a decade.

Chief Human Resources Officer Anthony Wright said: “We’ve probably been operating with a teacher shortage for the last 15 years. There just aren’t enough teachers to go around, and teachers have a lot of employment options these days.”

Each year the district hires between 200 and 300 teachers. That’s usually due to people retiring, relocating, or leaving the profession altogether.

“We’ve been impacted by it. Folks just have a lot of choices,” he said.

Wright says advertising and getting an early start are key to recruiting.

The district says they still have a few positions open ahead of the school year, and they anticipate they will need to hire more teachers as the year goes on.

“We try to get an early start on our hiring process. You’ve just gotta get out there and tell your story and get the message out,” he said.

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