Richmond Co. opens 2019-2020 school year with 200 new teachers

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Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2019
News 12 This Morning

About 200 new teachers are filling the halls in Richmond County schools this year. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- Although there are still teaching positions open in Richmond County, over 200 new teachers will welcome students on their first day Tuesday.

"Usually we hire about 250," said RCSS HR Director Melissa Shepard. "This year we've hired 275 and out of that number about 137 are brand new, fresh, and have never taught before."

Shepard facilitates the hiring process for the school system. Working alongside educators like Dr. Judi Wilson, who says they work well with teachers in the school district over at AU.

"Our students don't come out of our program saying they weren't prepared. We do a seamless job of putting the pedal to the metal of allowing them to experience as much of real experience as they possibly can, while they are still in a safe environment," said AU Dean of Education, Dr. Judi Wilson.

Within the last eight years, 30% of AU Education graduates are employed by RCSS. While many parents are concerned about their child being shortchanged by new educators, there's no research to prove students perform better in veteran classrooms.

"Veteran teachers had that experience leg up however our new teachers that are coming out of the program. They are incredibly enthusiastic, and I'm not saying that our veteran teachers aren't, but they just have this idea of about what their classrooms going to be like and how their students are going to respond just enthusiasm that they have is unparalleled," said Wilson.

Regardless of experience, Richmond County says they hire teachers who are all around the best fit for their classrooms.

"Principals make the decisions in their building and the principals work really hard with their team to hire those who are a good fit for their school."

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