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Facing Teacher Shortages, School Districts Engage In Aggressive, Early Efforts To Snare Spring Grads

February 22, 2000 -- Teacher-education graduates are such a hot commodity that the University of Virginia will hold for the first time a two-day recruiting event. Recruiters from more than 100 schools in 12 states are expected at the Feb. 29 and March 1 Education Expo in Newcomb Hall.

Last year representatives from more than 80 schools in three states attended the day-long recruiting fair. The previous year, recruiters from 63 schools attended.

Because a teacher shortage exists in many states, school districts are aggressively recruiting spring graduates for positions that start in the fall. Prospective teachers in special education, mathematics, science and foreign languages are particularly in demand, according to Gigi Davis-White, an assistant director in U.Va.’s Career Services Office who works with students in the University's Curry School of Education.

In an effort to secure qualified graduates in such high-demand fields, many districts are extending contract offers -- with signing bonuses -- to students who will graduate in May.

"Making large numbers of early offers was unheard of until last year," said Davis-White. "Gone are the days when school districts can wait until the end of summer to make contract offers. Now they need to move early and fast to snap up graduates."

Signing bonuses are being extended to minority candidates as well as spring graduates in fields facing critical shortages, Davis-White said. Bonuses appear to be in the $1,000-$1,500 range, she noted.

To accommodate schools’ need to hire teacher education graduates, U.Va.’s Career Services Office will give recruiters a day on March 1 to interview candidates they see the previous day during the job fair. "It was necessary to provide a day for interviews immediately after the fair because of the accelerated hiring timeframe schools face in states where there are teacher shortages," said Davis-White.

Starting teacher salaries in some states are unusually high, she said. Some school districts are offering May graduates with master’s degrees beginning salaries in the $40,000s. One Pennsylvania district is offering a salary in the $50,000 range.

"The demand for teachers is exceptionally strong throughout the Maryland-Virginia-Washington, D.C. area," said Davis-White. "Demand is also very high in North Carolina."

For more information, contact Gigi Davis-White at (804) 924-8912 or via A web site,, describes the Education Expo.

Recruiters who can be contacted for additional information include:

  • Frank Morgan, assistant superintendent for support services, Albemarle County Schools, (804) 296-5877 or
  • Cheryl Ross-Audley, assistant superintendent for human resources, Alexandria Public Schools, (703) 824-6657.
  • Oscar Davis, human resources specialist, Anne Arundel County (MD) Public Schools, (410) 222-5065.
  • Thelma Johnson, director of personnel services, Arlington Public Schools, (703) 228-6101 or
  • Irving Driscol, personnel administrator, Chesterfield County Public Schools, (804) 748-1177 or
  • Phyllis Lewter, personnel administrator, Chesapeake Public Schools, (757) 547-0001 or
  • Mike Sutherland, a recruitment specialist with Fairfax Public Schools, (800) 831-4331 or (703) 591-8330 or
  • Jack Anderson, director of personnel, Hanover County Public Schools, (804) 752-6000 or
  • Patrese Pruden, human resources specialist, Henrico County Public School, (804) 652-3664 or
  • Randy Richards, personnel specialist, Loudoun County Public Schools, (703) 771-6424 or
  • Rae Korade, personnel specialist, Montgomery County Public Schools, (301) 279-3010.
  • Patricia Dillard, senior coordinator for human resources, Norfolk Public Schools, (757) 441-2717 or
  • Darlene Faltz, elementary/special education personnel supervisor, Prince William Public Schools, (703) 791-8774 or
  • Bruce Benn, recruitment specialist, Virginia Beach Public Schools, (757) 427-4781 or

Contact: Ida Lee Wootten, (804) 924-6857

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: please contact the Office of University Relations at (804) 924-7116. Television reporters should contact the TV News Office at (804) 924-7550.
SOURCE: U.Va. News Services


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