Wake hires nearly 700 teachers for 2013-14 school year
Posted August 20, 2013
Cary, N.C. — Nearly 700 newly hired teachers in the Wake County Public School System are undergoing training in advance of the traditional calendar year, which starts Monday.
Doug Thilman, assistant superintendent for human resources, said Tuesday that the school system has hired 673 instructors and still has about 20 more vacancies that it expects to fill by Monday.
"We are right on pace of normal years for hiring teachers," he said.
Lem Gray, a retired military sergeant with more than three years' teaching experience, did his homework when searching for a school district to work for when he moved back to North Carolina this year.
"What I found was Wake County is very dedicated to education," said Gray, who is one of 42 new teachers at Millbrook Magnet High School in Raleigh.
In his research, Gray said, he also read the headlines about Wake County's budget concerns, assignment plan issues and changes in leadership, but Wake County's overall reputation still attracted him to the job.
"Counties have to balance budgets, and that's their job and what they are supposed to do," he said. "What I try to focus on is how I'm going to impact and inspire students in my classroom."
Despite budget cuts and teachers not receiving a raise this year, applications are still coming into the Wake school system, Thilman said.
"(Teachers) want to work in North Carolina and particularly Wake County," he said.
Geraldine Bivens says the joy of teaching was enough to bring her out of retirement and back to the classroom.
"I missed it. I know that might seem crazy to some of my colleagues that ask, 'Why, after you retired, would you want to come back?'" Bivens said. "You travel enough in retirement. You babysit enough. I'm going back to what I love doing, and I love teaching."
Bivens, who taught for 22 years, also researched area school districts before applying for a job as a health science teacher in Wake County.
She says teaching isn't easy but that she does it for the students.
"You hear the negative things about teaching, but if you come into it yourself, you realize it's rewarding," she said.