Wake County Schools

Wake hires nearly 700 teachers for 2013-14 school year

Posted August 20, 2013

— 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.


This story is closed for comments. Comments on WRAL.com news stories are accepted and moderated between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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  • BadDayforButch Aug 26, 10:34 a.m.

    Teacher average salaries in the country are easily found if you search with Google NC teachers average a little over 46k. the whole issue of raises and blaming Republicans stymies me. in 2012, teachers received their first raise in 4 years under the Perdue administration. Now because McCrory is trying too fix the financial mess this state was left in and he cant giveraises this year he is portrayed as evil and not for good teachers ? we are smarter than that i hope

  • tanntamount Aug 22, 4:45 p.m.

    What info/research, etc./did you use to determine that the avg. teacher's salary in NC was "a little over $46,000 dollars"?

  • itsyoureternalsoul Aug 21, 7:38 p.m.

    Somebody needs to see if they report back to work next year.

  • jackflash123 Aug 21, 6:14 p.m.

    "the median household income in NC is a little over 42,000. Now the average teachers salary in NC is a little over 46,000. So teach4ever there's a very, very good chance that (after your 27 years of teaching) you are making more than that college roommate you were talking about."

    I highly doubt that $42K figure you cite is limited to college grads, so a teacher w/ 27 years exp is making $4k more than an average that includes people w/o degrees at all.

  • Zebulon in the house Aug 21, 4:12 p.m.

    The real reason behind retiring teachers returning to the classroom is not so much the love of the job, but the love of the 2nd paycheck on top of their retirement check.

  • hardsckull22 Aug 21, 2:47 p.m.

    some kids are dumb!!!

  • immaannoid Aug 21, 2:04 p.m.

    So much for a shortage... LOL.

  • seven74215 Aug 21, 12:25 p.m.

    Well teach4ever and others who complain about teachers pay in NC. According to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce from the United States Census Bureau, the median household income in NC is a little over 42,000. Now the average teachers salary in NC is a little over 46,000. So teach4ever there's a very, very good chance that (after your 27 years of teaching) you are making more than that college roommate you were talking about. Plus I have been working at a school for over 10 years and I don't see teachers leaving the profession. I don't buy for one bit that we are losing good teachers due to income. Sure everybody wants more money but they aren't giving up their profession (at least not at the school I work at) to go into another profession.I'm not sure what part of the planet people have been living on lately but jobs on the planet where I live just aren't that readily available where they can up and quit or walk away from there teaching job and find something else that's going to pay as well

  • NC_interest Aug 21, 11:31 a.m.

    People need to remember this is over 7% of the wake county teacher staff per year. Not good for a job market that has a 35% career expectancy.

  • grimreaper Aug 21, 10:58 a.m.

    "Wake County's overall reputation still attracted him to the job"

    Hmmm, well it certainly is not in respect to school system performance...so it can only be in regards to employment and compensation regardless of performance...nice...