A Teacher in Every Classroom

October 27, 2022

As news of teacher shortages swept the nation, Regional School District 17 (RSD17) proudly opened schools this year with a teacher in every classroom.

It was a team effort,” said Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Miller. “Administrators and hiring supervisors worked day in and day out to make sure that we were fully staffed to the best of our ability.”

RSD17 welcomed 61 new staff members this school year - 29 were certified teachers.

With a high number of teacher vacancies across the state, Miller emphasized the urgency to act quickly so as to not lose candidates to another school district. Ensuring a good fit was also a priority.

“Teachers are the most important factor in the quality of a child's education,” Miller said. “We want to make sure that we have staff that align with our values, are ready to work with our kids, and are prepared to get to know our families.” 

Several strategies for teacher recruitment were employed, from posting positions to social media pages to word-of-mouth advertising. District staff often worked after hours to meet with candidates to ensure full classrooms on the first day.

Miller was hired by RSD17 this past summer and charged with recruiting and retaining highly qualified staff, among other responsibilities. 

She is also working to implement new systems that improve the staff experience including going paperless for the hiring process, developing a teacher-driven professional development plan, designing a new teacher induction program, and creating regular opportunities for staff recognition.

Miller has spent her first few months at RSD17 getting to know the district and forming relationships.

“I'm starting with a learning mindset…so that I can make good decisions that support the district’s vision  for the future,” she said.

Miller explained that among the many benefits of working at RSD17, the students are number one. Additionally, the supportive environment, community engagement and opportunities to collaborate as part of a team are also perks. 

“It's exciting to have a strategic operating plan, she said. “[The district] has a vision for the future and everybody can participate in its success…there is a spirit of working together here.” 

To view open district staff positions, visit www.applitrack.com/rsd17/onlineapp.