By Carolyn Perlmutter | Editor in Chief
Each year Pearce must hire new teachers to replace those who have quit or retired and to accommodate growth. For the 2015-2016 school year, 29 new teachers were hired compared to the 40 hired last year. All but three of these new hires are replacements for teachers who have left Pearce.
“Based on what classes students signed up for, we were able to hire three additional teachers,” Principal Philip Bates said.
All teachers applying to the district must fill out an online application through Applitrack.
“It takes most people a couple hours minimum, assuming you already have your resume and cover letter completed,” Principles of Hospitality teacher Sarah Easterling said.
The process includes sending in a resume, references, proof of certifications and degrees, and previous work information, as well as writing essays.
“In addition to the application there is a ‘Teacher Fit’ exam to complete,” Ms. Easterling said. “This test has scenarios and statements that pertain to teaching, and you respond on a scale from ‘strongly agree’ to ‘strongly disagree’.”
Teachers apply from surrounding districts, different states andall over Texas, and some directly out of colleges such as Texas Tech, Texas State and A&M.
“New teachers have fresh ideas and bring in different perspectives,” senior Hannah Wetterau said.
Each year, new teachers have a special orientation one day before the rest of the teachers come back to school. Last year, orientation lasted longer than just a day.
“Mr. Bates and a couple of the office staff stopped in to speak with us, the Lifeguards gave us a tour of the building, and Mrs. Cappetta and Mrs. McClendon went through a lot of PHS info with us,” Ms. Easterling said. “We also did lunch once a week with Mrs. Cappetta and Mrs. McClendon for the first six weeks.”
This year the new teacher orientation was extended for teachers who are new to the district. In addition to spending a day at Pearce, these teachers spent three days learning about district policies and the curriculum.
“They also participate in a new teacher luncheon put on by the City of Richardson,” Mr. Bates said. “This is a longstanding tradition that dates back over 40 years. At the luncheon, the city mayor and the superintendent speak. It’s a busy, exciting week for a new teacher, and by Friday their head is spinning with so much new information.”