Skip to main content

Davis Journal

Davis District welcomes nearly 400 new teachers

Aug 12, 2022 01:17PM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—School starts on Aug. 22. As the doors open, classrooms will be filled with new teachers. In the past, the district has hired around 300 teachers. That includes elementary, secondary, special education and counselors. This year it’s closer to 400. The new teachers gathered Tuesday for a two day orientation at Farmington High.

“We still have 15 openings in elementary and two for secondary,” said Allison Riddle, Davis District Elementary Mentor Supervisor. “I’m excited. It’s great to have this number of new teachers, they bring new energy.”

The district offers one of the deepest mentoring programs in the state, she said. “Mentoring is required by board rule but it’s not funded. We’re lucky because our board understands the power of mentoring. Most of the board used to be teachers. The more training we give them the more we will retain them.”

Orientation is the first step to make that connection, said Riddle. “It gives them a chance to acclimate to the district and the schools and feel a part of the profession. Teachers often feel isolated in their classrooms. This event helps them to feel a part of the social fabric of the district.”

Riddle’s department is over recruitment. “I have not seen any concern over the harassment (DOJ findings),” she said. “There has been gratitude that we’re openly discussing the topic and the need to improve. I tell our teachers that they are culturally responsible and need to widen the lens they look through at students and appreciate the background of all students and let them know all are welcome so they feel included in our community.”

Every child should feel safe, seen and appreciated for who they are, said Riddle. “What they bring, brings something rich to our classrooms.”

The district recruits potential teachers at career fairs at universities, she said. “We also go outside of Utah. We look for teachers in our academy school and embrace them while they’re in their educational experience. Every year we visit Latinos In Action classes and talk about teaching. We also invite a teacher with a diverse background to speak on how much they enjoy it.”

Riddle said they work with students in the TAP (Teaching as a Profession) classes in junior high and high schools. “They’re learning in high school how to teach, now they can come over to an elementary school and see what that looks like.”

They also look for people at universities that have not chosen teaching as a career, she said. “We try to bring them in, we get good hires that way. Especially in high school in hard to fill places such as CTE. That’s how our Teacher of the Year Andrew Bird came to us. We brought him in from a different (health) profession. He said ‘I only see people when they’re broken. With this I see kids heal, learn and improve themselves.’”

Courtney Smith graduated from USU and this will be her first year teaching. “I’m most excited about the kids,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was a little girl. This is like my dream come true. I grew up here and my mom works in the district. I didn’t really want to go anywhere else.”

Nicole Andersen is coming back to teaching after nine years. “I was teaching in Ogden then left to stay home with my kids,” she said. “I’ve volunteered for four years and lucked into getting the kids in my class.”

Andersen wanted to come to the Davis District because she believes it’s going places. “They have a lot of innovative things right now,” she said. “The harassment (findings) pushed us into a new way of learning and new ways to approach the topic. It’s exciting to be part of the solution.” λ