Superior Starts School Year With Record Number Of New Teachers

By KBJR News 1

September 8, 2011 Updated Sep 8, 2011 at 11:55 AM CDT

Duluth, MN - (The Northland's News Center) - After an unusual number of teachers retired last year, a new wave of educators has flooded the Superior School District.

You don't have to look far to find a new teacher in Superior these days.

"We had a huge number of retirees; in fact it doubled this last spring, so we had 46 teachers that we needed to replace," says Superintendent Of Superior Schools, Janna Stevens.

With double the number of retirements the district had a lot of training to do to get the new teachers ready for the classroom.

"When we budgeted we didn't double the budget, it's coming from our curriculum instruction area, so we didn't have the budget doubled for that area," Stevens says.

Stevens said they knew they couldn't cut back on the training they had to look elsewhere to fund that teacher education...that meant scaling back on providing mentors for the new crop of teachers.

"The reason we had to scale back is that all of our mentors need to have a stipend to do all of this work. So we had to look for where can we cut back without jeopardizing the entire program," says Stevens.

New 6Th Grade Science Teacher at Superior Middle School, Stephanie Francis, says having a mentor has made the transition into her school a smooth one.

"It's absolutely beneficial. I think that whether you're in education or not, if you have somebody that knows what they're doing, is excited about doing it, that can come along side you and give you equal measures of support and push, then that's a situation that you definitely want to be in," Francis says.

Francis said she's also thankful for the support she's received from the community.

"So far it's going great! The students are excited to be back, the teachers are excited to be back. The excitement level is up and we're well on our way," Francis said.

Superior School District Superintendent Janna Stevens said this was the highest number of retirees in the last 20 years.