Haverhill Schools Compete with Nation’s Biggest Companies for Teachers, But Still Keep 90%

Haverhill School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti. (WHAV News file photograph.)

Although Haverhill retains nearly 90% of its teachers, it is facing competition from the likes of the country’s biggest industries.

School Committee member Paul A. Magliocchetti raised the topic at a recent meeting, relating statistics he’s heard suggesting that since the pandemic began, more people are looking for jobs they can do from home. In addition, he said, schools are competing with large companies with deep pockets that are also looking for qualified individuals.

“Now that these employers, you know Microsoft, Google, they’re going to be offering all this work from home. You’re going to get a lot of these teachers, math and science teachers, they’re going to be able to work for these companies and they’re going to be able to make a lot more money,” he noted.

With that in mind, Magliochetti asked School Superintendent Margaret Marotta about the status of teacher retention in the schools and how the administration is going about recruiting new teachers.

The superintendent acknowledged the shortage and listed some of the methods they are using to find qualified people for those positions.

“We advertise every position on our website and on SchoolSpring, which is where most people who are searching for jobs in education search. We also use Indeed. We use BetterTeams from Craigslist. We use WHAV radio. We’ve sent fliers home to parents seeking paraprofessionals and we’ve put up lawn signs for custodians, drivers, monitors and cafeteria workers,” she noted.

Marotta said Haverhill retains 87.6% of their teachers, close to the state average, but does have a large number of teachers who are at, or approaching, retirement age. She added Haverhill has some excellent professional development courses to attract new teachers. She admitted, however, despite the fact the schools receive thousands of employment inquiries, not that many make it through.

“If we were maybe to get 60 applications for a teaching job, the number of people who are actually certified is probably about 10 and then, when we start looking through them, five of them don’t call us back. Then we invite five of them in for an interview and three of them show up,” she explained.

Marotta said the hiring process has become more difficult statewide over the past few years and it is an issue that needs to be watched carefully going forward.

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