Kokomo Hires More Teachers

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The Kokomo School Corp. says it has hired additional teachers for several expanded programs. More than a dozen educators will fill new positions throughout the district and more than 25 will replace retirees. August 5, 2013

News Release

KOKOMO, Ind. - Because of the many options being offered to parents and their children, Kokomo School Corporation officials have been able to hire 42 new teachers for the coming school year that begins for students Thursday, August 8th. Many of those new teacher hires were approved Monday at the August 5lh meeting of the Board of School Trustees.

Forty of the new teachers spent last week in the Kokomo Schools Teacher Orientation Program (TOP), during which they received professional development training and learned more about the district through informational sessions. As a final event for the TOP week, the new teachers toured Kokomo on the Wildkat bus Friday afternoon with a stop at the Kokomo Housing Authority for a welcome from Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight.

Kokomo Schools Superintendent Jeff Hauswald noted to the Board members that the many options for students - including magnet programs in international education at Lafayette Park, Sycamore, and Central; the expanding integrated arts program at Wallace; the 1 -to-1 technology initiatives at Pettit Park and Bon Air elementaries, Bon Air Middle School, and Kokomo High School; and the expansion of the preschool programs at Lafayette Park, Pettit Park and Elwood Haynes - equals a need for more teachers.

"For some of our Kokomo High School alumni hired tonight as new teachers and counselors, this is a homecoming; for some other new teachers, Kokomo becomes their new home," Mr. Hauswald explained. "Regardless, on behalf of Kokomo Schools and the City of Kokomo, I welcome them to this great community. The quality and expertise of our new teachers are amazing, and I know they will be great additions to our school district."

Assistant Superintendent Pennye Siefert, who is in charge of hiring the certified staff for Kokomo Schools, was impressed by the new teachers during the TOP sessions.

"These new teachers are among the best and brightest in their fields and demonstrated great preparation from their universities during our discussions," Mrs. Siefert said. "These teachers represent several universities in the state of Indiana and a few universities from out of state. This is one of the more outstanding groups we have hired and we can see they were very well prepared by their universities."

Mrs. Siefert noted that this was a very competitive selection process as more than 250 candidates (a conservative estimate) applied for the teaching positions.

"The candidates chosen stood out because they bring qualities that fit the vision of Kokomo Schools," Mrs. Siefert explained. "Many of these young people were seeking an urban school setting because they wanted to make a difference in students' lives. We are confident these people will do an outstanding job in our classrooms."

Mrs. Siefert added that many of the candidates said they chose to apply because of the many choice offerings and initiatives being offered to parents and students.

"The fact that these teachers will be able to select from several teaching platforms, such as 1-to-l, Integrated Arts, International Schools, and a Science and Math focus, was very appealing to them," Mrs. Siefert noted. "Twenty-six of these people are replacing retirements, while many of the other positions were created with the opening of a new (1-to-1) middle school at Bon Air, the expansion of 5 classrooms at Wallace, and the expansion of our preschool programs."

Among the 42 new hires, 23 will work in elementary classrooms throughout the district, while 5 will be at the middle schools and 14 will serve high school students at Kokomo High School, the Kokomo Area Career Center, or McKinley Alternative School.

In addition to the new teacher hires, the Board also approved administrative recommendations for Amanda Landrum and Lyndsi Smith, who will both serve as Interim Assistant Principals at Bon Air School.

Ms. Landrum, who has served the corporation for 12 years as an elementary technology curriculum supervisor, media specialist, and KEY 6th-grade Social Studies teacher, was very excited about the appointment.

"I was very fortunate to work with the Bon Air staff last school year as we implemented 1-to-1 technology in grades K to 5," Ms. Landrum explained. "As Bon Air becomes a K to 8 building again, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with the wonderful staff, students, and families in the Bon Air community."

Ms. Smith, who has served the district at Pettit Park and Sycamore, and most recently as a teaching and learning facilitator at Lafayette Park, is equally enthused about the career move.

"I am very appreciative of the opportunity to work in the Bon Air community," Ms.

Smith noted. "I am excited about the possibilities as we expand the 1-to-1 technology into the middle school grades."

Source: Kokomo School Corp.