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Meet Harrison's New Teachers

A look at the new teachers within the Harrison Central School District and how they got here.

The following was contributed by the Harrison Central School District.

The start of the 2012-2013 school year welcomes several new teachers to the Harrison Central School District.

The talented new teachers joining our faculty are the result of a year-round recruitment process, one that centers on a research-based framework for effective teaching and learning.

In order to identify and attract the most highly qualified candidates, the Harrison Central School District hosts an annual invitational job fair in February, screening more than 1,000 resumes and conducting interviews with over 250 candidates.

Representatives from Harrison also attend recruiting events at colleges and universities, such as Columbia University, Bank Street College and New York University to name a few, throughout the Tri-State area and New England.

Through this proactive approach to recruiting, candidates are considered for not only existing vacancies but also potential opportunities that might arise during the year. Candidates apply to Harrison with a broad and diverse range ofexperience—some of the teachers may be starting on their professional paths while others may haveteaching experience or additional advanced degrees in a particular subject area.

Once viable candidates are identified, they undergo a rigorous screening process that includes multiple interviews with various district representatives. Teaching candidates present lesson plans and teach sample lessons to demonstrate their expertise with instructional planning and lesson delivery.

Candidates who move to the next stage in the process are carefully scrutinized, and the district completes both references and background checks. Finalists also complete an on-demand writing sample to explain the alignment between the district’s core values and their practice and to demonstrate their written communication skills.

Having met these rigorous standards, finalists are interviewed by the Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, who may extend an offer to join the Harrison faculty. If the candidate accepts the offer, the Superintendent recommends the candidate to the Board of Education for approval.

The recruitment and hiring of highly qualified teachers is an important first step toward ensuring that students benefit from excellent teachers; however, support of their success does not end with the hiring process. The District, in partnership with the Harrison Association of Teachers, invests in the ongoing support it provides its newly hired faculty.

Before the start of the school year, first and second year teachers are immersed in several days of orientation and professional development. Each new teacher is also provided with the benefit of a mentor teacher, who shares expertise and insight to support thenew teacher’s transition to Harrison.

On-going professional development throughout the year allows both new and seasoned teachers to hone their skills and incorporate new instructional strategies into their teaching repertoires. On average, a probationary teacher in Harrison engages in 133 hours of professional development, which far exceeds the minimum requirement of 35 hours of professional development established by the NewYork State Education Department.

According to Dr. Brian Ladewig, assistant superintendent for human resources, “Research on teaching supports Harrison’s belief that student learning outcomes are closely aligned to teacher effectiveness, and that teacher effectiveness is supported by high-quality professional development.”

Lastly, Harrison is committed to ensuring teacher quality with fair and rigorous teacher observations and evaluations. Recognized by the New York State School Boards Association in 2006 as an exemplary model of professional evaluation, Harrison’s observation and evaluation process provides teachers with standards-based feedback intended to support their growth and effectiveness.

Harrison teachers participate in three conferences with supervisors to discuss their progress and receive multiple observations and reviews throughout the year to support their growth. This comprehensive approach to professional development and accountable practice helps to ensure that students benefit fromexcellent teachers.

The District is excited to welcome its newest faculty members and looks forward to the contributions they will make to their schools and the students they serve. To learn more about each of the new teachers, please click the image above.

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