July 16, 2004 – The Education Department's human resources staff is working hard to fill the more than 100 teacher and support staff vacancies it has for the upcoming school year.
"We have a lot of people in the pipeline," Alscess Lewis-Brown, human resources director, said.
However, she urged any individuals who are interested and qualified to apply.
She said the department is advertising on Internet sites such as teacherteacher.com and the Education Department's own teachislands.vi.
At the end of the 2003-04 school year, Lewis-Brown said, 43 people retired and 21 people resigned in the St. Thomas-St. John district, and of those 64 persons, 33 were teachers and 29 were support staff.
On St. Croix, 66 retired and 25 resigned, and 43 of those 91 people were teachers and the others were support staff.
"I've been seeing it coming," Lewis-Brown said.
She said that many of those who retired were just plain tired. Many had taught for more than 30 years. Others were unwilling to comply with recent upgrade requirements.
Lewis-Brown said that some newer teachers decided to go back to school, and others left to enter private industry. "Some had salary issues," she said.
She said teachers fresh out of college with a bachelor's degree earn $26,563 a year. Those with one year's experience and a bachelor's degree make $27,653.
For those who have a master's degree and no experience, the salary is $28,660. A year's experience will get raise that to $29,837.
The Education Department is hampered in hiring experienced teachers because it gives monetary credit only for up to five years in the classroom.
Lewis-Brown reminded new teachers and staff members who will start work in August to turn in their paperwork so they can get paid on time. "That way we can get them on line to receive benefits and pay with the regular payroll cycles once the school year begins," she said.
She said that orientation will be held for all new employees in August.
"The orientation sessions provide the employees with information relative to benefits, labor relations, payroll procedures and personnel policies for the department and V.I. government," Lewis-Brown said.
A panel of administrators has been conducting interviews this month in both districts and will continue doing so into August. In addition to interviews, the panel looks at portfolios and videotapes of the applicants teaching actual lessons.
To reach Education Department human resources personnel, call 774-0100 on St. Thomas or 773-1095 on St. Croix.
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