Showing posts from May, 2018

Taking Drastic Steps for Teacher Recruitment

I recently attended the ASCD Empower18 national conference in Boston and was surprised to see in an overwhelming sea of booths in the vendor area that a brave rural New Hampshire school district from the western part of the state had set up shop in an effort to recruit educators to their schools. I stopped by to ask them how the process was working out for them and they were very optimistic. Already in the second day of the conference, they had collected a large number of applications, conducted mini interviews, and had already set up follow-up meetings with a number of prospective candidates. For this rural district, attracting educators from far away is their best strategy because their part of the state has seen a decline in population and an exodus of skilled workers leaving the region to seek employment in other parts of the state or country where wages are often higher and housing is more affordable and/or available.  This district, like many across the country, is struggling to…

Solving The Opioid Crisis By Empowering Students

As a principal in a small suburban New Hampshire community, I am starting to lose count of the number of funeral services that I have attended for students and former students from my high school community. The emotional toll weighs heavy on the hearts and minds of students, parents, teachers, and community leaders as we struggle to come to grips with what has become an opioid epidemic across our country. The statistics tell the grim story for our community. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, opioids played a part in 42,249 deaths in our country, a statistic that is five times higher than what it was in 1999. In 2016, New Hampshire had one of the highest national opioid death due to overdose rates, a whopping 39 per 100,000 people. For a state with roughly 1.3 million residents and fewer than 100 high schools, this means that virtually every school community has, in some way, been impacted by this epidemic.
Last month, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen vis…