Teacher hiring called into questionThe Superior school district is in the market for new teachers. At Tuesday’s Superior School Board meeting, the district began the task of replacing its veteran retirees.
By: Emily Kram, Superior Telegram
The Superior school district is in the market for new teachers. At Tuesday’s Superior School Board meeting, the district began the task of replacing its veteran retirees.
Board members reviewed a long list of new hires, with the majority of positions coming at the elementary and middle school levels.
Of the 25 teaching and long-term substitute positions filled this month, there were 15 at the elementary school level, eight at the middle school and only two at the high school.
Jesse Olson, and elementary school teacher, and Tyler Ross, who was hired as a long-term substitute science teacher at Superior High School, were the only males among the new hires, a discrepancy pointed out by board member Bonnie Baker.
“I think it’s a concern that we don’t have some more males,” Baker said, adding that she and the other six School Board members had received an e-mail from a concerned citizen.
Superintendent Janna Stevens said gender is not considered during the interview process, and she did not believe the high percentage of women hired was evidence of discrimination.
“Our screening process is very clean cut and objective,” Stevens said.
At the elementary school level, the vast majority of applicants are female, Stevens said. She estimated that at least 90 percent of candidates applying for elementary level teaching positions are female.
More men typically apply for jobs at the high school level, specifically in math and science, or in administration, Stevens said.
“It’s not unusual that there are more female (applicants) than male,” said Monica Tikkanen, director of human resources. “But now that you’ve brought it up, we can certainly take a look.”
Another long list of new hires is expected at the July School Board meeting. Tikkanen said a few men were chosen to fill those teaching positions.
Tikkanen said about 70 percent of the school district’s employees are female, not out of line with the rest of state.