County Recruiters Say Program Often Can Be Exhausting, But Also Rewarding

May 26, 1991|By Greg Tasker

PITTSBURGH — David Humbert's voice is going hoarse.

He has just finished abouteight hours of interviews with prospective teachers at the Pittsburgh Educational Recruiting Consortium and is collecting applications and resumes that candidates who were turned away have left near a display about Carroll schools.

"I've had some good candidates today," said Humbert, a Carroll school psychologist. "I've done a lot of talking. I'm losing my voice."

Humbert was one of four recruiters the county sent to the day-long consortium.

"Heavens, I have no idea how many people I talked to," said Walter Dyky, another Carroll recruiter and an assistant principal at Westminster High School. "I'm bushed and tired."

But the work is far from over for Dyky and Humbert. After a short break for dinner, they will spend much of the evening in their hotel room sortingthrough interview materials to re-evaluate candidates.

"We'll sitdown and fill in some of the details," Humbert said.

Recruiting is exhausting work.

"A good, hard recruiting day is a lot of work,"said William R. Rooney, Carroll's director of personnel. "(Recruiters) work from the beginning of the day to the end of the day. It's very exhausting."

Each year, Carroll sends its recruiting teams to universities and colleges from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, and fromMaryland's Eastern Shore to central Ohio.

"We need that many people. It's about the only way we can do it," Rooney said. "We don't have enough people in the personnel office to do it. I personally love recruiting, but I can't get away to do much of it any more."

The roster of recruiters includes teachers, principals and their assistants, guidance counselors and administrators, all of whom have gone through the district's recruiting training program.

"Teachers are very good recruiters," Rooney said. "They're in the classroom and they canrelate their experiences to students. They're very effective spokespeople for the district."

For many, recruiting serves as a "refreshing break from what they normally do," he said. "They see all this enthusiasm among students, and it gives them a little bit of a spark totake back to school."

It's a sentiment many recruiters share.

"It's very rewarding," said Harry T. Fogle, assistant supervisor of special education. "You see so many young, well-educated men and womenwho are very aware of the current practices in education."

Fogle,a 1968 graduate of Westminster High School, began his education career in Washington County, returning to Carroll in 1985.

"I realizedjust how nice a place it was to work as well as raise a family," said Fogle, a former principal of the Carroll County Education Center. "Consequently, knowing we're looking for the best and the brightest, Iwanted to be a part of that process. That's why I volunteered to give some time to go and recruit."

On his third recruiting trip this year, Fogle visited the Eastern Pennsylvania Job Fair For Teachers atKutztown University, Kutztown, Pa., which is known for its special education and art programs.

Many school workers recruit because they want to support the school system.

"I'm here because I like to sell education," Dyky said. "I like the school system and the county. If I didn't believe in Carroll, I wouldn't be here."

Steven Kelly,a pupil personnel worker, went on his first recruiting trip in Marchto Delaware State College in Dover, Del.

"I thought it would be interesting to talk to students who are just finishing up their degrees and getting ready to go into the classroom," said Kelly, who has been with the school system for 15 years.

Stephen Guthrie, a personnel specialist, who accompanied Kelly to the recruiting fair, said he was prompted to recruit after hearing tales from others about the "great experience."

"I've always wanted to do it," he said. "It givesme an opportunity to talk about how nice the school system is. It's not a hard system to sell. This allows us to screen candidates and get a feel for whether they're good for our system."

Gloria Horneff,a Manchester Elementary School assistant principal who has been appointed principal of the new Piney Ridge Elementary, took her second recruiting trip this year to Mount St. Mary's College in Emmitsburg, Frederick County. Last year, she visited the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

"It's interesting to get to know people who are interested in becoming teachers and working in Carroll," Horneff said. "You get to see these people at the very beginning of the process."

For Mark Vigliotti, assistant principal at Hampstead Elementary School, being a recruiter is "like being a door-to-door salesman."

Vigliotti enjoyed his fifth recruiting trip this spring, spending a day at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa.

He is one of the district's most enthusiastic recruiters, known to chase prospective candidates across campus or launch a sales pitch to student teachers at Hampstead Elementary.

"There are a lot of schools out there recruiting teachers," Vigliotti said. "To get the best you have to go out there and look for them. It's work, but it's fun, too."

While a school district may have slick brochures and attractive displays at job fairs,Rooney said, it's the recruiters who sell the district.

"The bottom line is that it's the people you send out to these things that attract applicants," he said. "If they're friendly and enthusiastic, they make people feel at ease. And that sends an important message aboutour school system."

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