Harford brochure aims to recruit minority teachers

January 04, 1996|By Sherrie Ruhl | Sherrie Ruhl,SUN STAFF

Striving to double minority representation in its teaching ranks, the Harford County school system has produced a brochure touting local charms and the county's proximity to major cities.

"We think the brochure will show minority teachers that the county is not this completely rural, unsophisticated place," said Donald R. Morrison, a school system spokesman.

The color brochure, which includes pictures of minority teachers and minority students, also will dispel the image of the county as exclusively white, he said.

About 6 percent of Harford's 2,500 teachers and 12 percent of the 35,000 students are minority -- black, Hispanic, Asian, native American or native Alaskan -- Mr. Morrison said.

The school system needs to make itself as attractive to as many minority teachers as possible because it is competing for new college graduates with school systems around the nation -- some offering to pay moving expenses and higher starting salaries than Harford's $26,000.

Mr. Morrison said minority teachers are especially scarce in the areas of education for students with disabilities, technology, advanced math and sciences.

The recruiting season traditionally begins in February as officials from school systems across Maryland make the rounds of historically black colleges in search of minority prospects graduating in June.

"We have a very vigorous recruitment schedule," said Robyn Washington, a staff specialist for Baltimore's public schools. She said the city school system, which has produced a brochure for many years, relies on face-to-face visits to attract minority teachers.

F. Yvonne Blevins, supervisor of personnel for Harford schools, plans on visiting seven institutions next month, including Morgan State University. Her schedule includes an eight-hour drive to colleges in North Carolina.

Mrs. Blevins, who oversees recruitment, believes the brochure will help. "We live in a very visual society and people like to have something in hand that shows what is available," she said.

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