North Carolina teachers finding growth opportunities in HISD

Six months ago, Lauren Paquette was teaching in North Carolina and living at the poverty level with her husband and son. Now, that’s all changed.

“We started realizing, ‘We can’t afford to live here anymore,’” explains the Hobby Elementary School fourth-grade teacher. “I saw that HISD was coming back to Charlotte, and I said, ‘You know what, let’s just go and see what happens.’”

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That was this past July, and within weeks of meeting with HISD’s Teacher Recruitment team, Paquette had packed up her classroom and headed to Houston.

“For me, it was a $20,000 raise, and that’s huge,” said Paquette. “It’s almost a whole other salary.”

And Paquette is not alone. A total of 55 teachers made the move from North Carolina this past year, according to Human Resources. “Teachers there are looking for opportunity,” said Manager of Teacher Recruitment Sherelle Foust. “We’re simply saying, ‘Come to HISD, because we have that opportunity.’”

Foust noted that the district’s goal is to make sure its North Carolinian recruits feel comfortable entering the classroom and are excited to serve Houston’s children.

“I love Houston,” added Paquette. “The thing that surprised me the most is how many things we are doing in North Carolina that are the same here. It made me feel more confident, coming in as a new teacher.”

HISD Teacher Recruitment is returning to Greensboro, North Carolina, on Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014.

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