Cabell County feels the effects of national teacher shortage


HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – When the school bells rang a few months ago, sending students back to school, many teachers did not return with them.

There’s now a national teacher shortage, and Cabell County is seeing the effects.

“Through even retirements and some people just strictly resigning and moving to other areas, it’s caught up.”

Debbie Smith, Professional Personnel Manger for Cabell County School Board

Professional Personnel Manager for the Cabell County School Board, Debbie Smith says the school district is working hard to ensure students continue to feel a sense of normalcy as they are struggling to fill each classroom.

“The good thing is, we’re able in a lot of instances to do like a “teach for teacher” with planning periods, where teachers can cover for each other and keep the student’s day just as normal as possible. Does that happen in every instance? No. We know that. But our principals and the other staff members are really good to jump in and help with that,” says Smith.

As a solution, the School Board has minimized the requirements in hopes to get those open positions filled.

The county has opened substitute positions to anyone who has a 4-year degree, creating an opportunity many people didn’t think they would qualify for.

“My degree that I got, my 4-year degree is more for older kids; it’s sports management. So, I always envisioned college kids, but any age I think will be good,” says Haley Scaggs, a substitute teacher candidate.

The county is also working with Marshall University who says trying to keep students in the state isn’t the easiest task.  

“That’s a tough thing because at the end of the day a person who wants to get a teaching job wants to do something close to home or do something where they want to live – Myrtle Beach for example – and a lot of those places offer quick turn arounds for hiring and hiring bonuses and stuff like that,” says Teresa Eagle, the Education College and Professional Development Dean for Marshall University.

There is a process before getting into the schools, but the county says they encourage anyone with a passion to apply.

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