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Hereford ISD invests resources, support in first-year teachers
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Hereford Independent School District recently saluted its freshman class of teachers who have completed a support and mentorship program designed to give them the training and resources they need to succeed.

The 25 teachers have finished Hereford ISD's latest First-Year Teacher Academy. The district has offered the academy, which consists of meetings and training days scheduled throughout the year, since 2004.

During their periodic meetings, the new teachers learn instructional strategies, develop classroom managment techniques, and get resources for their curriculum said Christie Volmer, Hereford ISD's chief human resources officer.

"We also have two mentor teachers that observe the first-year teachers, and provide feedback and support all year," Volmer said, adding that teachers' success impacts student success.

Many districts have similar types of mentoring programs to help retain new teachers. According to the most recent available Texas Education Agency data for districts that are Hereford ISD's size, roughly 25 percent of beginning teachers statewide leave their districts or the teaching profession altogether by the following academic year.

"If we do not support them, many times they will leave the profession," Volmer said. "We always want to give our teachers the best training possible to be successful and retain these teachers in our district from year to year."

The teachers now move on to more mentorship, instruction and training in the district's Second-Year Teacher Academy.



Mike Smith is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. Contact him at, on Twitter at @newsmithm and on Facebook.

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