Virtual School Meanderings

June 16, 2016

Upcoming REL Midwest Webinar: Recruiting and Retaining Quality Educators in Rural Communities

From the inbox a couple of days ago…

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Join us for a free webinar on recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

June 21, 2016
12–1 p.m. Central Time
1–2 p.m. Eastern Time

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Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest and its Rural Research Alliance are hosting an upcoming webinar that will discuss strategies for recruiting and retaining quality educators in rural communities.

The event will feature a presentation by Douglas Gagnon, Ph.D., of the Carsey School for Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, on the challenges rural communities face in applying policies meant to support quality teacher retention and recruitment. Dr. Gagnon also will discuss four strategies for rural school staffing, including “grow your own,” financial incentives, communities of practice, and capacity building. After Dr. Gagnon presents the research foundation for the discussion, practitioners John Ulferts, Ed.D., and Erin Joycewill discuss how these research-based strategies are used in rural schools and classrooms in Illinois and Ohio. Finally, Ciara Fischer will give her perspective as a rural, “homegrown” educator and will share suggestions for administrators and other educators looking to engage in “grow your own” policies.

Throughout the webinar, participants will be able to engage in discussion with one another and will be able to participate in a question and answer discussion with the panelists.


  • Participants will learn of some of the research being done on teacher recruitment and retention strategies for rural communities, including specific strategies for successful recruitment and retention.
  • Participants will gain insight into real-life application of a “grow your own” initiative in Illinois, including lessons learned from this strategy and the perspective of a homegrown teacher.
  • Participants will hear a presentation on the Ohio Appalachian Collaborative’s innovations in hiring criteria and retention strategies.

For questions or additional information, please contact Megan Norris by telephone (312-690-7373) or e-mail (

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