Aiken County school district works to resolve teacher shortage through recruitment and retention

Aiken, S.C.(WJBF)- Aiken County Schools are among many districts in South Carolina in need of teachers for the upcoming school year.

In an effort to fill vacancies in the classroom, school district leaders are ramping up their efforts with partnerships with college of education programs at several universities including University of South Carolina Aiken and Clemson University. They have also created mentoring programs to help retain teachers once they enter the profession. Linda Payne, Human resources and recruiting coordinator for Aiken County Schools says there are several factors that attribute to the shortage.

“We’ve been following the same trends as our districts in the state and nationally. There just simply aren’t enough people graduating in teacher education programs to fill all of the vacancies that we have. We’ve also hit a time where we have a large population of teachers who are retiring or finishing up their tenure and retiring,” Payne says.

The district has even gone as far as sending recruitment teams out of state for those wanting to live and teach in Aiken.

“Dr. Alfords been involved with the recruitment from the very beginning and with promoting the administrators being very involved. We have folks that come from out of state to visit for several days and we take them to a variety of schools so those principals can get to know them and also let them get to know the schools.” Payne says.

Currently the district has programs in place to help mentor and nurture first-year teachers. The statement dream program allows for all new teachers to receive a mentor. They also have an Icare program where administrators are paired with first- year teachers for an additional level of the support.

Those interested in becoming a teacher should in Aiken County or districts within South  Carolina should visit the South Carolina Department of Education website or



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