Montezuma-Cortez school district hires 37 teachers

After weeks of discrepancies, Montezuma-Cortez School Superintendent Alex Carter has settled the issue, stating that the district hired 37 teachers this year.

In a written report to school board members on July 31, Carter stated the district had hired 47 teachers for the 2014-15 school year.

“Thanks and kudos to our principals and HR department for recruiting and hiring 47 new teachers to our district this year,” Carter wrote.

The Cortez Journal requested a list of the new teachers, including their school assignments, on Aug. 4. The following day, Carter told school board members at their monthly meeting that the district had hired 43 teachers.

“The market for teachers is very difficult,” Carter said.

Carter also informed the board that the district was performing a human resource audit in order to recruit and retain high-quality teachers as the result of a national teacher shortage. He said that one opening in Durango schools, for example, attracts 200 or more applicants. Openings in Montezuma-Cortez schools attract a handful, Carter said.

The Cortez Journal again asked Carter for a list of new teachers, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 21.

Three weeks after the initial media request, Carter responded on Aug. 25. His list totaled 37, including two counselors.

“Here are the 37 ‘new to the district’ teachers,” Carter wrote in his email reply. “Other spots were filled by teacher transfers of existing employees, and the community doesn’t need to be introduced to them.”

As of Monday, Aug. 25, the district was advertising to fill seven teacher positions.