Recruiter talks about the excitement, resources - and don't
forget palm trees
August 12, 2007
Victoria Goodwin never imagined that her first job fresh out of college would
be teaching first grade to English-language learners in Arizona.
The 2007 Clemson University graduate from South Carolina started teaching first
grade last week at John F. Long Elementary School in Phoenix's Cartwright
Elementary School District.
Goodwin, 21, learned about Cartwright and its 23 elementary and middle schools
at a Clemson education job fair in the spring.
"They were the only ones from the West Coast, all the rest were from the
southeast," Goodwin said.
David Santellanes, the Cartwright recruiter, stuck out as the nicest
recruiter that she met at the job fair, Goodwin said.
"He was so excited about his school district. He offered me a job that day,"
As more Valley school districts begin to recruit teachers from out of state,
recruiters are looking for ways to distinguish themselves from the pack of
Arizona districts all touting the great weather and their pick of schools.
Santellanes talks to applicants about salaries, mentors, district resources
and what a great place his district is. In fact, he even hands out bottles
of hot sauce and habanero peanuts, with a label that says "Cartwright
Elementary School District, the hottest school district in Arizona."
But a major factor in standing out is establishing a relationship in the
short time period he has at job fairs.
"How do you get these kids to come 2,000 miles to teach when you only have
half hour?" Santellanes asks. "The sincerity with which you share
information will either make it or break it."
With recent graduates, a part of Santellanes' job is also convincing
"At first, my mom said, 'No, you're not moving,'" Goodwin said.
But her mom and dad joined Goodwin in April when she came to tour Phoenix
and the district.
Goodwin and her parents fell in love with the palm trees and weather and
were equally impressed with the Cartwright students.
"My dad wanted to move here by the time they left," Goodwin joked.
Still, it is a little scary moving to a place where she knows no one.
"I got to meet a bunch of new teachers at the orientation. We instantly
became friends," Goodwin said.
All are from out of state.