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Gainesville schools struggle to retain teachers
District leaders work to overcome high faculty turnover
Gainesville School Board Office

Recruiting quality teachers is hard enough for the Gainesville City School System. But retaining them is also a constant challenge.

This is evident in the number of teachers who have worked for the city for just one to five years.

There are currently 72 teachers in their first year working for the district and 223 who have worked from between two and five years, the highest single segment measured.

Additionally, 142 teachers have worked for the city system for between six and 10 years, and 148 have worked for between 11 and 15 years. 

Jeremy Williams --NEW
Gainesville City School System Superintendent Jeremy Williams
“We hired more than 100 teachers at Gainesville Middle School and Gainesville High School in the last two years,” Superintendent Jeremy Williams said. “So we are in a phase where we want to increase retention rates.”

Transfers, retirements and resignations are a yearly occurrence and something administrators must manage.

There have been 11 retirements and 14 resignations among all schools this year that will take effect next fall.

Gainesville High has taken the biggest hit, with a total of 15 retirements and resignations, including the recent announcements by Principal Tom Smith and longtime football coach Bruce Miller.

“Each decision is a case-by-case basis, and we are not alarmed by the number,” Williams said. “Every vacancy gives us an opportunity to raise the bar and possibly absorb positions.” 

For the next academic year, 38 transfers have already been requested, according to a recent report.

The 13 requests from teachers at New Holland, for example, can be explained by the coming expansion of pre-K to all elementary schools this fall. Currently, nearly all pre-K classes are held at New Holland, with just one at Mundy Mill Academy.

Other transfer requests, from Gainesville high and middle schools, for example, are coming from some elective teachers who desire a different venue.

“Those positions are typically electives like art, music, STEM, etc.,” Williams said.

Recently approved changes to school attendance zones are also likely playing a role in transfer requests.

“It could be that or wanting to be where their child attends,” Williams said. “With the zoning change, teachers will have to be selective if they do not work in the school their child attends.”

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