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updated: 10/29/2012 8:32 PM

Dist. 116 to recruit minority teachers

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  • W. Lee Palmer Jr.

    W. Lee Palmer Jr.


Round Lake Area Unit District 116 plans to seek more Hispanic and black teachers in an effort to better match the student population.

W. Lee Palmer Jr., the district's executive director of human resources and information technology, presented the plan to establish the hiring goal to board members at a meeting Monday night.

District 116's student population is 70 Hispanic, according to Palmer's report, and 20 percent white. Blacks account for 7 percent of the district's pupils.

But the report notes the look of the teachers doesn't mirror the student body for the most part. Whites account for 94 percent of the teachers, followed by American Indians at 2 percent, and Hispanics and blacks each at less than 1 percent.

Palmer's report says that based on student demographics, District 116's teacher makeup compares favorably with American Indians and males and females overall.

"Moving forward, the district will establish the hiring goals that will help achieve parity with the available workforce data and reflect internal equity based on the district's student population," says Palmer's report.

Palmer said the district has done a good job in beefing up the number of minorities who have been hired as administrators. He said the goal is to now add to the teaching ranks.

After the meeting, Palmer said he plans to make inroads at colleges and various local organizations. He said part of the process should include new black and Hispanic hires spreading the word that District 116 is a good place to work.

"It's kind of like the notion success breeds success," he said.

Palmer said he led successful efforts at boosting the number of minority instructors at previous jobs in Connecticut and Minnesota.

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