TIFT CO., GA (WALB) - While many parts of the country struggle to deal with high turnover rates among teachers, one South Georgia school system is keeping a majority of their teaching staff in the classrooms.
Of the 657 certified staff members in Tift County, over 600 educators will be returning for the 2016-2017 school year.
Kevin Dobard is the executive director for human resources for the Tift County School System.
He says, "We like to have people remain in Tift County and have a long career."
The school system credits their orientation and induction programs as part of their high retention rate.
New teachers are assigned a mentor and an administrator to help guide them through their first few years of their teaching career.
"That mentor will help them weather out the storm of starting out in a new system and help them," Dobard adds.
The school system also offers opportunities for professional learning for teachers to grow in their careers as well as one of the few remaining systems to offer social security.
Dobard says it's important to keep a majority of familiar faces because it benefits the students.
"It maintains the consistency that you need for students to be successful. You don't want a revolving door of educators coming out. Yes, you want diversity and new ideas to come in, but you want them to stay…" Dobard says.
As of March 28, seventeen educators said they would not be returning for the next school year. Eight teachers announced that they would be retiring, while nine would be resigning by the end of this school year.