September 30, 2014

Elyria
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County greets new teachers


New Elyria High teacher Amanda Belcher (left) shares a laugh with Stephanie Alexander-Johnson, a new guidance counselor at the school. 

ELYRIA — While Lorain schools struggle to recover from a round of layoffs, other school districts around the county are celebrating the hiring of more than 125 teachers, administrators and guidance counselors.

New hires from around the county gathered in the Spitzer Conference Center at Lorain County Community College on Friday as part of a 20-year tradition of welcoming teachers with a luncheon. 

Absent were any new hires for Lorain City Schools.

Karen Wells, the college’s provost, stressed to the new hires the importance of promoting a technology-driven classroom that prepares students for the challenges of the 21st century.

“Are our future graduates going to be ready for the global economy?” she asked new teachers as they sipped iced tea. “Consider how important you are to the development and success of Northeast Ohio.” 

Most of the teachers were young, recent graduates of Ohio colleges who chose to start their careers in Lorain County.

“I’m excited to have my own class,” said Jarrod Mulheman, 25, of Westlake, who will teach world history at Avon Lake High School. “Some of my former teachers are teaching in the district and it seems like a great place to work.”

Mulheman said he decided to go into teaching during his freshman year at Kent State.

Elyria native Amanda Belcher, 22, said she is excited to teach at the high school where she graduated, Elyria High School.

“The history program at Elyria is the reason I went into teaching,” said Belcher, who will teach history. “It’s an incredible school.”

Belcher said she was hired as a long-term substitute but hopes to work her way into a permanent position.

North Ridgeville Schools hired the most teachers, adding 24 employees to its roster. Avon Lake schools and the Sheffield Lake district both added 12 teachers. The Clearview school district was the only other district hiring in double digits, adding 10 teachers to their ranks.

The luncheon is organized every year by the Lorain County Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Ben Norris 653-6285 or bnorris@chroniclet.com.