Dist. 214 Wants to Push Education Careers

Article excerpt

Byline: Erin Holmes Daily Herald Staff Writer

Frank Haralambakis left Rolling Meadows High School in 1995 as a graduate. He returned in 1999 as a math teacher.

"There's a reason I came back," he said. "As soon as I decided to become a teacher, I knew I wanted to be in the best district I could."

Confronted by forecasts of nationwide teacher shortages, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 officials wouldn't mind seeing even more graduates return to teach at their alma maters.

To help kindle interest in education as a career, District 214 administrators are now considering establishing Future Educators of America groups at the district's six traditional high schools in the next year or two.

"We recognize that over the course of the next few years, we are going to experience a plethora of retirements, coupled with increasing enrollments," said Darlene Larson, District 214 associate superintendent for human resources. "We would like to see the re-establishment of (FEA) in each school, with an opportunity to work with our own students and help them understand the potential for careers in teaching."

District 214 this year will see 46 retirements, and Larson says it's likely about 50 educators will retire every year for the next five years.

While the district is getting high numbers of teacher applicants - an estimated 2,000 for those 46 spots - administrators can't "sit back and assume that it's always going to be like this," Larson said.

"If we did not remain proactive, then we could have serious problems," she said.

The FEA has picked up nationally, providing high school students the opportunity to seriously explore the field of education as a career and help students gain an overall understanding of education.

Several district schools tried out the club in the early 1990s, but their efforts fizzled for myriad reasons. …