Dist. 203 Working to Reverse Trend District Hopes Advertising with Different Groups Will Attract More Minorities

By Jenco, Melissa | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 19, 2006 | Go to article overview

Dist. 203 Working to Reverse Trend District Hopes Advertising with Different Groups Will Attract More Minorities


Jenco, Melissa, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Melissa Jenco Daily Herald Staff Writer

Hundreds of potential teachers flocked to Naperville Unit District 203's recruitment fair Wednesday, although minority applicants were relatively few and far between.

District officials say they are working to reverse this trend by advertising to more diverse groups and providing support for current minority employees.

"We are trying to get minority candidates to look into the district and visit our Web site and see what is available, but I was encouraged tonight," said Gayle Wahlin, associate superintendent for human resources. "I did see that we had minority candidates. That was wonderful."

One of the district's goals in its strategic plan for the next five years is diversifying its staff.

Currently, about 3.7 percent of the district's teachers and 2.6 percent of its administrators are minorities, according to district statistics. That's a slight increase from last year, when about 3.1 percent of teachers and 1.3 percent of administrators were minorities.

Wahlin said the challenge is getting the word out. This year, the district advertised the recruitment fair to colleges across the state, including in Chicago schools where there are more diverse groups of people.

They also advertised with groups such as 100 Black Men of America, Inc., the DuPage African Methodist Episcopal Church and a local Chinese school and sought recruitment help from the Diversified Parents Association.

Estella Hunt of Naperville and Natalia Bivens of Roselle, who are both black, said they didn't see any advertising but found the recruitment fair information by accident on the district's Web site. …

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