[UTA Magazine]


Work force: Arlington ISD
Educating the educators

Students in Arlington’s public schools might not realize it, but they’ve probably been taught, coached, counseled or supervised by UTA graduates at some point during their grade-school years.

Of the 6,305 Arlington Independent School District positions that require college degrees, 1,186 are staffed by UTA graduates. That’s almost 19 percent of the district’s degreed work force, which includes principals, teachers, coaches, counselors, librarians and nurses.

“The AISD wants our graduates—teachers as well as administrators,” said Jeanne Gerlach, dean of UTA’s College of Education. “So do the rest of the districts in North Texas. Seventy percent of all UTA College of Education students stay in the Metroplex.”

Terry Smith is one. He grew up in Arlington, graduated from UTA and is now in his 12th year of teaching and coaching at Young Junior High.

“UTA did a good job of promoting the AISD when I was in school,” said Smith, who earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sport studies in 1991. “Arlington is a good school district, and it’s nice to be able to find a teaching job close to home.”

AISD principals like O.J. Kemp at Gunn Junior High often look to UTA to fill teacher openings. The district has eight high schools, 13 junior highs and 51 elementary schools.

“Our AISD personnel department does a terrific job recruiting from UTA,” said Kemp, a 1980 UTA graduate. “Many of the UTA grads do their student teaching and internships with AISD teachers. It gives us, as principals, a firsthand look at a prospective teacher.”

Those looks often lead to permanent jobs.

“UTA is a treasure trove for a large district like the Arlington ISD,” said Charlene Robertson, AISD’s public information officer. “While so many districts struggle to find qualified employees, we’re fortunate to have UTA as a reliable source of candidates for new positions.”

The benefits don’t end there. Robertson says that many of the district’s current employees take advantage of the University’s wide range of advanced degree programs.

And why not? As the statistics show, they’re probably already familiar with the campus.

– JP


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