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Gwinnett welcomes more than 200 new educators

Photo by Brian Giandelone

Photo by Brian Giandelone

SUWANEE -- Some will be taking the helm of a classroom for the first time; others have left schools across the state and country to teach in Gwinnett.

A little more than a week before students return to classes for the 2010-11 school year, educators joining Gwinnett County Public Schools were welcomed Friday to their new jobs.

"The people who really make a difference are our teachers," said school superintendent and CEO J. Alvin Wilbanks, welcoming the new teachers Friday. "You're the ones that teach students, you're the ones that every day deliver the programs and services that we offer. If we were talking about a sports team today, we would be talking about an impact player, people that make a difference not just for the team but make a difference for the profession."

GCPS hired 240 new teachers -- 93 at the high school level, 56 to teach middle school, 85 for elementary and six to provide instruction at other educational facilities, including Monarch, Oakland Meadow and Hooper Renwick schools -- going into the new school year.

This year, 1,600 new students will enter Gwinnett County schools. That number includes children starting kindergarten and those moving into the school system at other grade levels.

"We are a system that we need to hire teachers," said Jorge Quintana, spokesman for GCPS. "Many other school systems across metro Atlanta and Georgia don't have a need for teachers right, now but as a growing system, we need teachers."

In light of the 155 teachers who were not recommended for renewal with GCPS this spring, the system has added only 85 new positions. GCPS is opening eight new facilities this school year.