The Importance of Teacher Recruitment & Retention

Research shows that great teachers are the most important school-based factor for student achievement. But teaching in Title I schools is challenging work, and many Title I schools lose effective teachers to other schools where there are more resources and supports. Title I schools have a higher proportion of inexperienced teachers, and teachers of color are underrepresented, even though research shows that students of color have significantly better academic outcomes when they have the opportunity to learn from a teacher who looks like them.

Great principals play a pivotal role in recruiting teachers, developing them into outstanding educators and retaining them in their schools year to year. Effective principals support teachers to take on leadership roles as they grow in their careers, allowing them to advance professionally and support other teachers in the school, increasing their likelihood of staying at that school.

The Cindy Edelman Fellowship for Teacher Recruitment & Retention supports Title I elementary school principals to work on a project of their choosing to support great teaching in their schools.The fellowship includes grant funding, coaching and other professional development opportunities to help principals increase their positive impact in schools.

My principal, Mychelle Grover, is a powerful force who played the biggest role in achieving this milestone accomplishment so early in my career. She has modeled what authentic, quality leadership looks like and with grace and determination reached a broken school community and then turned that broken school community around into a positive, cohesive community." 
— Stephanie Bellino, 2019 Duval County Teacher of the Year

Meet the Inaugural Fellow


Yvonne Spinner is the principal at Ruth N. Upson Elementary School in Murray Hill. Principal Spinner is working to retain top-performing teachers at her school. TNTP, a nationally renowned leader in promoting teaching excellence, calls the top 20 percent of teachers “The Irreplaceables”  teachers that are highly effective yet leaving the profession at an alarming rate. Principal Spinner has identified some of the highest performing teachers in her school and is working to provide them leadership and engagement opportunities that are proven to help retain top teachers.

"Teacher recruitment and development are critical for creating high-quality effective teacher teams that employ rigorous instruction in the classroom. Teachers are the building blocks of high-performing schools and student learning gains. I chose to focus on Teacher Recruitment & Retention because I look forward to helping my teachers continue to be top performers as well as build individual leadership skills and competencies. This body of work is critical for me as a school leader, as I hope to increase the performance of our Title 1 students to ensure they are prepared for middle and high school success as a result of this investment in teacher development." — Yvonne Spinner, Ruth N. Upson Elementary School Principal




of public schools in Duval County earned an "A," "B," or "C" in 2021-2022.