Panther valley junior and senior high has 35 teachers and roughly 700 students, that leaves approximately one teacher for every 20 students... The state average is somewhere around 1 to 16. "In this district, since I've been here a little over five years we've lost 68 teachers and administrators...It's not just full time teachers. Says Dennis Kergick, the Panther Valley Superintendent.
There's also a lack of substitute teachers. Daryle Cook says his step daughter had three classes this year with absent teachers, and only one had a substitute. "During that week she was being put into a study hall, and not being taught anything to do with algebra 2."Cook says he reached out the District, but felt he wasn't taken seriously.
Teachers, like any profession, have to take days off too. But for Panther Valley, filling that classroom is becoming increasingly difficult says Kergick. "There's a depleted pool of candidates for substitutes, and as much as we'd like to have all the coverage we find desirable it's been a challenge in this school district."
Joseph gunnels, the Junior Senior High School Principal says if a teacher is out, and there's no substitute, it's up to the teacher to catch up the students. "They always leave prepared work, hoping there's a substitute to get in to do that work. But if we can't that's work that has to go and be revisited, and retaught."
There are plenty of reasons teachers choose to leave the profession and college students are declaring other majors ... But panther valley seems especially effected. Kergick says compensation, and available teachers and substitutes living in the area are contributing factors.