Roughly 60 to 70 teachers attend orientation Tuesday at Berry Hill Resort and Conference. Participating in new teacher orientation are (first row, from left) Lisa Long, director of elementary education, Thomas Walker, Tayler Gomez, Courtney Epps, Amber Blanks, Morgan Nelson, Priscillae A. Burwell, Natalie Long, Adam Logan, Roland Brandon, Maria Acosta, Beth Wilkerson and Valdivia Hall, assistant superintendent; (second row, from left) Dr. Mark Lineburg, superintendent, Jessica Overbey, Christina DeLeon, Kassie Blanks, Samantha Nunn, Lucy Wallace, Meghan Weatherford, Kayla Whirley, Brandi Abbott, Deelynn Leigh, Erika Holt and Dianne G. King; (third row, from left) Cole McKinney, Tanya Stovall, Lauren Wright, Christen Seamster, Katelyn Guthrie, Sarah Brogden, Jaskie Jennings, Alauna Jackson, April Fienga and Kathy Fraley, Halifax County School Board chair; (fourth row, from left) Bristol Martin III, Michala Day, Lesley Cole-Swanson, Tiffany Munford, Amanda Hines, Nakenia Clark, Melissa Young, Amanda Chandler and Hubert Pannell; (fifth row, from left) Penny Ferrell, Tamela Penick Owen, Kathy Wright, Angela Mason, Kim Rutherford, Sijourney Gayles, Allison Henderson and Tyler Duffer; (six row, from left) Beth Putnam, David Diehl, Dawn Emerson, Tanisha Terry, Chelsea Epps, Kristy Tucker, Rokesha Barksdale, James Conner, Danisha Dunn, Forrest Nunn and Sasha Ferguson; (seventh row, from left) Tyler Brookhart, Roger Smith, Savannah Reaves, Caitlyn Jordan, Latoya Tucker, Cynthia Wray and Kevin Scott Reece; and (eighth row, from left) Tonnie Villines, Larry Toomer, Megan Hightower, Jasmine Vaughan, Wilnette L. Carter, Taeshae Traynham, Emily Seate and Randi Warner. Not pictured are Dallas Smithers, Christina Reagan, Elizabeth Senseney, Robert Senseney, Dawn Gatrell-Tuck and Cheryl Rhodes.

More than 60 new teachers joined Halifax County Public School staff at Berry Hill Resort and Conference Center Tuesday for new teacher orientation.

Typically, the school system sees an average of 30 teachers come on board for a new school, according to assistant superintendent Valdivia Hall. 

This summer the school system witnessed an increase in the number of teachers who resigned or retired after the 2020-2021 school year compared to previous years with many of them seeking higher pay at other school districts and some deciding to change careers after having to complete a hybrid year due to COVID-19. 

“It’s been a challenge,” said Hall of filling those jobs left void after the mass exodus of teachers. 

They looked to avenues such as the career switcher provided at various community colleges and universities to find teachers for the upcoming school year. 

Career switchers, Hall said, are “excited, interested and ready to learn.”

Teachers hired for the 2020-2021 school year, and were unable to complete orientation due to COVID-19, also were invited to attend Tuesday’s orientation.  

New teachers, Hall, said, will also receive guidance in their buildings from principals, other teachers and staff.