BERLIN – For the fifth year in a row, the County Commissioners distributed new laptop computers to all newly hired teachers who agreed to remain in the employment of the Board of Education (BOE) for two years or more.
The laptops, which were distributed by the commissioners following the BOE’s annual opening meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 26, at Stephen Decatur Middle School in Berlin, are an incentive that is used to continue to attract highly qualified individuals to an already outstanding team of educators in the Worcester County public school system.
“When the bell rings and the eyes of 20 or more students will fall upon these new teachers, and at that moment they will realize that the ability to mold a life lies within their hands,” said Commission President Virgil L. Shockley. “It is a humbling but invigorating realization…a moment that each of them will carry with them for the rest of their lives. This is the reason they chose to become teachers. We recognize the immense contributions they make toward educating our children, and we support them on their journey.”
A total of 38 Dell Latitude Models D830 was presented to the new teachers on Tuesday. The laptops are equipped with Microsoft Office Professional and come with dual batteries and carrying cases. These models are compatible with the laptops currently being used by the BOE. The commissioners were able to purchase the educational models and software at a cost of $1,256.72 per laptop.
The commissioners originally began offering laptop computers to newly hired teachers at the beginning of the FY04/05 school year and the program quickly proved to be successful.
In addition to providing laptops to new teachers, another tool aimed at attracting and retaining outstanding educators is increasing teacher salaries. The commissioners approved an increase in teachers’ salaries in the FY08/09 budget of 6 percent and increased starting teachers’ salaries to $42,222.