Bulletin News

Hundreds of Teacher Recruiters Coming to Campus


SUNY Cortland, home to New York’s largest comprehensive teacher education program, this spring will host recruiters from about 120 school districts offering potential opportunities for aspiring teachers from 11 Upstate colleges and universities.

This year, in an effort to help address the growing nationwide teacher shortage, Cortland’s annual Teacher Recruitment Days will not only be open for graduating seniors, but for qualified alumni of participating institutions who received degrees within the last five years. 

“We’re still here to help you, even after you graduate. Don’t think we’ve forgotten you,” said Michelina Gibbons, employer relations and recruiting coordinator for SUNY Cortland’s Career Services and organizer of the April 16-17 event. “For years we used to tell seniors, ‘you could come only one time and then you’re on your own.’ But now we think it’s a great way to reach out to alumni who are still looking.”

Gibbons is organizing this year’s fair on behalf of Central New York Career Development Association (CNYCDA), a consortium of career services offices from 11 institutions.  

This will be the 33rd year the consortium has held this event at Cortland, which offers a nationally respected teacher education program. It is the biggest annual teacher recruitment fair held in upstate New York.

Institutions participating in the event also include Binghamton University, Cazenovia College, Elmira College, Ithaca College, Le Moyne College, SUNY Cortland, SUNY Oneonta, SUNY Oswego, SUNY Potsdam, Syracuse University and Utica College. Once again it will be held in Park Center.

 “Attending the fair is a great way to make connections with school districts and lay the groundwork for a future interview or a future opportunity,” Gibbons said. “It shows interest in the field and in getting a job. It shows the district you’re doing your homework by making an effort.”

Three years ago, the event gave Cortland graduate Mark Hogan ’09, M ’15 the job opportunity he had hoped for.

“It felt like I talked to dozens of recruiters at Teacher Recruitment Days,” said Hogan, who earned bachelor’s degrees both in sport management and in mathematics education. “I focused on looking at jobs in the North Carolina area and I was able to meet with several recruiters from different schools.”

Because of those connections, Hogan interviewed at the A.L. Brown High School in Kannapolis, N.C., over spring break and was offered a job on the spot. Hogan now teaches math there and serves as an assistant coach for the high school’s junior varsity basketball team, combining the best of both degrees he earned at Cortland.

“Absolutely it was one of the best career decisions I made going to that fair because it gave me so many options to look at,” Hogan said.

Registration for job seekers to attend the fair opens Monday, Feb. 19. Students and alumni of CNYCDA campuses can sign up online until March 26.

Gibbons advises all prospective teachers who are at least college seniors and are able to take a job that starts in September to try to attend.

“Many students are made employment offers at the event,” she said. “They have to understand that this is their chance. Even if they’re student-teaching in a school district, they should know that this is an excused absence and the teachers should understand.”

Currently, 206 recruiters from 119 school districts have committed to attending and more will be accepted until two weeks before the fair, she said. About half are districts in New York state. Other states represented will include North Carolina, Virginia, California, Oregon, Maryland, South Carolina, Delaware, Nevada, Massachusetts and Colorado.

At least one school is sending recruiters from the other side of the planet.

SUNY Cortland graduate Jeannette Luther ’07, M ’10, is now principal of the Diyar International Private School, in the United Arab Emirates. She will be returning to Cortland to recruit at the event with two of her colleagues.

“Because I got my job through Teacher Recruitment Days, now my opportunities have just blossomed,” Luther said via an international phone call. “Here I am coming back to Teacher Recruitment Days 11 years later, flipping the coin. This time I hope to open some dreams.”

Luther recalls that she took part in at least nine job interviews at the 2007 Teacher Recruitment Days and received two job offers.

“It was such a blessing that I walked at Commencement knowing I had a job that day,” the Broome County native said.

A childhood education major at Cortland, Luther worked 10 years teaching elementary school in the Spencer-Van Etten (N.Y.) schools and earned a master’s degree in literacy from SUNY Cortland before setting her sights on an international teaching career.

“I am so happy here,” said Luther, a confident world traveler who as a junior at Cortland had spent a semester studying at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia. “I can walk to the beach and the mountains are right behind my apartments. Being in the Middle East, you can pick up and go anywhere around the world.”

SUNY Cortland President Erik J. Bitterbaum will give opening remarks to recruiters at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 16, in the Alumni Arena. Meanwhile, students will be welcomed by Andrea Lachance, dean for the School of Education and Bruce Mattingly, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, in Corey Gymnasium. Following will be orientation, first for students enrolled in childhood and special education and later for those majoring in secondary and special subjects. Recruitment interviews will take place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Monday, April 16 and from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17.

For more information or to register to attend, visit the Teacher Recruitment Days website at cnycda.org.