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We were able to start off the year with a teacher in every classroom. That is not always the case across the state or nation. With the state and national teacher shortage it has become more difficult to find qualified teachers. We feel very fortunate that we, in Box Elder School District, are still able to hire good people to work with our students. There is generally a correlation to a strong national and local economy and teacher shortages. Terry Jackson, Box Elder School District Assistant Superintendent over Human Resources has stated that there is a reported shortage in students entering college of education programs at universities across the nation. Some reports show a downturn in enrollment as much as 40%. This is very concerning because as parents, patrons, and guardians you are well aware of the importance of having a great teacher in the classroom. Many studies have shown that the positive relationship between a teacher and his/her students is a key factor in the learning taking place in the classroom. Here in Box Elder School District the leadership on both the district and school level are well aware of this fact and we are doing all we can to train and retain great teachers. Across the nation and in Utah, teacher retention has become a huge concern. Statistics show that more than half the teachers who start this year in Utah will not be in the teaching profession in five years. As a school district superintendent this is tremendously concerning because the three to five year mark in a teacher’s career is when they are really figuring out what they need to do to reach kids. As a school district we put a lot of time and money into training our teachers and it is a real loss when we lose them out of the profession or to another school district. Because of the Box Elder County demographics and tax structure our school district is not able to generate as much revenue per pupil as some of our neighboring school districts and we have had some concern over having our trained teachers leave for greener pastures, so to speak. The pay scales across the state vary from school district to school district based on the local school district property tax effort and some state guarantees based on that local school district’s tax effort. The Box Elder School Board of Education is well aware of this concern and has given me, as the superintendent, the directive to investigate all possible options to retain teachers by having a wonderful culture in our school district and schools and to have a competitive salary schedule. It is my hope that together we can make Box Elder School District second to none. With your help and appreciation for the great work teachers and all the staff do we hope to let them know of the value they have in our great Box Elder community. Thanks for all you do to support education and your children in our efforts to help them succeed. Steve Carlsen Superintendent Box Elder School District