At West Carroll and across Sauk Valley, finding teachers gets harder

Julie Katzenberger, superintendent of West Carroll Community Unit School District 314 had to fill vacancies of more than 10% of her teaching staff, most created by retirements. A Mount Carroll native, she said there aren't as many available candidates for openings.
A sign marks the entrance to West Carroll Middle School in Mount Carroll.

About West Carroll

Janell Hartman accompanies her sixth-grade students through the hallways during a bell-change on Wednesday morning at West Carroll Middle School in Mount Carroll. It was the first day of school.

Across the Sauk Valley

Janell Hartman, a sixth-grade teacher at West Carroll Middle School in Mount Carroll, boots up her classroom video board to go over class schedules with her students on the first day of school on Wednesday.

Scope of the problem

Underlying causes

Jennifer Johnson, a teacher of 29 years experience, introduces herself to her class of sixth-graders at West Carroll Middle School on Wednesday. It's her first year as a sixth-grade instructor after being a special education specialist last year. The room's lighting is tinted to accommodate special education students.

‘Getting out there’

Enrollment, planning, mentoring

Special education teacher Tracy Siegner is gleefully surprised when one of her students expresses a desire to become a better reader and the whole class breaks out into spontaneous supportive applause during her first day teaching at West Carroll Middle School on Wednesday.

A new year

Troy Taylor

Troy E. Taylor

Was named editor for and the Gazette and Telegraph in 2021. An Illinois native, he has been a reporter or editor in daily newspapers since 1989.