When Carroll County Public Schools Superintendent Steve Guthrie started in the school system as a social studies teacher 33 years ago, he was caught off guard when he was evaluated by an administrator four times in his first three weeks.
"I felt like many of you coming in with experience, I knew my stuff," Guthrie said to more than 100 new Carroll County teachers Friday at Liberty High School.
At the orientation session for new teachers, Guthrie welcomed the new hires to Carroll and explained that they can expect regular observations from administrators to make them a better teacher and to improve Carroll County Public Schools.
"The expectation of us is to make you a better teacher so you can do a better job with our students," Guthrie said. "That is what you're here to do."
The school system has hired 121 new teachers for the year, but is expected to hire five or six more before the first day of school, Aug. 26, according to Human Resources Director Jimmie Saylor.
About one-third of this year's incoming class of teachers have previous experience in a kindergarten through 12th grade school, Saylor said.
The school system hired 125 new teachers last year, which is about the annual average, according to Saylor.
The largest new class of teachers was 248 eight years ago, she said.
The incoming class includes a Howard Community College math instructor, a 2013 University of Maryland graduate, and a Carroll County Public Schools graduate.
Anjelica Briggs, who spent the last year as a math instructor at Howard Community College, said Carroll's professional development programs are one aspect that led her to accept a job teaching sixth grade math at Oklahoma Road Middle School.
"They're willing to work with their teachers and their staff to ensure that the students are getting the highest quality education possible," she said.
Eric Fagan, who just graduated from the University of Maryland this spring, will be teaching ninth grade honors chemistry and honors physics at Westminster High School.
Admittedly a little anxious to have his own classroom, Fagan said he's just excited to get started.
"I love working with kids, it really energizes me," he said. "I can't wait to start."
Christy Pearre, a graduate of North Carroll High School and 2010 graduate of Frostburg State University, will be a teacher in the autism program at Hampstead Elementary School one year after being a teaching assistant at Hampstead.
She has already been working with some of her students through a summer program and said that will be a huge benefit.
"I think it's it going to be a really great year," Pearre said.