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Territory Welcomes New International Teachers

Feb. 7, 2006 – In an effort to fill vacant teacher positions, the Education Department hired 27 teachers from such diverse locations as the Philippines, Bulgaria, Cameroon and Trinidad.
Education Department spokesman Juel Anderson said all teachers, except the one from Trinidad, have arrived in the territory.
The teachers will teach special education and math at the junior and senior high school levels. Additionally, Anderson said one of the international teachers will serve as the full-time librarian at Addelita Cancryn Junior High School.
In a news release issued last week, Alscess Lewis-Brown, the department's human resources director said, "The entire process has been long and arduous."
She said that since schools on the mainland also experienced shortages in special education, mathematics and foreign languages, the territory was forced to look internationally.
Lewis-Brown said the new teachers have excellent credentials and as much as 15 years' experience.
The teachers all have U.S. Department of Homeland Security clearance.
Lewis-Brown said she hopes the community will welcome the new teachers with V.I. hospitality and warmth.
"It is our desire to assist our new teachers with a positive transition experience," Lewis-Brown said.
The new teachers will undergo diversity training on Feb. 10 on St. Croix and Feb. 16 on St. Thomas. The training includes briefings on V.I. history and culture. The teachers will also receive tours of their respective island.
Lewis-Brown said that the teachers will participate in an orientation program to familiarize themselves with the community's organization, public safety, local banking, and child protection laws.
Additionally, they will learn about the department's personnel policies and procedures, payroll and business office procedures, union rules and regulations, health care program benefits and other benefits.
An orientation session was held Tuesday on St. Croix.
On St. Thomas, orientation will be held at 9 a.m. Feb. 15 at the Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School auditorium.
Any other new teachers and Education Department staff members who have not been to an orientation session are invited to attend.
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