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Recruiting and Retaining Teachers in Rural Communities

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

12:00 p.m.– 1:00 p.m. CT


REL Midwest and its Rural Research Alliance hosted a webinar designed to share strategies specific to rural communities to recruit and retain quality educators. Douglas Gagnon, Ph.D., presented his research on the difficulty of rural communities to apply policies meant to support quality teacher retention and recruitment (Gagnon & Mattingly, 2015). Dr. Gagnon also discussed four strategies for rural school staffing, including “grow-your-own” initiatives, financial incentives, communities of practice, and capacity building. After Dr. Gagnon presented the research foundation for the discussion, practitioners from Wisconsin and Ohio discussed how these research-based strategies are used in rural schools and classrooms in their states. This event was designed to address the U.S. Department of Education’s priority area of educator effectiveness, with a particular emphasis on the challenges of rural communities.  


Please view the archived PowerPoint presentation slides.



  • Victoria Cirks, Rural Research Alliance Lead, REL Midwest


  • Douglas Gagnon, Ph.D., Research Associate, Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire
  • John Ulferts, Ed.D., Superintendent-Principal, Shirland Community Consolidated (CC) School District 134
  • Erin Joyce, Director, Ohio Appalachian Collaborative at Battelle for Kids
  • Ciara Fischer, Fifth Grade and Middle School Art Teacher, Shirland CC School 134

Who Should Attend?


Anticipated participants for this event include rural educators; staff from rural-focused, community-based organizations; local and state education agency staff; researchers; and policymakers. 


Related Resources


Gagnon, D. J., & Mattingly, M. J. (2015). State policy responses to ensuring excellent educators in rural schools. Journal of Research in Rural Education, 30(13), 1–14.