Crisis in the Classroom: Educators discuss possible staff shortage solution

February 09, 2023

Crisis in the Classroom: Educators discuss possible staff shortage solution

by Miya Ingle (watch here: Crisis in the Classroom: Educators discuss possible staff shortage solution | WPBN (

GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich., (WPBN/WGTU) -- Nationwide and right here in northern Michigan, schools are struggling to find enough staff.

But a conversation has been started in our communities on how to solve the issue.

Many schools are left wondering where they might find their next teacher, school counselor, principal, or superintendent.

But one possible solution may be in the works to support the future of education.

After a few years of hardships, like the pandemic, remote learning and safety concerns, another challenge educators focused on Wednesday night: staffing shortages.

"It is now more than ever that we need courageous school leaders and individuals that want to accept this challenge," Northwest Education Services Superintendent Nick Ceglarek said.

"I have openings and I have areas where we're short and I need adults, really good adults to serve my kids. And I can’t find them,” Traverse City Central High School Principal Jessie Houghton said.

Houghton is encouraging people to look at their current talent pool to fill some of those open positions.

"You might have hired someone in for a specific role. But you need a role over here, and look at that and look at the opportunities and these types of programs that are here locally to grow people into that next role," Houghton said.

Grand Valley State University offers that type of program without having to travel to Allendale.

"For individuals who are currently in education that want to get their teacher certification, we're creating a pathway for them to do that here in northern Michigan,” Northern Michigan Programs for GVSU Director Shannon Owen said.

In Traverse City, GVSU offers four Master of Education programs to prepare people in administrative and leadership roles.

"We're local, we're right here and we want to do everything we can to continue to support our teachers, our leaders, and our children,” Owen said.

Starting this May, GVSU is starting a para-professional program so students can get their teacher certificate right here in Traverse City.

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Page last modified February 9, 2023