Some teachers not focused on salary

August 20, 2013 3:25:13 PM PDT
After another year without pay raises in a state ranked near the bottom nationally for salaries, we asked some North Carolina teachers why they would stay here to teach. Most told us Tuesday they're trying to stay focused on the job, not the money.

At Millbrook Magnet High School, 42 new teachers are starting this fall. Wake County Assistant Superintendent Doug Thilman said they're part of an incoming wave.

"Six hundred and seventy new to Wake County, so that means they're still coming, they still want to work in North Carolina and particularly they want to work in Wake County," he offered.

At a time when North  Carolina teachers are in the news and speaking out for more money and better treatment by legislative leaders who control state funding, one of the newest at Millbrook told us she's more worried about her students.

"Right now, for me the money isn't a big thing. For me it's becoming a better teacher, using my resources wisely to help the students," said Hillary Taylor.

But rookie teacher Ryne Jones is aware of the anxiety felt by some veteran teachers over pay issues.

"It does make me a little nervous, however I'm very passionate right now and I feel that passion will bring me through," said Jones.

Humanities teacher Hillary Taylor's starting her second year as an educator and back at Millbrook, where she was a student before earning her degree at ECU.

"I would much rather be a better teacher than have better pay. For me at least, that's my priority," she said.

Jones is also focused on preparing to teach French classes on Monday. He's already earned two bachelor degrees from NC State and hopes to stay in a North Carolina public school classroom for a while. He says he will earn an advanced degree - even though it won't mean higher pay thanks to a change by the General Assembly that strips higher compensation for teachers who have a master's degree.

"I feel like if I get my master's it will help me become a better teacher, if I master my subject area," said Jones.

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