PSS aims to hire college interns to boost teacher recruitment


The Public School System aims to keep in touch with its best-and-brightest students who are in college off-island, with a new recruitment outreach effort using social media.

Described as an “alternate pathway” to recruitment efforts, PSS federal programs officer Tim Thornburg and Human Resources director Cindy Deleon Guerrero described the launch of this new alternative media recruitment method in the works at last Thursday’s board meeting.

College students and potential PSS teachers will be actively recruited through Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin, according to Deleon Guerrero.

Thornburg said they have begun the process of planning and are near implementation of the program, where they will “utilize some federal funds creatively to hire college students on a part-time basis” to help recruit students off-island.

He said ideally, they would have these students on Saipan, Rota, and Tinian.

“What we’re going to do is a complete listing of all our scholarship students, and then have our interns make those contacts through whichever method works most successfully with each one of these students,” Thornburg said.

The interns, he said, would reach out and talk about opportunities that public education can afford them to “come back home.”

He said the average college student graduates with over $29,000 in student loans, and described a loan forgiveness program at PSS that may be attract these students back.

Thornburg said for the first four years, you pay the loan “with no interest, the principal remains stagnant.”

“Then at the end at five years, you get the loan forgiveness,” he said, explaining that Department of Education studies show that “if you keep a teacher for five years, there is a 65-percent chance that you keep them for 20 years.”

He said their hope is to have “constant contact” with off-island students so they don’t take jobs elsewhere.

“As we know it takes a while to get a contract from PSS, so if you have the constant contact, the hope is we won’t lose the teachers who want to come,” he said.

The interns will keep in touch with all listed students who go to college to see if any of them “want to come back and serve our next generation,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deleon Guerrero also said PSS is gearing up for its traditional recruitment efforts at fairs in Portland, Minneapolis, Denver, Tacoma, and Seattle from April 5 to April 24.

“We are looking to recruit as many teachers as we can,” she said.

From June to the present, PSS has recruited over 72 highly qualified teachers, she said, recapping their recruitment results over the last year.

Right now, 44 percent of student recruitments come out of the Northern Marianas College education program, according to Deleon Guerrero.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.