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Local Schools Seeking and Rewarding Top Tier Talent

Elizabeth Brinkman

Maricopa County Spotlight Schools Gearing Up for a Big Push Forward

Phoenix—Maricopa County school districts are preparing to place the spotlight on several schools over the coming academic year.

Maricopa County Education Service Agency (MCESA) is working with local school districts to identify a group of high-need schools that will carry the Spotlight School designation. The districts are members of the Rewarding Excellence in Instruction and Leadership, The Next Generation (REIL-TNG) program—a five-year initiative aimed at increasing educator effectiveness.

Spotlight Schools

The Spotlight School program is part of the 5-year REIL-TNG initiative and will help districts attract, develop and retain the most effective educators.  The initiative is being implemented in seven county school districts by MCESA and is funded by a U.S. Department of EducationTeacher Incentive Fund grant. 

“These are schools in our county that have great potential and have made strong gains over the past three years,” said Dr. Lori Renfro, Assistant Superintendent of Human Capital Management Systems. “Over the course of the next two years we will work closely with our partner districts to focus our combined resources and talent to give these schools the extra push they need to succeed.”

Recruitment and Reward

This spring the spotlight schools are employing some innovative incentives in order to recruit top-tier educators. The schools are seeking educators with the state-recognized rating of “Effective” or “Highly Effective” to work in these schools.

Educators who transfer to spotlight schools will receive a competitive base salary structure, a $3,000 yearly stipend, the possibility of a multi-year contract and Highly Effective and Effective status protection for three years.

“This is an incredible opportunity for any educator who would like to elevate their status as a professional by becoming a Master Educator,” said REIL-TNG Director Dr. Janice Johnson. “There are great incentives in place because we want to attract the best talent for these schools.”

As part of this initiative, educators can take advantage of new career opportunities by becoming In-Demand Teachers, Master Educators, Turnaround Assistant Principals and Turnaround Principals.