Danville's social media perception impacting teacher recruitment

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ7) Teacher recruitment, it's an issue that came up this week in Danville.

Some say it's difficult to fill vacancies and have highlighted the role social media posts can play.

Danville superintendent, Stanley Jones, says social media has made one recruit back out of coming to teach at Danville, but he says the real problem is much bigger.

He says the problem isn't about negative posts about the city on social media.

"For that one incident, there's 20 where that doesn't happen," says Jones.

He says it's something else.

"The bigger issue, to me, is that we have a, what I would call, a bona fide teacher shortage crisis," he says.

The number of people enrolling in teacher preparedness programs has gone down drastically since 2008.

There are more than 30 vacancies spanning from the elementary to high schools in Danville.

Jones says the school system is competing with other systems for the best teachers.

And yes, sometimes, social media plays a factor.

"It's only exasperated sometimes by perceptions of communities, and the harsh reality is that there's a lot more good than bad," says Jones.

Danville City Manager, Ken Larking, says the people that want to make a difference in Danville won't let a few negative comments stop them.

"Most people that are really serious about relocating to a community I think take the time to investigate fully what's going on in the city and we've got a lot of positive things in Danville," says Larking.

Jones invites anyone considering Danville to come visit.

"I would say you're doing a disservice to yourself if you don't have a balanced perspective, and every community has good and bad," says Jones.

Both Jones and Larking say with everything good going on in the city, from the work downtown, to unemployment levels going down, now is the time to move here.

They say the city is on the verge of its next Renaissance and they both plan to be a part of it.