This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Recruiting and Retaining Teachers in Remote Rural School Districts: Strategies for Success




Lyles, Alicia

Type of Degree

PhD Dissertation


Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore the strategies used to recruit and retain teachers in remote rural school districts, from the perspective of the superintendent, the principal, and the teacher. Data was collected from interviews of superintendents, principals, and teachers, conducted in three remote rural school districts in the state of Alabama. Superintendents and principals noted two major challenges to recruiting and retaining teachers in remote rural school districts: geographical location and competition from larger school districts. Teachers who traveled over 40 minutes to get to work, tended to leave the remote rural school districts to find employment closer to where they lived. Larger school districts offered teachers higher salaries or signing bonuses to teach that the smaller, remote rural school districts could not afford to offer. The superintendents and principals reported that successful strategies in recruiting and retaining teachers in remote rural school districts included: active recruitment, hiring local teachers, incentives, teacher induction programs, mentors for support, and support from administrators. Although the geographic location was reported by superintendents and principals as a challenge to recruiting and retaining teachers, teachers reported geographical location as the top reason they continue to work in their current school districts. Teachers also noted to a lesser extent that administrative support and support from other teachers are reasons they stay in their current districts.