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UND event to focus on teacher recruitment and retention

Dec. 1 event features keynote speaker, panel discussion centered on innovations in teacher recruitment and retention.


UND Education Building

Earlier this year, the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction declared that all subject areas would have critical teacher shortages going into the 2022-2023 school year.

That’s why a UND-sponsored event later this week may be of interest to educators and others from around the region.

The Spotlight on Innovations in Teacher Recruitment and Retention event will take place online from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1. As part of the event, a keynote speaker and a panel discussion will focus on innovations taking place in teacher recruitment and retention, plus solicit feedback from educators on “what works.”

Rural sociologist Benjamin J. Winchester, an extension educator with Minnesota’s Extension Center for Community Vitality, will deliver the event’s keynote address, “Rewriting the Rural Narrative: Resident Recruitment and the Rural Brain Gain.” The Rural Brain Gain is the trend of 30- to 49-year-olds moving to rural areas, a trend that small towns can leverage to draw highly educated newcomers with children as well as significant skills, connections and spending power, the University of Minnesota Extension’s website notes.

Following the keynote address, UND Associate Professor Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz will moderate a panel centered on innovations in teacher recruitment and retention. This robust discussion will feature education leaders from across the state, including representatives from the North Dakota Department of Public Instruction and leadership from UND’s College of Education and Human Development, as well as the following panelists:

  • Ivona Todorovic, a UND graduate and North Dakota’s 2023 Teacher of the Year
  • Michael Heilman, Executive Director of North Dakota Small Organized Schools
  • Dr. Steven Johnson, Superintendent of Fort Ransom Elementary School District
  • Nick Archuleta, President of North Dakota United

An interactive Q&A discussion will follow.

There is no cost for this event, but registration is required. People who’d like to attend are asked to register no later than Tuesday, Nov. 29.

The event is being co-sponsored by UND’s College of Education and Human Development and by I-REEED, the College’s Initiative for Rural Education, Equity and Economic Development. I-REEED is a research collaborative of education faculty and graduate students at UND, and as the website of the collaborative states, “the primary goal of I-REEED is to produce rigorous, collaborative, and solution-oriented research that is relevant and useful to our state and local partners.”

For more information, contact I-REEED Director Diana D’Amico Pawlewicz, associate professor of education, health and behavior at UND, at