Florence breaks top 10 in best system to work for teachers

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FLORENCE, Ala. (WHNT) - The quest to become the top school system in the state continues in Florence as the system receives another accolade. This recognition is not for the students, but the teachers.

According to Niche.com, Florence City Schools is one of the top 10 systems in the state for a teacher to work. Superintendent Janet Womack sees the list as another way to affirm they are working in the right direction.  She said student achievement doesn’t come without excellence in the teaching profession.

“You must work to elevate both at the same time,” Womack explained. “As you are helping your students rise to the top, you have to put things in place that will help to arrive there also.”

One program Womack credits for elevating teachers is Impact 80. Florence partnered with UNA to offer teachers an advanced degree at a reduced cost. Womack said the program was made possible by a private donor paying for a third of the cost for each teacher. And with an advanced degree, teachers are able to make a higher salary.

“We have invested in our teachers and helped them see how they can also continue to climb on that salary schedule, which honestly, is a part of this ranking as well,” Womack stated.

And Womack said they have worked tirelessly to create a work environment and culture that teachers desire to come to everyday.

Womack expects to climb higher on the list in the coming years as statistics catch up with the current environment. She said most of the statistics used are on average about two years old.