Regional Superintendent of Schools Mark Jontry (WJEZ file photo)
By Katherine Murphy
Regional School Superintendent Mark Jontry says Illinois schools are facing real challenges in the near future as they try to keep quality teachers in classrooms. According to Jontry, there aren’t qualified candidates to replace teachers who are retiring or leaving the profession. Illinois’s regional superintendents conducted a survey recently that found that the number of college students taking the teacher certification exam has declined by 74 percent over the last few years. “What we need to look at across the board,” Jontry says, “is how we go about the preparatory process.” Jontry says current teachers need to be looking at students they have in class and identifying those who might be good candidates for a teaching career. Jontry says state officials are also looking at the teacher certification process to make sure that it meets the needs of the modern classroom. Jontry is the regional superintendent for Livingston, McLean, DeWitt, and Logan counties.