Nanette Merrill GP Meridian North

“Study after study shows the single most important factor determining the quality of the education a child receives is the quality of his teacher.”

All schools have a desire to hire the “best” teachers.  But how do we define what the “best” actually means?  Educational Leadership noted an article that speaks to the qualities one should identify in hiring teachers.  According to the research, pre-requisites (prior experience), teacher personality, classroom management/organization, instructional practices, and monitoring student progress are important elements to consider when selecting excellent teachers.  

Twice I have hired an entire staff at the opening of a new building. Both times I have been grateful for the hiring process that Gem Prep implements to identify the best teachers. Our application process is not simple and goes well beyond the request for a resume and traditionally pertinent documents. Just to give you an idea of what it takes to have the honor of teaching at Gem Prep, I’ve outlined the process below:

  1. Candidates apply online and submit their resume, cover letter, references, etc.
  2. Candidates respond to questions with online video recordings and written responses. This process demonstrates some pre-requisite skills, teacher personality, and perseverance. 
  3. If selected from those phases, the candidates are invited to an in-person interview which includes aggregating student data to make instructional decisions, answering scenario based questions, and sharing their teaching practices for classroom management and teaching. 
  4. Finally, we ask for footage of teaching (if out of state or due to COVID) or observe them in action if local.  We believe this process does provide us a comprehensive  measurement of teacher effectiveness.  

Hiring using this extensive process has served me well again during the 2021-2022 GPMN school year. The teachers I have hired so far have a combined teaching experience of 40+ years. They include an award winning counselor of the year, teachers with technology expertise, and teachers with reading and early childhood endorsements. This entire group of educators share a critical focus, desiring to prepare scholars for college through rigorous academics.  

Teaching well is hard work. But never being satisfied with mediocrity breeds excellence. It’s great to be a part of a team of folks who believe in each other and who realize that the combination of effort, error, and perseverance produces achievement. Together we are strong.

Nanette Merrill, Principal

To enroll visit gemprep.org/meridiannorth/.