Getting By, Getting Ahead: Good News For Merrimack Valley Teacher

Amanda Loder / StateImpact New Hampshire

After months of wondering about her future as an educator, Jillian Corey got some good news.

This summer, we’ve been looking at how individual Granite Staters are faring in the recovering economy with our series, “Getting By, Getting Ahead.”  Last week, we delved into some of the issues facing the Manchester school district, and shared the story of an area teacher who was part of the district’s mass lay-offs in the spring.  Thirty-two year old Jillian Corey had taught English at Memorial High School, and was wrestling with the possibility of leaving teaching so that she could make her house payment.

Now, however, things are starting to turn around for Corey. 

Shortly after our profile aired, she found out she is one of the 62 teachers the district is calling back after the city and school district scraped together about $4 million in one-time funding.   She will not, however, be returning to Memorial, or even educating high school students.  Corey is set to teach 7th grade English at McLaughlin Middle School for the 2012-2013 academic year.  She says she found out by way of an email from the school district’s Human Resources department.

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“I saw the email, and it said, ‘Corey Recall,’ and I clicked on it, and it said, ‘We have decided to recall you, and I clicked on the attachment,” Corey says.  It was a copy of the certified letter that had yet to hit her mailbox, officially confirming her re-employment. “Before I got the certified letter, I kept it up on my screen for two days.  And my computer would just go to sleep.  I wouldn’t shut it off.  And when it came back on, there was the letter again.  I just kept rereading it.”

“I was overwhelmed.  Absolutely overwhelmed with emotion,” Corey says.

With a little more than a month to go before the start of the school year, Corey still has a number of details to work out with the team at McLaughlin.  She doesn’t have experience teaching middle school, and hasn’t heard yet if she will be replacing an outgoing teacher or “if there is someone at this grade level that I’ll be able to lean on.”  She says there will be basic materials for her to go over, like standard literature texts and spelling books to guide her new curriculum.  Corey says she has also been in touch with McLaughlin’s administration, so that she can bring herself up to speed.  “I still have a month, so if I can get a leg up on this, that would be good,” Corey says.


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