Beaufort School District creates database for teachers hunting a roommate

Beaufort County, SC (WSAV) – There’s a pattern with new teachers coming into Beaufort County.

First comes the excitement-then the shock over the cost to live there.  The ongoing cycle has prompted the school district to create a database for teachers in search for a roommate.

Whitney Harris spent Wednesday getting her spare room squared away for a new roommate who’s moving in next week.
The St. Helena Elementary math coach just paid her way toward her master’s degree and can use some help carrying the load of expenses.

“It kind of makes sense to get a roommate because you don’t want to live paycheck to paycheck being in such a great location,” Harris explained. “You want to have money to travel and things with other people that you meet.”
Rent on her two bedroom place is about $1200 a month.
A starting teacher in Beaufort County makes just over $35,000 dollars a year.
Add in the other bills and there’s not much wiggle room left for a teacher living alone.
Beaufort County School District’s Talent Acquisition Specialist Jill McAden is the brain behind a new database meant to help Beaufort County teachers find a roommate.
McAden makes it clear– she’s not a match-maker, but manager of a list intended to ease a burden of professionals handling life on a budget.
“I think it really comes down to when they come to visit this area and visit apartments and start factoring in the cable the internet- turning on power,”  McAden said, of when she typically gets a call asking for help with a roommate.
McAden’s role with the district is not only recruitment but retention of teachers and she believes new hires getting a comfortable start is crucial.
Her assistance helped Harris land her latest roommate who’s a first-year teacher.
The bonus: not only in sharing bills but lessons learned in the field.
“I can be like a mentor,” Harris said.  “Not only a friend, but someone who can help her transition into teaching.”
Starting July 1, teachers will receive a $3,000 cost of living allowance in addition to their salary.  That’s up $1,000 from last year.

If you’re a teacher looking to link up with a roommate, contact Jill McAden at Jill.McAden@beaufort.k12.sc.us

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