RETAIN Center of Excellence for Mentoring and Induction Teachers began at Newberry College in August 2010 as part of an initial 5-year grant from the SC Commission on Higher Education. The Center has continued to grow since inception in 2010 so much that the COE provided a bonus year for 2016. The center is now focused on the continued growth of induction teachers, professional development for mentor teachers, and the online add-on certifications. These programs will enable the Center to continue and become independently sustainable.

Research has demonstrated that there is a need to support teacher retention in our state. In 2013, over 5000 teachers statewide did not return to their classrooms. Over 1/3rd of those teachers had less than 5 years of experience (CERRA Supply and Demand Report, 2016). Nationally, 50% of teachers will leave the field within the first five years (USDOE, 2015). There is a critical need to assist young teachers in the field of education. The efforts by RETAIN provide a means for this support. RETAIN provides professional development to both inservice and preservice teachers. We model the importance of continued professional development within the field through the GROW Symposium, New Teacher Induction Symposium, and Induction Coordinator Leadership Institute.


The mission of the RETAIN Center of Excellence for Mentoring and Induction Teachers is to retain induction teachers and provide additional support for district mentors through professional development and high quality in-service opportunities.

  • Increase teacher retention throughout districts in SC through professional development, mentor support, and new teacher programs.
  • Increase teacher retention through our GROW guarantee by offering additional support specific to new teacher needs.
  • Offer add-on certifications in an online format to increase accessibility for working teachers to improve teaching and learning.
  • Provide opportunities for pre-service teachers from local colleges to participate in a one-day event intended to increase awareness of new teacher issues, and to participate in on-site district job interviews.
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For the last two years, Professor Debbie Poston has been the Mentoring Coordinator for RETAIN, and is now the Director for the Center. Over the course of 26 years of teaching, Mrs. Poston has worked with students from gifted and talented, special education, self-contained classrooms, team teaching settings, and grade levels K – 8 in both rural and suburban schools. She served as a Teacher-Specialist-On-Site for 4 years at the State Department of Education where she mentored educators in in the field. She developed and implemented many strategies and programs for increasing test scores and academic rigor.

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Dr. Daphne Poore is an Associate Professor at Newberry College and has joined RETAIN as the Assistant Director. Previously Dr. Poore worked in public and private schools in Greenville County with PreK-4th grade. She brings experience with curriculum development, mentoring pre-service teachers, and technology integration. She has mentored pre-service teachers from Bob Jones University and Furman University. Dr. Poore was the Technology Coordinator and Webmaster for every school she taught in, and recently became a Google Certified Educator.