Founded in 1902, Southern Teachers is the oldest teacher agency in America.

The history of teacher agencies in America is surprisingly interesting.  The first agency was established in Boston in 1846.  By the end of the nineteenth century there were dozens around the country.  In the first three decades of the 20th century, the growing ubiquity of compulsory public education produced hundreds of placement firms.  Among the leaders was Southern Teachers Agency, originally located in Columbia, SC.

William Jones, Southern Teachers’ founder, was instrumental in assembling a regional association of southern agencies and then the National Association of Teachers' Agencies in 1915.  With the help of his nephew, Henry Forbes, Southern Teachers expanded to include branch offices in Chattanooga, Richmond, Memphis, and Louisville.


The Great Depression took a heavy toll on the teacher-placement industry, but Southern Teachers survived.  In particular, the Richmond office enjoyed many years led by Susan Forbes Guess (Henry’s daughter) and her husband, Doug.  When Mr. Guess died, Bob and Virginia Goodman, both career educators, bought the agency in 1981.  Their son Carey assumed leadership in 1997 and moved the office to its current location in Charlottesville in 2000.

Over five generations in two families, Southern Teachers has proudly served schools and educators.  Though we've made changes in operations, we’ve diligently preserved the personal service that has always defined Southern Teachers.

We provide a free service to candidates seeking jobs in private/independent schools. We’re the only agency dedicated to work in the South, and we’ve placed far more teachers in our region than any other service. Interested in joining our team? Visit our Careers page.

Latest News

  • Job Fairs in 2023

    Southern Teachers will hold three Job Fairs in 2023.

    Join us for an in-person Fair in Atlanta, a Virtual Fair in Texas, and a Virtual Fair in Florida.

    All active Southern Teachers candidates are eligible and encouraged to participate!

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  • We're Hiring!

    Are you interested in helping teachers find great jobs? Southern Teachers is currently accepting applications for a Search Coordinator and Placement Counselor in our office in Charlottesville, Virginia.

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  • 2023 Student Art Contest is Now Open!

    Our 14th Annual Student Art Contest is open for submissions!  Students at member school in grades 8-12 are eligible to participate. One art teacher from each member school should register to coordinate submissions.  

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  • Why an Elephant?

    This majestic creature symbolizes many different things in cultures around the world, but we selected it as our icon because the elephant and the agency have key traits in common.

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