SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The Seminole County School District held a hiring event Saturday hoping to find dozens of qualified teachers, bus drivers and paraprofessionals.
The event was held at Lake Mary High School from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Administrators from several schools and departments were on hand to interview and offer immediate contracts for those who qualified.
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Mark Russi is the assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Professional Standards at Seminole County Schools. He told News 6 at last check, the district needs about 56 teachers, 25 paraprofessionals and 70 bus drivers.
“We want to make sure we have highly qualified teachers in front of our kids, so this is just another opportunity to get some additional staff,” Russi said.
When asked how the district was filling the teacher shortage, Russi said substitutes and even others in non-teaching roles are picking up the slack.
“In the classroom right now... we’re using substitutes also and also other people who are in non-teaching positions, so like our coaches, resource teachers...” Russi said.
He said the starting pay for teachers is around $47,500. They get about $4,000 more annually with a master’s degree and $11,000 more per year with a doctorate.
Russi said bus drivers start at more than $16 per hour and the starting pay for a paraprofessional is $15 per hour.
Sunjeeta Bhatia was one of many who attended the job fair Saturday. She wants to work as a high school teacher and said she has the experience and creativity to do so.
“I’m a qualified teacher, I’ve come from India, so I was just searching for teaching positions,” Bhatia said. “I love to be with kids and I love to share knowledge and I enjoy doing it.”
Anette Rios said she got some good news at Saturday’s job fair.
“I was offered a position as a guidance counselor and I’m very excited,” Rios said. “I just think because there’s a critical shortage, I was drawn to come to the school district and help.”
District leaders in Seminole County say, based on the need, there may be more job fairs to come. To read more about the openings right now within Seminole County schools, click here.
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