Lake County school district welcomes more than 300 new teachers at back-to-school event

County is still looking to hire 65 more positions

LAKE COUNTY, Fla. – The Lake County school district welcomed more than 300 new teachers at its Launch Into Lake event on Tuesday.

School leaders said school events like this one are important when it comes to making everyone excited and welcomed ahead of the new school year.

“This was like overwhelmingly very positive, because it’s like over 300 people and everyone’s new, and it’s just like really fun and interesting to like do it all together,” said new Treadway Elementary School Teacher, Kelsey Cole.

It has been a busy 24 hours for Cole.

“Well, I’ve been in Florida for about 24 hours, so I just moved from Oregon,” Cole said.

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Cole will teach third grade at Treadway Elementary School. She’s one of more than 300 teachers learning the ropes in Lake County before the school year begins August 10.

“They have a lot of resources available for us and they’ve been talking to us about how to get certified and how to do all of these really cool things that other schools don’t always like help you with,” Cole said.

Lake County kicked off its annual Launch Into Lake event on Tuesday where the district brings together its newest teachers for two days of educational breakout sessions to get acclimated before the first day.

Lake County Schools’ instructional recruitment partner Quiana Peterson said a lot of the new hires are people who have moved to the area. She said Launch Into Lake is a crucial part of creating a support system for new teachers.

“It’s huge,” Peterson said. “I think it’s a make-or-break, and so we try and provide as many touchpoints as possible. So at our table today, we’re letting the teachers know you saw me in the recruiting process, now you see me here today and then I’ll see you again in the fall.”

But some teachers come from our own backyard – Adam Bickford graduated from Eustis High School and is returning to teach 10th grade world history.

“It’s a very unique feeling, obviously much different than when I was a student going in as a teacher,” Bickford said. “But I can say it feels like I’m with family again.”

Lake County is still looking to hire 65 more positions. If you’re interested, click here.

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Emily joined WKMG-TV in November 2022.