SUSD experiencing teacher shortage; hosting job fair

Published: Nov. 10, 2015 at 7:47 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:18 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now)

The Sunnyside Unified School District said they are in serious need of certified teachers in their classrooms.
To help fill in those vacancies, SUSD will host a job fair Saturday, Nov. 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Gallego Intermediate Fine Arts School, located at 3700 E. Alvord Rd.
"That's just bar none the most important thing that we need right now," said SUSD HR recruitment and retention director Laura Emslie.
Emslie said the district is looking to hire certified teachers, bus drivers and nurses, though at the top of their list is being able to fill the 43 vacant certified teacher positions that are currently being filled by long term substitute teachers.
"The budget cuts really haven't taken away any of our students," Emslie said. "Although we have experienced a small loss of students this year, we still have classrooms that need to have teachers in them."
Emslie said some of the district's biggest challenges include retaining current teachers within the school district and being able to migrate some of the long-term subs into intern programs, that can ultimately lead them into a more solid teaching position.
"Sometimes the challenge can be, at the end of the school year, they don't want to continue on," Emslie said.
Emslie said when the district held a job fair around this time in 2013, they were able to hire five certified teachers, but only three are still employed now.
Students like 16-year-old Ezekiel Ortiz, who was pulled out of SUSD by his mother, said having different substitute teachers can be difficult for the learning process.
"We'll do one thing, we'll get the hang of it and then the next day, it'll be something different," Ortiz said. "Like, none of us knew what to do."
His mother Nydia Ramirez said she hopes SUSD will fill the classrooms with certified teachers before her daughter reaches high school.
"I hope they do," Ramirez said. "She's in 7th grade now so, by the time she goes to high school, I hope that they do have more certified teachers and not just substitute teachers."
Emslie said SUSD will be having scheduled interviews Saturday.
She said there are already 20 interviews lined up for various SUSD sites.
"Anything that we can do to help people come on in and work with us," Emslie said.
According to a recent press release, SUSD offers a variety of benefits including health benefits, a free employee wellness program, 22 paid holidays, and a paid new teacher orientation.
Sunnyside is also a Full Title I School district with federal student loan forgiveness.
For more information, visit the Sunnyside District's website HERE.
To view the Sunnyside District's job postings, CLICK HERE.
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