By: Suzie Glassman/NewsBreak Denver
(Castle Rock, CO) Representatives from 60 school districts across Colorado kicked off their Saturday morning to crowds of eager job applicants at the first-of-its-kind statewide education recruitment fair hosted by DougCo schools’ Legacy campus.
Participants lined up as early as 7:30 am on a brisk, windy Saturday morning, providing optimism for school leaders who’ve had difficulty filling open positions due to a nationwide teacher shortage.
“It has had incredible energy in here,” said Danny Winsor, DougCo’s assistant superintendent. “We've had easily 400 or 500 folks in here this morning.”
Legacy’s halls buzzed with constant chatter as applicants met with recruiters for on-the-spot interviews, with many receiving contracts before they left. Winsor was especially excited by the fact that they’d seen a variety of interested individuals, including those eligible for hard-to-hire positions.
Chief human resources officer Amanda Thompson said the fair drew potential hires from 18 states, including many new graduates and experienced educators moving to the area.
DougCo school board president Mike Peterson attributed the large crowds to the presence of so many districts in the same room. Yet, Peterson reminded, the fair is just the start of a marathon hiring season.
“Even if Douglas County hired everyone there today, we’d still have unfilled positions,” he said. “You could see the competition for talent out there, including in the Denver metro area, and it just means we need to be all that more competitive in what we offer.”
The school board recently approved a short-term strategy to announce next year’s pay raises. Still, Peterson warns without a voter-approved mill levy override, DougCo will continue to pay its educators far less than surrounding districts.
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