Local News

Johnston County Getting a Jump on Recruiting Teachers

Posted March 31, 2007 5:08 p.m. EDT
Updated March 31, 2007 6:54 p.m. EDT

— Johnston County is starting its teacher search earlier than ever, hoping to get a head start on finding teachers to fill over 500 jobs for the next school year.

The state's eighth largest school district is one of the fastest growing in North Carolina. It's also next to Wake County, which is growing just as quickly and paying teachers more.

In order to get a jump on school districts competing for a shortage of teachers, Johnston County plans to hire early and often. Leaders have moved up this spring job fair by two weeks and are adding two more throughout the rest of the year.

More than 400 applicants pre-registered. Stephanie Hall signed a contract on the spot.

“I think a fair like this that calls attention to the need, and the opportunities here are a great way to get the most qualified teachers in and keep that tradition of excellence going,” Hall said.

Johnston County school leaders said they planned to sign as many as 200 new recruits on Saturday. Alan Reavis hoped he's one of them. But he said he knew even with 500 openings, a job wasn’t guaranteed.

“We're going out, seeking Johnston County jobs,” Reavis said. “It doesn't seem like they have to worry about looking for us too much.”

But school leaders are looking for more applicants. In the next five years, school leaders expect the district to grow to 40,000 students, and they'll need even more teachers.

“We're recruiting in 16 states and overseas,” said Johnston County School Superintendent Tony Parker.

Johnston County's school leaders have proposed a budget for next year that would increase teacher salaries, making them more competitive with Wake County.

The next teacher job fair is scheduled on June 28th. The third fair is scheduled in September.