Several people show up for VWSD teacher recruitment

Published 7:30 pm Monday, February 11, 2019

The Warren Central Intermediate School gym was transformed Saturday into a one-stop shop for people interested in teaching in the Vicksburg Warren School District.

Prospective teachers interested in working in the district visited the school district’s teacher job fair Saturday morning to meet with officials from individual schools, learn about programs and curriculums and leave their resumes.

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“Before 9:15, we had already seen 12 or 13 candidates,” said Dr. Lennie Little, the school district’s human resources director.

Each person, she said, received a packet showing the vacancies in the district, salary scale and other information about the district.

People, she said, visited the school booths lining the perimeter of the gym and talked with principals. Some people who were not certified as teachers, Little said, visited with her to learn about the state Department of Education program that allows qualified people to earn their certification.

“I provided them with the guidelines to be a non-traditional teacher through the Alternate Route Program,” Little said. “I met with a young lady who has a biology degree and she wanted to teach biology in one of the high schools.”

Some of the prospective teachers, she said, came from other areas, and the district had received telephone calls from people out of state. One out of town caller’s husband, Little said, was transferring to the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and the woman was flying in to attend the fair.

Keaton Williams, a Vicksburg native who is an education major at Delta State University, said she wants to come home to teach in the elementary grades. Williams, who graduates in 2020, attended the fair to plan early for her career.

“Our last year, we have to do internships and student teaching, so I’m trying to go get that out of the way,” she said, adding she wants to do her student teaching in the district.

career move

Another elementary school teacher looking for a position was Temper Varner from Magee, who teaches first grade at Mendenhall Elementary. Varner’s husband works at ERDC and they are moving to Warren County.

She said the job fair program made it easy to talk to school officials.

“The last job fair I went to, you had to sit in the lobby and wait to be called back; this is a lot more efficient,” she said.

Varner said she had researched the school district, but it was good to meet people, ask questions and learn more about the schools.

Vicksburg High School principal Angela Johnson said the job fair gives school officials the opportunity “to showcase the different aspects of our schools, especially to people who may not be familiar with what goes on inside our schools.

“We get an opportunity to have conversations about not only what we need, but what we offer, and some special things that are going on in our school, such as the academies and the plays our fine arts department put on.”

Johnson said Vicksburg High has several openings for biology and general science teachers, “Areas where we are always looking for great candidates.”

Has worked in past

In 2018, she said, the school was able to fill 17-20 vacancies. “We started the school year full.”

Johnson said school officials look at several things in a candidate, “But what really comes across is their passion for wanting to work and help children and wanting to be a part of the team.”

Bovina principal Miki Ginn said the job fair “kind of lets us put a face with the names that come across our desk. We have an online application system, and most of the teachers put their name in through the online system.”

The fair, she said, gives her an opportunity to meet the people and talk with them at the same time, rather than having to set up an appointment.

“You never know what’s going to open up in the school, so it gives us chance to collect resumes so if something comes open we have a pool to pull from.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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