Prospective teachers may want to polish off their résumés for this year’s Houston County Teacher Job Fair.
The fair takes place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at Warner Robins High School. Last year, about 700 applicants attended the fair, said Tim Helms, assistant superintendent for human resources, and he expects that many or more this year.
The system plans to hire more teachers than last year, when 52 new teachers took jobs in Houston County, Superintendent David Carpenter said.
There are expected to be up to 100 openings for positions next year in Houston County, but budget constraints may place limitations on how many teachers the system can hire, Helms said. As a result, the system will try to transfer as many existing teachers to the new Veterans High School as possible.
“As students come from other schools, we will bring teachers with our students,” Helms said.
Among Saturday’s job-seekers will be recent college graduates and people in other professional fields looking to become teachers, Helms said. Fair attendees will be able to meet with representatives from 38 schools in the system — including Veterans, which is expected to open this fall.
Critical subjects include math, science and foreign language, as well as special education positions.
“We’re excited again to conduct our annual job fair,” Carpenter said. “It gives us a great opportunity to meet individuals one on one.”
Information sessions will be available about the Georgia Teacher Academy for Preparation and Pedagogy at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. in the Warner Robins High School auditorium. The academy prepares those with a bachelor’s degree or higher in a subject other than education to become teachers.
“With the economy going sour, people are realizing that education is here to stay,” Helms said.
The performance of Houston County schools also attracts applicants, Helms said.
“We’ve got a reputation of a good school system. People want to come here,” Helms said. “They want to be in a good school system, and we’re looking for the best of the best to hire.”
The school system’s human resources department has received hundreds of e-mails and inquiries about job openings.
“There is an abundance of high caliber folks that are out there ready to teach and do an excellent job for us,” Helms said. “I wish we had positions for all those fine folks who want to be part of Houston County schools, but that’s not the case in this economy.”
In years past, the school system has been able to hire around 200 people. Helms said more teachers are keeping their jobs even after they become eligible to retire, in part due to the financial downturn.
“With the economy the way it is, people are really sinking in and holding on to positions,” Helms said.
To contact writer Andrea Castillo, call 256-9751.