LANCASTER, Texas — Many school districts across North Texas are working hard to recruit and hire the most talented teachers and staff for the 2022-2023 school year.
Several candidates were offered jobs on the spot and signed Letters of Intent, during a Job Fair in Lancaster ISD on Thursday.
“I applied for it, and they gave it to me on the spot. They love Tigers,” said Chakaya Talton.
The Lancaster High School graduate has been working as a substitute teacher. She said navigating the job market in education hasn’t always been easy.
“With the pandemic, and everything that’s been going on, especially in the State of Texas, it’s been kind of disheartening to see some of the things happening. However, as far as the opportunities, they have been endless. So, what better place to come back to, than to the place where I started to give back to the children,” Talton explained.
Nearly 200 candidates pre-registered for the Job Fair in Lancaster ISD. A variety of positions are open.
First-time teacher Lauren Mack was another candidate who found success during her interview.
“I’m going to be a 4th and 5th-grade math teacher,” Mack smiled.
She also spent months applying for teaching positions in several school districts.
“Just finding the right ISD really has been challenging. But, I guess not today,” Mack laughed excitedly.
Lancaster ISD is among school districts in a region often referred to as "The Best Southwest." Neighbors include Desoto ISD, Cedar Hill ISD, and Duncanville ISD. Each school district hosted job fairs this week. Their school boards recently approved increased starting salaries for new teachers, in addition to raises and incentives for staff across the board.
“There’s always competition for the best,” said Dr. Katrise Perera, Superintendent of Lancaster ISD.
The school district’s Board of Trustees approved a $59,050 starting salary for first-time teachers this week, making it the highest starting teacher salary across the Best Southwest region.
“What I know, especially in this arena, in this field, is if you don’t grab good candidates right away, they’re gone the next day,” Dr. Perera explained.
While school administrators believe the new incentives are one-way local school districts are addressing the national teacher shortage, they believe finding passionate candidates who are ready and excited to serve children is the ultimate goal.
“I’m blessed. I’m thankful. I’m grateful to be able to do what I truly love to do. And that’s education,” Talton added.
Candidates interested in working with local school districts, across a variety of open positions, are encouraged to research each school district and apply.