Horry County Schools looks to fill teaching positions as vacancies rise statewide

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HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Like many states across the country, South Carolina is facing a teacher shortage.

To help find new educators, districts like Horry County are recruiting both in and out of state.

Horry County School District is currently looking to hire nearly 250 teachers for the upcoming school year, and one of the best ways to recruit these teachers have been through job fairs.

In late February, nearly 600 educators filled Conway High School for the Horry County School District Recruitment Fair.

From that job fair, the school district was able to offer 84 open contracts, which is a contingent contract, most of which are for seniors graduating this spring.

Lisa Bourcier with the Horry County School District said they are also expanding their recruitment efforts outside of the state of South Carolina.

Plus, with the Teacher and Employee Retention Incentive set to expire this summer, teacher recruitment is now a year-round task.

“We still have a lot of headway, we need to make up these next couple of months and we are never at 100 percent but we want to make sure we get as many of these positions filled as possible,” said Bourcier.

Dr. Ed Jadallah, Dean of CCU’s College of Education, has decades of experience inside the classroom and said a lot of teachers don’t return after the first year because they don’t feel prepared.

Dr. Jadallad now fears this teacher shortage could lower the standards for educators across the country.

In 2017, the state of South Carolina reported over 4,000 teacher vacancies.

“Those first three years of preparation are very important, and I think that is where we drop the ball, that’s why we’re seeing nearly 800 teachers not returning after the first year because they don’t feel as well prepared as they should be,” said Dr. Jadallah.

CCU Education students like Lindsey Gerald are getting hands-on experience inside the classroom as freshman and student teaching in Horry and Georgetown County schools.

“If you think you like it and end up not liking it you feel stuck and we don’t need teachers that feel like they’re forced to take on a job they don’t want to do,” said Gerald.

CCU is with South Carolina school districts, including Horry County, looking to help keep students in the state of South Carolina following graduation.

“I think we have to retain the standards and the quality otherwise going to be in a very different place ten or fifteen years from now and what it means to be an effective teacher,” said Jadallah.

Horry County Schools will continue to recruit and fill open teaching positions throughout the summer.

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