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RSS celebrates good turnout at job fair

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

CHINA GROVE — Derek DiStefano said he saw a lot of promising teacher candidates in the first two hours of the Rowan-Salisbury Schools Job Fair on Saturday. Hopeful applicants swung by the Morgan Elementary principal’s table to drop off resumés, chat and watch a short video put together by students.

The video is something DiStefano is particularly proud of. Students came up with the idea after two Morgan teachers announced they would retire at the end of the school year.

“Typically, we don’t have a high turnover at Morgan,” DiStefano said.

But now they’ll have at least two positions to fill over the summer. For Morgan, the job fair was an opportunity to get a head start. DiStefano said he’d spoken to several promising candidates and even arranged a few interviews.

Saturday morning, the gym at Carson High School was crowded with tables and representatives from each of the district’s 35 schools. At most tables, the story was the same — the school had few or no current vacancies, but were preparing for summer, a time of higher turnover.

Most teachers and staff wait until June before choosing whether to stay at a school or find a new place of employment, Human Resources Director Kristi Rhone said. It’s also when the district gets its teacher allotments from the state — so a March job fair is an opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.

“We’re always looking for great candidates,” Rhone said.

According to teacher recruiter Jeanie McDowell, the system is anticipating 144 vacancies for all positions between current openings and those that will open up over summer.

“So these are not current vacancies,” she said.

That number covers everything from janitors to classroom teachers. And staff was on hand to speak to all of them Saturday. And interested candidates turned out in force at the fair.

“We’ve had an incredible turnout,” McDowell said.

Staff actually opened the doors early, before the scheduled 10 a.m. start, because people were waiting outside, Rhone said.

Rhone said she was impressed with “the number of candidates to willing to give us a chance.”

The fair was heavily advertised on social media, something Rhone said she believes gave them an advantage.

“It was probably the best thing that we did,” she said.

Throughout the morning, approximately 160 people visited the fair, McDowell said.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264. 

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