Retired Teachers, Subs Help With Teacher Shortage

Retired Teachers, Subs Help With Teacher Shortage

Summer vacations are over and the new school year is getting underway in Danville School District 118.  Staff members reported for the first day of the new school year today (Monday).  But prior to the schools opening custodians and others have been making sure the buildings are ready.

And Kimberly Pabst, the Director of Human Resources for the school district, says a handful of retired teachers and long-term substitutes will be helping fill some positions as the year begins. Pabst says District 118 has been pro-active in dealing with the statewide teacher shortage…

{‘’We’ve already started looking and hiring people for next semester that graduate in December.  So we try to stay at least a semester to a year ahead of the game,’’ said Pabst. ‘’We start recruiting very early. We just don’t stop.  We have two people that we’ve already hired to start in January – or that will be board approved soon to start in January.  So, we just keep going,’’ added Pabst.’’}

And Pabst notes it is a stressful time – but an ‘’exciting stress’’ for principals as the new school year begins…

{‘’You want to make sure you impress your teachers when they come in, and your staff.  You want to really light that fire under them and get them pumped-up for the school year.  Presentation is everything,’’ said Pabst. ‘’The teachers and staff do an awesome job of greeting their students that first day, and every day.  But they want to make it just as special as the principals do when the staff comes in.  So it’s an exciting week.’’}

Pabst (on left in photo) and District 118 Special Education Director Molly Stanis were guests on WDAN Radio’s Newsmakers program Monday.  Stanis said there has been improvement this year in trying to find special education teachers to man classrooms…

{‘’For the past four to five years we’ve had several retirements, and we just can’t keep up with the number of retirees to rehire.  But we’ve put some incentives in place and we’re looking much better for this year,’’ said Stanis. ‘’So our shift has been to keep those people and make sure they feel supported and are successful here in District 118.’’

Stanis notes it is not only teachers and teaching assistants who are needed to serve those students, but also nurses, psychologists, social workers and speech pathologists.  She says there are about 1,000 students in District 118 who qualify for Special Education Services.