AP NEWS

School districts still filling vacancies

August 9, 2018 GMT

HUNTINGTON — County school districts in West Virginia are moving to fill any remaining job vacancies with the start of the school year fast approaching.

Locally, Cabell County Schools entered the week with 21 professional vacancies, though only three remain actively posted on the school’s website. The only full-time job left posted is a middle school mentor principal, while the other two positions are for a substitute teacher and a substitute nurse, according to the district’s most recent job postings.

“With Marshall (University) in our backyard, we rarely have trouble with that, so we’re in pretty good shape,” said Jedd Flowers, Cabell County Schools communications director, noting the pipeline of teachers produced by Marshall’s education program.

The board has since hired back all of the more than 100 employees who lost their positions as part of the district’s annual reduction-in-force measures approved in April. Cabell County’s first day for students is Aug. 20.

In Wayne County, 40 professional jobs remained posted as of Monday, though the true number of vacancies is around 18 positions, explained Superintendent of Schools Todd Alexander.

Most of the other 22 open positions were created by employees moving to other jobs within the county, effectively filling one opening but causing another. Other openings have been created by resignations and retirements.

Wayne County’s remaining 18 vacancies are in positions that have been posted multiple times, and many for hard-to-find specialties like high school math, science, art and music. Two administrative positions — assistant principals at Spring Valley High School — also remain unfilled.

Alexander said the majority of those vacancies are expected to be filled by the time students return on Aug. 23, with the exception of some special needs teaching positions, 10 of which remained unfilled as of Monday.

Putnam County Schools has eight vacant teaching positions to fill before the start of the next school year, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reported, but officials said they are confident they will soon be able to fill the open spots with qualified applicants.

“We anticipate filling those with all certified teachers,” Superintendent John Hudson told the Gazette-Mail last week. “The only area we have a concern about is one French teacher. We’ve advertised statewide; they’re pretty difficult to find, actually.”

Hudson previously requested the board hold the special meeting ahead of the new school year to hire personnel. Employees will report to school Aug. 14 and students will start Aug. 17.

“We believe with these others, we’ll be able to fill them with certified teachers,” Hudson said. “Which most districts would be thrilled to be able to do that.”

Lincoln County Schools had 12 professional job postings left to be filled as of Monday — 11 teachers and one counselor, all of which are at the elementary and middle school levels.

In Mason County, 15 professional job postings were open as of Monday, including 13 teachers, a speech pathologist and a psychologist. The vacancies also include a few specialized teachers for band, Spanish and HVAC.

West Virginia’s county school districts are required to publicly post all job openings on their website as they are available.

Follow reporter Bishop Nash on Twitter @BishopNash.