With Manatee County students returning in less than 10 days, school districts officials are working to fill some of the latest open positions.
As of 4 p.m. Monday, the district’s online hiring site listed 48 open instructional positions, 49 open non-instructional positions, nine open administrative positions and three open substitute positions. Overall, the district employs more than 6,000 people, including more than 2,700 teachers.
“Our biggest priority is to make sure we get people in front of those kids on day one,” said Wendy Mungillo, the district’s director of personnel.
Students return to Manatee County schools on Aug. 10, earlier this year than previous years. The board voted to move the start date up in the fall, taking advantage of new flexibility in state laws.
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Right now, Mungillo and others in the human resources department are helping new hires “on-board.” That means validating credentials and certificates as well as drug-testing and fingerprinting. Mungillo estimated between 40 and 50 people are being processed each day. She described it as busy and hectic.
“It’s buzzing up here all day long,” she said.
As it gets closer to the start of the school year, Mungillo — a former principal at Ballard Elementary School — said it can get competitive between principals to fill open jobs, but also noted there are still good candidates looking and applying for jobs this close to the start of the year.
A job fair specific to teachers in June, the second one the district held, was beneficial in helping principals hire teachers early on in the summer, Mungillo said, adding that as the principal at Ballard at the time, she hired two or three people from that job fair.
In July, closer to the start of the school year, the district held a job fair for the support positions, including food service and transportation, hoping that offering a job closer to the start of the school year could be more beneficial for those departments.
Mungillo anticipated there may be some hiring that goes through the start of the school year, but that schools would be set and ready for students to return.