The Badger School District had three positions to fill heading into its August 2 regular meeting. It came out of the meeting with just two positions to fill after the board approved the hiring of Katie Schaan for the third grade teaching position.
Previously working for the Roseau School District, including time as a long-term sub, Schaan was “pretty happy, pretty emotional” after hearing she was offered the position, Superintendent Tom Jerome said. The district offered the position to two people and one, Schaan, accepted the position outright.
“She will be good for us,” Jerome said.
This leaves the district with two more positions yet to fill, including both a sixth grade and a special education teacher position. Jerome said the district continues to advertise and attempt to interview for these positions. Without trying to sound dramatic, Jerome explained how there wasn’t a second he wasn’t trying to find ways to fill the positions.
“We have to figure out some way to attract applicants,” Jerome said.
The district is not alone in filling positions, Jerome explained, mentioning the lack ing numbers coming into the education field. He also showed the list of positions posted by various school districts through EdPost Listings on the St. Cloud State University website. As of August 8, the website said it had 2630 “active postings”.
“It’s not a Badger issue. It’s not a GMR issue. It’s a teacher issue,” Jerome said.
At the meeting, the board and Jerome discussed a few different options for these positions. A couple included contacting administrators throughout the state or visiting with educational leaders at area universities for possible candidates. Other options involved meeting with a retired teacher to see if they have some interest or willingness to take the position, or looking to secure assistance from a student teacher in hopes of him or her making the transition into a teacher position following his or her student teaching.
He also mentioned looking into getting a variance, something granted by the state when a district doesn’t have a licensed teacher or qualified applicant for the position, allowing the district to have a person unqualified for the position to take on that position for a time. Jerome was “all ears” to board members’ ideas and would keep them posted on the situation.
“I’m working on this,” Jerome said.
One board member Connie Creviston commented on the situation, saying to Jerome, “I’m sure you’re frustrated. It’s not easy.”
To see more of what the board discussed, read the August 13 edition of The Tribune in print or online.