Clovis Unified School District hosted a job fair on Jan. 29 to attract new teachers to the district.
About 300 candidates interviewed for teaching positions for the 2016-17 school year, said chief human resources officer Roxanne Braswell. She said the district anticipates filling about 200 openings, a result of retirements, reduction in class sizes and the need to staff the district’s newest school, Virginia R. Boris Elementary.
The new elementary school, currently under construction at Clinton and Temperance avenues, is scheduled to open in August.
Although the district seeks to fill vacancies in all grade levels and subject areas, said Braswell, they especially need special education, science and math teachers.
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January’s job fair, she said, was a general screening to identify potential new hires. Job applicants, who registered in advance, met with district administrators for one-on-one interviews. Some applicants from that pool, she added, would be invited to return for more in-depth interviews.
Braswell said CUSD is a desirable district to work in due to its reputation for excellence. “Teachers are drawn to our district. Our standards are high academically and athletically.”
Because of this, she said, many former students want to return when they become educators.
One such teacher is Aimee Quarles, who received her credential in January. She interviewed with the hope of obtaining an elementary-level teaching position. The Buchanan graduate has worked as a substitute teacher and special education aide.
“I knew if I was going to become a teacher, it was going to be in Clovis,” she said. She cited the district’s high academic standards as one of the draws. “To be the best you’ve got to be with the best, so that’s why I’m here.”
Stefani Owen, another attendee, is hoping a job with CUSD will allow her to return to the area. Owen, who graduated from Clovis West in 2005, currently teaches high school English in Manhattan Beach. She said she’s open to working in other area districts in order to relocate, but CUSD is her preference.
“I would love to come back to where I started,” she said. “I enjoyed my experience in the district and want to pass that along to future generations — pay it forward.
“I teach in a similar place in terms of achievement level,” she added, “but there’s a hometown feel [here], a lot of positive school culture. It includes the kids and families. I like that about the district.”