Iowa’s largest school district is holding a job fair for teachers tomorrow (Saturday) that will easily be one of the state’s biggest educator employment events. Anne Sullivan, human resources director for the Des Moines Public Schools, says the district plans to hire at least 200 teachers for next school year. “It’s probably the largest job fair that’s facilitated by any individual school district, that’s for sure,” Sullivan says. “Each of the colleges and universities do one as well. We expect to have 700 to 800 teachers to come and visit. We have 500 that are pre-registered and we usually have about a hundred, maybe more, that will come and just do a walk-in.”
About three-quarters of the applicants are typically right out of college, while Sullivan says the rest are more experienced and are interested in a career move. “Des Moines Public Schools is pretty large employer, we have about 3,000 teachers,” Sullivan says. “Even with a small turnover, we’re looking at hiring on average about 200 teachers every year, sometimes more, sometimes less. We have people that will retire. We have openings for typical attrition, people who are moving, that kind of thing.”
The district offers a full-family insurance plan to every employee, something Sullivan says is rare, with a base salary for starting teachers around 45-thousand dollars. She says prospective teachers won’t have to be lugging along a briefcase to the event tomorrow. “The great thing is, they don’t have to bring anything because we’re completely paperless,” Sullivan says. “They apply online so we have all of their materials ahead of time, resume, transcripts, and those kinds of things. If they don’t have those, they can still come and do a walk-in interview and upload those things a little bit later.”
Sullivan says they’re always on the lookout for teachers with special education experience as well as those versed in English Language Learning. Des Moines has more than six-thousand E-L-L students speaking nearly 100 languages and dialects. Des Moines has 60 schools and more than 32-thousand students, adding between 100 and 400 students every year. The district’s graduation rate has grown nine-percent in the past five years. The Educator Career Fair is planned for Saturday at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Interviews begin at 8 A-M for pre-registered applicants.