Six staff members, including principals, from Fayette County Schools recently went to Puerto Rico to recruit bilingual educators.
School district officials are trying to get a more diverse staff, especially dual language staff who can help with removing barriers for teaching English learners and English as a Second Language students, said Darryl Thompson, the district’s acting equity officer.
Central office staff and staff who have Spanish immersions programs at Maxwell, Liberty, Northern and Cardinal Valley elementary schools and Bryan Station Middle School interviewed 32 candidates. There were 23 potential applicants who could be hired out of the 32, but no hiring decisions have been made, Thompson said.
Principals who are the “hiring managers had the chance to sit face to face with potential dual language job candidates,” said Thompson. The staff at two universities in Puerto Rico gave the Fayette school district officials facilities to interview candidates at no cost, Thompson said.
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“We now have an opportunity to go back to those candidates that we’ve already interviewed and compare them with other candidates who will apply for those positions,” he said.
Some of the educators could fill potential vacancies in a Fayette County program for students who are newcomers to the United States or in a dropout prevention program.
Twenty-two of the candidates had masters degrees, and two had PhD’s. Their years of experiences ranged from two to 30.
Because Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory and its residents are American citizens, Fayette school district officials will not have to secure immigration visas for the job candidates, Thompson said.