Yakima School District Facing Employee Shortage

<p>Beth Schwartz</p>

Beth Schwartz

Beth Schwartz prepares her classroom for the upcoming school year.

She's a brand new elementary school teacher in the Yakima School District, one of dozens who were hired over the past few months.

"I was lucky enough to already have connections in the district," said Schwartz, "I applied just like everyone else is applying at this time, and was lucky enough to get an intervew."

Like Schwartz says, many others are applying at this time.

Currently, the Yakima School District is trying to fill just over two dozen teaching slots and several other positions such as counselors and office administrators.

The school district says most of the open jobs were caused by a large number of retiring employees last year.

To help offset the reduction in numbers, teachers are receiving all their throught-the-year training as early as possible.

"We're trying our best, we got a lot of professional development during the summer," said new teacher Angelina Mesa, "Hopefully that limits the time we are out of the classroom."

In addition, the district is working on recruiting more student teachers to assist with potentially crowded classrooms, until those vacant positions can be filled.

Schwartz hopes to be able to hold down the fort with her new colleagues until then as well.

"I can consider myself very fortunate now to be that memory or person for a child, since education is so important."