A banner advertisement seeks substitutes for Stillwater Public Schools. 

Stillwater Public Schools is set to host back to back job fairs this week – a Teacher Job Fair from 4-5:30 p.m. today, and a Support Staff Job Fair from 4:30-6 p.m. on Thursday. Both fairs will occur at Will Rogers Elementary School, just north of the Oklahoma State University campus.

“We are making every effort we can to hire the finest educators in the state and the dedicated staff we need to support them and our students,” said Bo Gamble, Director of Human Resources. With the state facing a daunting shortage of certified teachers and personnel, Stillwater has increased its recruiting efforts recently, attending more career fairs and posting at more universities than ever before. It’s also hoping to tap into Oklahoma’s largest educator preparation program at Oklahoma State University.

“In my opinion, OSU creates stellar educators,” Gamble said with a smile, holding two degrees from there himself. “With the quality of candidates coming out of OSU, we’d be crazy if we didn’t take advantage of our proximity to those programs by reaching out. The day of our Teacher Job Fair, we’ll be on campus briefly visiting with some of those students between student teacher prep sessions and inviting them to join us that afternoon at the job fair.”

“A teacher candidate could very easily have one less thing to worry about their senior year by lining up their first teaching job with us months before they graduate,” said Gamble.

Gamble said the ongoing teacher shortage across the state has decreased applicant pools in recent years, with positions sometimes sitting vacant for extended periods. Application numbers for support positions have also really dropped off as the nation faces the current labor shortage. The district has faced challenges filling substitute roles and has had to cancel several bus routes for lack of drivers this year.

“Daily, I face the reality we are living in terms of dwindling numbers of candidates in teacher prep programs, but I’m optimistic Stillwater will weather this situation better than most places,” said Gamble. “It’s a great community in which to teach and live – a major university, proximity to two major metro areas, a diverse community with people from all over the world, great local businesses, OSU and Stillwater Pioneer athletics and performing arts – Stillwater really is a special place. I invite any teacher from anywhere, if they’re considering a change in district, to visit with one of our teachers, particularly those who’ve taught elsewhere prior to joining us, to see how we compare.”

Gamble hopes job seekers can attend the fairs to meet with principals and department heads, but invites those that can’t make it to apply online at the district’s website www.stillwaterschools.com, or to contact SPS Human Resources at 405-533-6311

“We need people to help us, both directly and behind the scenes, to serve the students of Stillwater,” said Gamble. In addition to teachers the district has openings for bus drivers, cooks, maintenance personnel, mechanics, teacher assistants, and more. “If you want a job in a special, friendly, fun town that values education and the arts, in a district known for academic excellence, please reach out to us,” said Gamble. “We’d love to have you join us.”

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