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DISD Recruits With ‘Invite-Only’ Job Fair

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - An invitation-only event for potential teachers in Dallas Thursday is the latest approach from the Dallas Independent School District to attract qualified educators to the district.

Inside Emmet J. Conrad High School in Dallas, organizers hoped to fill many of the 670 vacancies before schools starts this fall.

Hundreds of teachers were hired on the spot.

“We’ll probably fill 150 positions just today,” said Carmen Darville, chief of human capital management for DISD.

Darville said the quick hiring decisions were thanks to an on-line application process which pre-screened qualified candidates using interviews, background and reference checks.

Sources inside the district attribute that to the mass exodus of teachers, after DISD Superintendent Mike Miles promised to set a new tone for the school district.

“I was looking for assistant band directing job, and I got one!” said Andrew McCraw from Keller, a recent graduate from Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas.

“I have a school. I’m officially hired. And I’m ready to go. In August I’ll be in the classroom,” said Kristen Ratliff, who recently completed Dallas’ alternative education program, which helps career-changers learn the teaching profession. Ratliff will be teaching 5th grade reading and language arts in her first teaching job.

Darville says the invitation-only job fair will put DISD ahead of pace from last year. Since last fall, recruiters had been visiting college campuses, soliciting applicants from as far away as Puerto Rico. Signing bonuses for bilingual teachers added to the number of people in the pool of potential teachers.

Bo Montier of Denton was working on his masters at the University of North Texas when he applied on line and received an invitation to the job fair. He says he’s excited to soon share the gift of knowledge with students.

“I was offered a position in 7th grade language arts,” said Montier. “I’ve always loved reading and writing. I think if you can read, you can do anything. If you can write, you can teach anybody to do anything.”

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