Thousands attend Katy ISD job fair

April 24, 2010 6:48:41 PM PDT
After recent layoffs in southeast Texas, many teachers are now on the job searching trail. And on Saturday, they received a little help. Thousands lined up for their shot at schools in the Katy school district. They were there as they applied to mold young minds. "Here's the letter. Here's the money, so to speak," said new Katy ISD teacher Jamin Sewell.

It is a letter of intent, signed Saturday by Sewell and the Katy school district. He's about to join a high school coaching and teaching staff and he couldn't be happier.

"It's very surreal to me," he said. "I'm very excited, ready to get out there and start coaching some kids up."

He and about 2,700 applicants poured into a Katy ISD arena Saturday It's the district's annual job fair. This year, the arena floor was filled with teacher applicants, more than ever before.

"And how is the job market?" we asked one applicant.

"Fairly tight, not as open as it used to be," applicant Lafara Walker responded.

There was a time when teaching was one of those safe industries and then came the recession. Districts everywhere, included those in the Houston area, have started cutting back even classroom positions. The turnout here speaks to that.

"It says a lot about the climate. Texas is one of the better places. We came from Utah and it is even worse there than it is here," said teacher Kyle Christiansen.

His wife is applying for a teaching job with Katy, which has two major things in its favor. The area continues to grow and the district saw the downturn coming, it says, and planned accordingly, making cuts except in teaching staff.

"We still have our building with lots of students coming, so we are looking at hiring 300 to 600 more teachers in this hiring season," said Andrea Tamborello with Katy ISD Human Resource Department.

That means the applicant pool is well-qualified and eager and some of them anxiou. Like so many, Emily Drees has been interviewing a lot in search of a classroom.

"I''ve actually started to look in other areas of work," said Drees.

"Non-teaching?" we asked.

"Non teaching," she replied.

If you missed the fair, there is still time for qualified teachers to apply. You can learn more information on Katy ISD's website.


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