Manatee County recruiting teachers across state, beyond

- As the school year winds down, many teachers are gearing up for summer, and dozens in Manatee County are looking forward to retirement. Those retirements will leave more than 100 openings in the school system.

When Samantha McGeorge started looking for a teaching job, she knew right where she wanted to be. With family living nearby, working as a teacher in Manatee County would be her dream job.

"Manatee County is a beautiful county. We are close to the beach and we have a lot of amenities that we were looking to move towards," she said. "Manatee county has a lot of positive teachers. Good schools, and I wanted to be involved to further my success as a teacher."

 McGeorge is in luck. The district is in dire need of teachers. Many are set to retire at the end of the school year.

The School District of Manatee County needs to hire about 125 new teachers. The district said that number could go up before the end of the year.

"Right now, we know that our surrounding districts are in need, as well, and we want to be able to capture those who are new graduates and new to our area, first," said Dr. Sarah Brown, the chief of human resources for the school district.

The district knows it need to find the right teachers soon. With a teacher shortage in the state of Florida, they have been recruiting from all over.

"There are other districts and other counties, and places outside of the state of Florida, where the need is the opposite. Where they are laying people off. So we can get some wonderful individuals that are very well experienced. We have a great support system for teachers. We have a wonderful professional development, so they can look at longer-term careers," said Jormarie Mere-Beaman, the recruiter for Manatee County Schools.

For McGeorge, it means she could be the next grade school teacher hired by the county.

"I feel very hopeful. There are so many positions open," she said.

The county said it is also recruiting outside the state, sending recruiters to Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Michigan. 

The situation is similar in Sarasota County, as well. The system hopes to hire about 200 new teachers before next school year. 

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