Hillsborough gets head start hiring teachers

- Sandhya Arora walked in for an interview and out with a job. 

"All that middle like -- I'll call you or, you know, we need to do some more paperwork or we'll get back to you -- all of that stuff is cut out," said Arora. "It was very cut and dry, and it was very smooth."

In the first event designed for highest-needs schools in Hillsborough County, the district pre-screened and called references prior to meeting all candidates.

"Basically today, all the principal had to do was do the interview and make the offer," explained Tanya Arja, spokesperson for Hillsborough County schools. "That really gives the principal a head start on making sure that all the vacancies are filled by the first day of school. We want to make sure that all of the teachers are ready to go so that when the kids show up on the first day of school, they're ready to learn and they have experienced, quality teachers in front of them." 

The district is looking to fill almost 100 positions at the 50 "achievement schools." The new initiative is aimed at schools that are not hitting their potential in reading and math.  

"These are schools that are really going to get some focused, targeted resources and support from our district -- and not just from a school level, but all the way up throughout the district," continued Arja. "We want to make sure that these schools are at or above reading levels within three years. They're going to get some real targeted supports from the district level." 

Arora is making her way from Chicago to teach language arts to students at Greco Middle School, and can start creating her classroom now. 

"Yeah, I think that's great," said Arora. "The fact that I came here with hopes and thinking, 'Am I going to get a job or not?' then walking out with a job, and being confident, it's great."

The district is looking for qualified teachers who teach English, reading, math and science. It is also looking for teachers who are certified to work with special needs students.

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