Columbia Public School District hosts employment fair

Thursday, January 24, 2008 | 6:15 p.m. CST; updated 6:17 a.m. CDT, Thursday, July 17, 2008

COLUMBIA — The Columbia Public School District is hosting an employment fair. The fair will take place 9 to 11 a.m.,Feb. 2, at Smithton Middle School, 3600 W. Worley St.

Anyone interested in working with the district can learn about employment opportunities at the fair.

For more information

Anyone interested in learning more, setting up an interview or beginning the application process can call the district’s Human Resources Office at 573-214-3423.

Teaching is important to the district, but they are looking for professionals in other areas, such as technology, Beth Winton said.

Winton, an administrative administrative intern and teacher in the district, is helping organize the fair.

“We employ a lot of people that need technological skills. The Columbia Public School District may not be the first place they look,” Winton said.

The district also needs counselors, media specialists, office staff, custodians, maintenance specialists and coaches, among other positions.

“At this point, we’re trying to create an opportunity for anyone interested to get a 15-minute interview with an administrator in their field,” Winton said.

The district hopes the fair will attract people who would not normally look to the school district as a possible employer.

The district currently employs many teachers and is a popular place for recent graduates to apply for teaching positions. It wants to attract other types of recent graduates as well, Winton said.

As applicants make their intentions known, they will have further opportunities to meet with administrators in their field, Winton said. That way, once a position becomes available, administrators will already know of possible applicants.

The district does not currently have a specific number of job openings. Job opportunities with the district change often and depend on the retirements and transfers of current employees.

“The district is big and needs change on a daily basis,” Winton said.

Most job applicants will be looking for full-time employment for the 2008-2009 school year.

Teaching staff, including para-educators, should call before the day of the fair to make an appointment for their screening interview, Tessa Wacker, applicant processor in the Human Resources Office for the district, said. Para-educators are employees that assist children with special needs in the classroom. They are asked to have at least 60 hours of college credit or to have passed the ParaPro Praxis, a general education test. Most other teaching positions require college degrees and teaching certificates, Wacker said.

The district needs support staff as well, including workers in the food service, maintenance and custodial fields.

“Work-related skills for support staff are important,” Wacker said.

Walk-in applicants will be matched to an appropriate administrator for a short interview on the day of the fair.

“First impressions are to get your foot in the door,” Wacker said. “All applicants should be professionally dressed to make a good first impression.”

At last year’s fair, the district interviewed about 350 applicants. Winton said early response is similar to that of last year and the district expects about 350 to 400 interviews. Almost every administrator will be present and each will meet with around six applicants. Applicants should bring a resume. Walk-in applicants should arrive early, close to 9 a.m., Wacker said.

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