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Board Members Empower WFISD Recruiters for Competition Ahead

Board Members Empower WFISD Recruiters for Competition Ahead

The race to fill 130 open positions for next school year begins now

 

Recruiters for the Wichita Falls Independent School District are lined up at the starting gate and ready to dash into their year’s biggest competition: Finding qualified applicants to fill more than 130 open positions for the 2019-2020 school year.

Because they will compete against all other Texas school districts for the top teachers, WFISD board members voted in Monday’s March school board meeting to equip Human Resources personnel with the authority needed to offer up to 20 contracts to qualified candidates, allowing them to act fast when they recruit at job fairs.

“We want you to be covered,” said board member Bob Payton.

“We want to give you the latitude you need,” said board member Katherine McGregor.

The 130 open positions are not new positions, stressed Superintendent Mike Kuhrt. They are all the teaching and administrative jobs that will open up at year’s end.

WFISD solicits such early retirement and resignation information from its staff members – and pays them a stipend for it -- to give recruiters an early start on the positions they will need to fill for the coming school year.

The open positions include at least six bilingual vacancies – among the hardest to fill – and wished-for teachers like someone to teach Mandarin.

The race to hire and fully staff the District’s schools is actually not a full-on dash but requires strategy, said Human Resources Director Cyndy Kohl. “We want to fill positions we have and not overstaff,” she said.

Also, this year her recruiters are trying something new. Usually campus principals spearhead much of the hiring activity. This year, the Human Resources Department will search for and hire exemplary recruits, then put them in a pool from which principals can choose.

“This is the first time we’ve done it this way,” said Mrs. Kohl. “Someone will have to take them. We want good buy-in from the campus.”

For that reason, she and her many recruiters will exercise caution in over-hiring while they scour the state for key candidates.

The board’s motion to give her the authority to offer up to 20 contracts passed in a 7-0 vote.

Presentations

Board members recognized several WFISD All-State student athletes.

  • Wichita Falls High School Coach Grant Freeman introduced AJ Byrd for his Wide Receiver Honorable Mention from the TSWA.
  • WFISD Swim Coach Oyvind Zahl introduced his Swimming All-State student athletes. To receive the All-State honors for swimming from TISCA, they had to be a junior or senior who had lettered in swimming and earned at least a 3.75 grade point average. They are (from Hirschi High School) Sonya Ganeshram, Nathaniel Simmons, Rachel Sweeney and (from Wichita Falls High School) Isabella Anderson.

 

Consent Agenda

In a 7-0 vote, board members passed the Consent Agenda, which included the following:

  • TASB Recommended Local Policy Update 112
  • Financial report as of Jan. 31, 2019

 

Minutes

Board member Tom Bursey made a correction in the Minutes, which were then approved in a 7-0 vote.

 

Certified Applicant Pool

In a 7-0 vote, board members approved the hiring of one teacher for McNiel Middle School.