Yakima School District in search of more educators - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima School District in search of more educators

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YAKIMA, WA - Although it's the middle of summer, educators in the area are already looking towards the upcoming school year: with the widespread teacher shortages, districts are using different strategies to recruit more educators.

Districts are reaching out through social media, international programs, and even by simple word of mouth.

"There is nothing more important that we do than hiring; nothing," Yakima Schools Superintendent Dr. Jack Irion told us.

This is why Dr. Irion says he meets with a committee every week to discuss bringing down their 15-20 open positions. Thanks to the Yakima School District's recruitment efforts, the numbers could soon be dropping.

Irion admitted that their biggest push towards lowering the amount of open positions will be to "provide more opportunity for student teachers". "They'll not only fall in love with Yakima schools, but also community as well, to get them to stay," Irion stated.

While Yakima schools are focusing on student teachers, Wapato School District is just one of the districts in the area looking across international borders.

"We are in collaboration with an Alliance Abroad group, specifically with the Phillipines," Kelly Garza, Executive Director and HR of the Wapato School District informed us.

In this upcoming school year, Wapato School District will have 3 teachers from that program...and while districts are using different methods, their goal is the same.

"We're working very very hard to make sure that on the first day of school, we have quality folks in front of our kids across the district," Garza said.

When we talked to both districts, they said their open teacher positions have already dropped below ten, and they hope to have that number at zero when school starts sometime late August or early September.