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Teachers line up to work in county
The district's job fair takes advantage of an event in Tampa to draw from an international pool of candidates.
By CARRIE RITCHIE
Published June 22, 2007
Jim Daratzikis grew up in New Port Richey and decided to return to the area to become a physics teacher. He said he wants to help steer high school students in the right direction, since he didn't know what he wanted to do until later in his life.
[Times photo: Mike Pease]
[Times photo: Mike Pease]
Job candidates interview with school principals Thursday afternoon. Almost 400 applicants came out for the job fair.
LAND O'LAKES - Almost 400 hopeful teachers of different ages and origins flocked to Land O'Lakes High School on Thursday afternoon, eager to work for Pasco County schools.
The district hosted its annual job fair to fill more than 100 teaching positions for the 2007-08 school year. The schools especially need teachers certified in math, science, elementary and special education.
Terry Aunchman, the district's Human Resources supervisor, said Pasco County would hire 10 to 20 teachers at the fair and 50 to 100 more in the coming weeks.
He said 30 to 40 percent of the new hires would fill elementary school positions.
"We really take our time in hiring, " he said. "We pride ourselves in hiring the best."
Each teacher got the chance to sit down with a school principal for an interview. Afterward, the principals shared their information.
Human Resources director Renee Sedlack said the goal of the fair is to fill as many positions as possible and bring in a wide pool of applicants.
The fair was held Thursday to attract out-of-state candidates here for the Florida Teach-In, which is today in Tampa.
The district certainly met its goal. Candidates from beyond state and national borders came to interview.
Lindsay Crozier, a 24-year-old from Toronto, came to the fair in search of her first job. She'll graduate in July from a program called Especially for Canadians at St. Petersburg College.
Crozier left Toronto to get her teaching certification because teaching schools there have long wait lists. She wants to get a working visa and stay in Florida, where more teachers are needed.
Others from the group, about 15 of them, interviewed at the fair, too.
"We've enjoyed our experience here and we'd really like to stay and teach in Florida, " said Crozier, who wants to teach kindergarten through second grade.
Like Crozier, many were drawn to the fair because of the county's need for teachers.
Jim Daratzikis grew up in New Port Richey and decided to return to the area to become a physics teacher.
The 37-year-old served in the Army and Air Force and put himself through his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas by tutoring students in calculus and physics. When he went to get his masters at the University of Missouri, he taught a physics class and realized he loved teaching.
He quit his program after 12 credit hours of study and headed back to Florida to become a teacher.
He said the people he tutored inspired him to pursue teaching because, with his help, they'd go from knowing nothing to mastering calculus.
He said he wants to help steer high school students in the right direction, since he didn't know what he wanted to do until later in his life.
"If you learn at a younger age, it's better, " he said. "Maybe I can do that for somebody."