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St. Johns school district focuses on recruiting more minority teachers

File Photo
File Photo

ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – St. Johns County is not known for its diversity.

According to the United States Census Bureau, an estimated 89% of its residents are white. But the fast-growing county is changing, the school district said.

“The diversity within the district continues to show changes, and we want to keep up with the diversity within our communities. We want to be able to provide students with an opportunity to see people who look like them in their community,” said Cynthia Williams, who started her role as Senior Director of Innovation and Equity with the St. Johns County School District last year.

In order to bring in more minority teachers for the 2021-22 school year, the district is holding a Minority Teacher Recruitment Fair on May 15. The fair will be both face-to-face and virtual.

“Our team wanted to be able to bring back the minority recruitment fairs that we have done in the past,” Williams said. “We want to make sure that we offer the message to our community and to the surrounding areas that we are looking to create a more diverse atmosphere for our students.”

The district isn’t just looking for minority teachers. Williams said there is a demand for all teachers. The district is looking for science, math, english-language arts, art, elementary music, exceptional student education (ESE) and intermediate school teachers.

“We just have to continue to keep ourselves visible and let others know that we are interested in those areas that are critical to us, so ESE is a critical area for us and want to make sure that we support our students with special needs,” Williams said.

The district is also holding an ESE and paraprofessional virtual recruitment fair on May 22. Registration for both events is open on the district’s website.

The need is especially important as the district emerges from the pandemic that caused some teachers to step away from the profession.

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Digital reporter who has lived in Jacksonville for more than 25 years and focuses on important local issues like education and the environment.