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Annual jobs fair turns up hundreds of applicants

Photo by Johnny Jackson 
Applicants wrapped around the Mundy’s Mill High School building Thursday for an opportunity to participate in the Clayton County Public Schools Job Fair.

Photo by Johnny Jackson Applicants wrapped around the Mundy’s Mill High School building Thursday for an opportunity to participate in the Clayton County Public Schools Job Fair.

JONESBORO — Jill Fears stood in confidence as the rising sun warmed her face. She was among the first in line Thursday at the Clayton County Public Schools jobs fair.

A line that grew into roughly 300 applicants began to form at Mundy’s Mill High School around 6:30 a.m., said Human Resources Director Damaris Garrett.

Fears, who lives in Henry County, has been out of work since she relocated from Ohio to be with family.

She was in search of a position in the district’s early intervention program. She went armed with a degree in early childhood education and endorsements in reading and special education.

Clayton County resident Timothy Hill is a native of Savannah. He attended the jobs fair in hopes of landing a spot in special education at the high school level.

Hill said his three years experience are only part of his story. He was previously a substitute teacher for six years.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in music performance with a history minor back in 2004. He said he received his master’s degree in special education after finding his passion from a substitute teacher.

“I’m used to working with all types of kids,” said Hill, acknowledging many students in Clayton County are economically-disadvantaged. “I grew up in an economically-disadvantaged neighborhood. I relate to the students because I came from that background. That’s one of the things that really makes my job very easy.”

There was a continuous stream of applicants for the first hour of Thursday’s jobs fair.

“We could easily get 500,” said Garrett. “We’re excited to add qualified people to our district.”

Garrett said the district has more than 200 positions to fill, and preferably by August. She said increases in student enrollment, which is above 51,000, and normal attrition from retirements and resignations make the annual fairs necessary.

The district’s most sought-after and needed positions are in early childhood education, secondary math and sciences, health care science, engineering and technology, computer science and English for Speakers of Other Languages.

She expects school administrators will find “quality” people to fill those positions by the start of the new school year.

“We’re doing great things in Clayton County,” said Garrett, repeating the district’s unofficial mantra.

She said those interested in applying for a position with the district are asked to visit www.clayton.k12.ga.us to fill out an online application.