St. Johns County getting a head start on hiring teachers for fall

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. — Action News Jax first told you last month that Florida is seeing a shortage of certified teachers, according to a report released by the Florida Department of Education.

That report said that the state was in critical need of math, science and English teachers.

St. Johns County district leaders are making moves to ensure there are enough teachers in the classroom next school year.

STORY: Jacksonville educators working to address critical teacher shortage

Kristen Thorton walked into Nease High School on Saturday with her resume in hand.

Her two children go to school in St. Johns County, and she hopes with her experience she’ll land a job teaching in the district.

“It’s a great place. The school system's great. It’s top-ranked in our state for a reason,” said Thorton.

Thorton is one out of 180 candidates meeting with administrators for a face-to-face interview.

School leaders say the career fair is a lot like speed dating. Each candidate gets 10 minutes to answer three questions before the bell rings and they move on.


With the nationwide teacher shortage, St. Johns County, the top-rated district in Florida, tells Action News Jax it's getting a head start.

“We’re always looking for teachers, especially in the critical need areas so getting out of the gate early, finding those diamonds in the rough if you will and recruiting them early is our goal this year,” Cathy Hutchins, associate superintendent of human resources for the St. Johns County School District, said.

The population of St. Johns County is constantly growing. The district tells Action News Jax it’s always hiring teachers – especially those in the science, math and pre-k exceptional student education fields -- and they say passion for the job also helps.

“It’s not a job that anyone can do. You have to have a heart for it and you have to love children,” said Thorton.

The St. Johns County School district tells us candidates chosen today will be invited back in March for their next step in the hiring process.