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Jobs are fair game at Marshall Middle School

A shooting incident outside Thurgood Marshall Middle School on Friday forced the cancellation of the Shoe City basketball tournament. (JAKOB MENENDEZ)

LYNN — The city will host a job fair Wednesday at Thurgood Marshall Middle School for those interested in applying for teaching positions in the Lynn public school system, amid a nationwide labor shortage work in the education system.

Thurgood Marshall assistant principal Stephanie Doucette said that due to the local ripple effects of the shortage, the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing emergency accelerated education certificates to candidates.

“There’s a hiring crisis across the country, and we’re feeling it here in Lynn, so we’ve been hiring since the spring, at all schools, and we still have a lot of openings,” Doucette said. “Because there’s such a hiring crisis, DESE is giving out emergency certifications, so of course we want certified teachers, that’s the best, but we’re looking for people who fit our vision and want to be part of our community.”

The job fair will run from noon to 3 p.m. Wednesday.

Doucette said the school hires educators for special education, math, science and English language learners. The ideal candidate will hold their students to a high academic standard and be dedicated to teaching social justice and inclusivity, she said.

“Positions to be filled are Special Education positions, Math, Science and English Learners [teachers]said Doucette. “Our overall vision at this school is to be inclusive and honor social justice by keeping a high rigor for our students, so we would want someone who aligns with those philosophies.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr Patrick Tutwiler said he would not view the job shortage as a “crisis”. He said the labor shortage in the education system started before the pandemic but was exacerbated by COVID.

“I would refrain from calling the hiring situation a crisis. Certainly, there have been a number of stories across the country about the shortage of educators in recent months. From what I’ve seen, it’s a trend that started before the pandemic and has certainly gotten worse,” Tutwiler said.

Tutwiler said the school system has taken a more aggressive approach to the hiring process amid labor shortages. He said he hopes the 13.5 percent salary increase negotiated between the school board and the teachers’ union in June will act as an incentive for candidates applying for teaching positions at Lynn.

“Given our experience over the past year and what we know of this trend, we have implemented a more aggressive strategy to recruit and place staff for the coming year. This includes, but is not limited to, the upcoming job fair,” Tutwiler said. “We have significantly increased our presence on social networks. We have also worked diligently to deepen partnerships and communication with schools of education and other resources. We also hope that the recent agreement we reached with the Lynn Teachers’ Union, which provides for a significant salary increase, will play a role in attracting new employees.

Anthony Cammalleri can be contacted at anthony@itemlive.com.

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