Jeff Davis Parish working to fill vacant positions ahead of new school year

Jeff Davis Parish School Board Job Fair
Jeff Davis Parish teacher job fair
Posted at 7:35 AM, May 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-24 08:42:32-04

A RETIRED TEACHER TALKS ABOUT STEPPING BACK INTO THE CLASSROOM TO HELP FILL VACANT POSITION. — April Moore never expected to head back into the classroom. After 30 years, she thought her teaching days were over.

"In August of 2018, the FACS teacher here at Hathaway was offered a supervisor position in her parish and called me immediately," Moore said. "She suggested that I come back and teach, and I thought, why not?"

She agreed to one more year--ready to shape young mind once again.

"So, I called the principal here at Hathaway and he hired me. I told him that I would open the department, start the year, until they found something else."

Four years later, Moore is still at it. Teaching Family and Consumer Sciences at Hathaway High School.

"In fact, the students say you have to go another year, you have to go another year," Moore said. "They tell me that they will bling the wheelchair and push me around the school. It's something that is here," Moore said as she touched her heart. "Once it's in your heart....I can't see myself doing anything else."

Moore's tenure highlights the need for teachers across Jeff Davis Parish.

Ben Oustalet, assistant superintendent for Jeff Davis Parish Schools, said the district has always hosted a job fair. He said it is a place where prospective teachers can come, meet with principals, and get that one-one-one interaction.

"You're not on a stopwatch," Oustalet said. "You take your time, you interview at every level, elementary, middle or high school."

Samantha Carrier answered that call last year.

She was relocating to Lake Charles from Alexandria and knew she wanted to work in a small town.

"It feels more like family," Carrier explained. "When you're in a small town you know the kids...I know I'm not from here, but I've gained relationships with their parents. I feel like if I was in a bigger school, I wouldn't have that opportunity."

With a tip from a friend and resume in hand, Carrier headed to Lacassine High School.

"I was still in Alexandria and drove the two hours to Lacassine," Carrier said.

But not before she did her research. Carrier said that is one of the most important parts of interviewing, knowing who you are talking to and what they expect.

"I was really wanting to do second grade, so I looked at all of the elementary schools in Jeff Davis Parish. Research and get familiar with their school and who the principal is."

Carrier landed a job at Ward Elementary.

She has this advice for others either starting their teaching career or looking for a change.

"Interview. Even if you're not sure if you want that job, interview for practice."

Jeff Davis Parish School Board Job Fair:

Friday, May 27th from 9am to 1pm.

Lacassine High School

Dress to impress, bring copies of your resume, and do your research before heading out.