Staffing shortages are trickling into the classrooms across St. Martin Parish.
School Board Superintendent Al Blanchard said while non-certified professionals like substitutes can fill these positions, the board prefers to hire people who are certified.
School Board Member Russel Foti said new-hires will be beneficial to the students.
"We do have a shortage and we’re hiring subs who don’t have the training they have, so by hiring them I believe we’ll be doing good," Foti said.
iTeach, is one solution school board members are asking more paraprofessionals to consider.
The program provides anyone interested, an opportunity to become a certified teacher quickly and with reduced education costs.
88-year-old Floyd Knott sits on the St. Martin Parish school board.
Knott said although he retired from teaching, he advises prospective teachers to be passionate and dedicated to the career they're pursuing.
"I taught 21 years in several parishes, and I taught eight-nine years at UL Southwestern Louisiana Institute," Knott said. "UL and one year in the education department and I think nine years in the computer science department."
Nowadays, Knott said teachers don't always get the recognition from students and parents that they deserve.
"It's just too much paperwork and a bunch of abuse from kids, from parents, it's just a rough profession," Knott said.
Elleanor Batiste is a stay-at-home mom to her four-year-old granddaughter.
Batiste said the school board needs to be more efficient at addressing education concerns.
"We need to sit and get it all together so that way the kids get what they deserve," Batiste said. "Better schools, better education, more technology, more stuff spent on curriculum rather than athletics and all kind of other things that are not educating our kids."
According to the superintendent, the district is looking to fill two or three teaching vacancies.