MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Math, science, and special education. Those are the teachers Horry County Schools are looking for as they comb through more than 500 applications.
In the midst of recruiting season, the Horry County School District (HCSD) certainly has their job cut out for them. They are struggling to fill positions in math, science and special needs education departments, but have already received 500 applications for new teachers to bring into the classroom and teach your kids.
Those in charge of making the hiring decisions say it is harder to find candidates with the right qualifications in the math, science and special needs fields - which is why they are now so desperate to fill those jobs. When HCSD can't find what they need, they tap into its roster of retired teachers. The district brings them back into the classroom and hires them part time. According to Dr. Addie Swinney, HCSD Executive Director Of Human Resources for the, this problem isn't exclusive to Horry County. Science math and special education teachers are in high demand for schools across the U.S.
"It's really critical for all school districts nationwide, because every school district is trying to recruit the exact same core population of teachers for their districts," said Dr. Swinney.
This year they're looking across the county for new teachers to hire. The district is trying to diversify its pool of applicants to fill in the high need areas.
This year is putting its recruiting efforts outside of South Carolina. Traditionally, HCSD receives most applications from graduates within the state. The district has a partnership with Coastal Carolina University and Francis Marion University, as with other state schools like University of South Carolina and Clemson.
Swinney's department is taking more recruitment trips and they added to two states to scout, Texas and Michigan. Swinney says these states have large population of teachers to tap into.
Many people who live in Horry County are onboard with the new recruitment strategy. Local resident Pat McKay says she supports it as long as it means placing more qualified teachers in the classroom.
"I believe that teachers, whether they're from Michigan, Wisconsin, New York, whatever, that if they have a good education behind them, that's what we need. We just need teachers with the education to help these kids learn," said McKay.