Teacher fair assists FHSU students looking for jobs
By RANDY GONZALES
Calee Wick will graduate in May and hopes to find a teaching job not too far away.
Fort Hays State University's 37th annual Teacher Career Fair afforded Wick an opportunity to meet school representatives with potential job openings.
"I'm really excited," said Wick, a senior at FHSU. "It's hard to believe I'm actually going to have my own classroom and be a teacher."
Monday morning's teacher career fair at the Memorial Union Ballroom attracted 35 schools from Kansas, three from Colorado and one from Nebraska.
Wick, from Smith Center, wants a teaching job in the area.
"I only live like 45 minutes from here, so I want to stay around Hays," she said.
Mike Karl, director of field experience for FHSU's College of Education and Technology, is in his eighth year of guiding student-teachers at the school. He said some jobs are out there.
"If you're picky where you want to go, it's very, very tough," he said. "If you're not picky, you can find a job somewhere."
Millie Schuster, administrative specialist for Dan Rice, director of Career Services at FHSU, has been there for all 37 teacher career fairs. She said the event started out at the ballroom, then grew so large in the 1980s it was moved to Gross Memorial Coliseum. Approximately 200 schools were represented at its high point.
Before the first teacher career fair, schools came on campus independently to interview students. A teacher career fair made more sense.
"Why not have a teacher career fair? They all come at the same time," Schuster said.
The number of schools in attendance has dwindled, but it's still a good opportunity for students to at least get their foot in the door. It's also possible to get hired.
"They may leave here with an interview; they may leave here with a job offer," Karl said. "They may leave here with nothing, but at least an opportunity to get into a district."
Tipton senior Megan Brummer, an elementary education major, had a few schools show interest in her Monday.
"I really like this," Brummer said. "Several of them told me to make sure I got my application out there, and they would call me within a week to let me know, set up another interview."
Rice said when students meet schools with potential openings, "it's a win-win situation."
"They get jobs through this, get connections," he said. "Get a chance to hone your interview skills."
Wheatland-Grinnell USD 292 Superintendent Gary Kraus was at Monday's fair with an opening for a business computer teacher at the high school. When Kraus was a student at FHSU, the teacher career fair served him well.
"I got my first job at a Hays career fair," Kraus said.