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APS job fair seeks to fill hundreds of teaching openings

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Albuquerque Public Schools hosted a job fair Tuesday morning as the largest district in the state still needs to fill hundreds of teacher openings.

Principals and staff were at the fair representing elementary, middle and high schools from across the district with about 40 schools there, according to Todd Torgerson, chief of human resources and legal services.

The fair lasted from 10 a.m. to noon.

As of 11:17 a.m., about 150 people had come to Rio Grande High School for the recruitment event, according to Torgerson.

One of those people was Tara Boston.

Boston drove from Belen to check out the fair she learned about from a friend.

She is working on a degree in psychology but was drawn to education and working with kids, a passion she found after her daughter, who has autism, was born.

She interviewed with the principal Debra Larribas and assistant principal Doddie Espinosa de Ortega of Pajarito Elementary School, saying she thought it went well and applied.

APS has 170 elementary, middle and high school teacher vacancies and an additional 160 special education teacher openings, according to a news release.

Earlier in the summer, the district reported 180 teacher vacancies across grades and another 200 for special education teachers, which a spokesperson said was on par with last year.

On Tuesday, about 20 job offers were made on the spot, said Torgerson.

He said the teachers would start in the 2018-2019 school year, which is in about two weeks.

And for aspiring teachers, the University of New Mexico College of Education department was also at the fair to provide resources for people looking to get into the education field or for existing teachers to expand their résumés.

Torgerson explained past fairs had been at La Cueva High School but the aim was to be more geographically diverse by hosting it at Rio Grande High.

He added the school district has had several fairs already this year and is hunting across the state and out of state to find teachers.

In addition to the hundreds of teacher slots, APS was also recruiting for other positions including custodians, maintenance and operations workers, bus drivers, counselors and coaches.

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