(Editor’s Note: See the complete interview with Rusty Hardin on Channel 18 News Friday, January 27, 2017)
A midterm teacher change at Sulphur Springs High School prompted a letter to parents from the district. The letter stated that the teacher assigned to instruct for more than 30 days does not hold an appropriate state teaching certificate. Texas law required the letter from the district.
In the letter, Superintendent of Schools Michael Lamb indicated the district’s support of the assigned teacher stating the individual is “…qualified to teach in this assignment.” Campus administration will be evaluating the teacher’s performance in the classroom to ensure the quality of instruction, according to the letter.
Rusty Hardin, Assistant Superintendent and Human Resource Director for the district, said a mid-year teacher change often causes difficulties in placing certified teachers in the specific classroom especially if it is math or science. In this instance, a teacher resigned to begin retirement from teaching. Hardin said the district seeks to match the incoming teacher based on their education background—studies in that specific subject. Hardin said to post a new teaching job in midyear, few responses are received. He stated the letter has to be sent for long term substitutes as well as replacements.
Hardin noted that 99% of the teachers in the SSISD are certified or seeking certification.
Hiring new teachers is a challenge for all districts. Hardin stated he goes to five job fairs each year and uses job posting sites as well. He stated that finding new teachers is becoming more difficult each year.