Community

Oak Harbor School District set to hire 120 employees

Oak Harbor School District is adding employees for the 2014-15 school year.

According to Kurt Schonberg, executive director of human resources, the district will hire 50 new certificated staff members and about 70 support staff.

Of the certificated staff, which includes teachers, counselors and more, only 25 are for newly-created positions, created to accommodate the expected growth in enrollment, according to Schonberg.

The remaining 25 new hires will be taking the place of those retiring or moving away.

The support staff, which includes bus drivers, groundskeepers, custodians, maintenance and more, is also partially composed of new positions.

Schonberg said that the new positions are “because of the projected enrollment, and because of the levy.”

A lot of new positions are possible both because of the increase in levy money,and obligated by the promises the district made in order to justify the increase.

The hiring process for the support staff has been an ongoing process from the start of the 2013-14 school year, according to Schonberg, and hiring will continue for both supporting and certificated staff through August.

By the time they finish hiring new people, Schonberg said the teaching staff will total about 350.

In future school years, that number is expected to grow even more.

“Based on the Navy figures, we anticipated continuing to increase teaching staff,” Schonberg said.

With new P-8A Poseidon squadrons being relocated to Whidbey Island Naval Air Station, total enrollment in the school district is projected to eventually peak at about 700 new students.

“If you figure a staff member per 25-30 students, you can run the math out pretty quick,” said Schonberg.

“That’s potentially 30-40 new staff just on enrollment alone.”

Because most staff members wait until the end of the school year to retire, the district is still in the process of posting and filling open positions in the school district, Schonberg said.

 

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