Southern Indiana schools rush to replace departing faculty - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Southern Indiana schools rush to replace departing faculty

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CLARK COUNTY, Ind. (WDRB) -- Southern Indiana schools rush to hire teachers just a week before school begins. There are a lot of spots to fill, and some students may start the year with a substitute.

For the first time in 17 years Katelyn Maymon will start the school year as teacher not a student. “I am anxious to meet new kids,” Maymon said.

Maymon joins a large class of new educators in Greater Clark County Schools and across Indiana.

They replace a large number of teachers, principals and other school faculty who suddenly turned in their books and pens.

People like Gus Luckert, who is calling it quits at 63 and says he is “Elated, excited and ready to retire.”

“Five days left I may go to lunch and just kick back the rest of the day,” Luckert added.

The wave of retirees follows changes in Indiana's retirement system that meant people like Luckert would have earned less interest in their savings if they waited longer to cash in.

“That was, that was part of it,” he said.

About 5,000 teachers retired in 2013, roughly 8,000 in 2014 and the state expects another 10,000 by the end of this school year.

How do you balance losing that experience with this new class of educators coming in and maintaining the same quality of education? 

"You try to hire the best, it's sort of like a chess game when It comes to staffing.” Superintendent of Clark County Schools Andy Melin said, “You're just constantly trying to figure out what the next move needs to be always making sure the best people are in the best spots for our kids.”

Finding the best comes with competition. First year Principal Sara Porter says she still has three positions to fill at Pleasant Ridge Elementary and class starts next Thursday.

Nonetheless, Ms. Maymon's room is ready, and so is she. “It doesn't make me nervous to be replacing somebody even if they were teacher of the year I'm my own person ad I'm excited to share what I have with students,” she said.

The short summer and several snow days are only adding to the crunch to hire teachers.

Greater Clark and many other school districts adopted a balanced calendar, meaning summer vacation was only about 6 weeks.

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