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Job fairs at three local school districts

Posted at 10:24 PM, Feb 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-05 12:54:54-05

Schools across the state, still trying to battle a serious teacher shortage. Here in Pima County, three school districts -- Tucson Unified School District, Marana Unified School District, and Vail Unified School District -- all hosting job fairs Saturday afternoon. These three districts, like many others, now forced to be aggressive in filling the many vacant spots, hoping to fill them with teachers like Lisa Fitzgerald.

Mrs. Fitzgerald is a new 4th Grade teacher at Kellond Elementary school. Though she may be new to the school, she isn't new to teaching; she's coming out of retirement. Something she looks forward to every week?

"Every Monday morning," Fitzgerald said. "It's the new hope, it's the new opportunity. Every day is a good day, every day has that distinct possibility of changing a child's life."

TUSD also sought out Keena Klitzke, a new 2nd Grade teacher at Steele Elementary. She's new to the area, but has a background teaching younger children. 

"It's about giving back, and making sure our children have the best opportunities in life," she said.

Her inspiration for wanting to give back? Two teachers that made a difference in her life. One of them a 4th Grade teacher, another one a high school teacher.

"They went the extra mile," Klitzke said. "They made sure that they made the phone calls to the parents, and that they included our families and communities, made sure that we were taken care of. That's really what matters the most to me."

Miss Klitzke is devoted to playing an instrumental role in these children's lives -- like her teachers did for her. That means learning with them, being a role model, going the extra mile, and showing up mentally every day.

"It's about showing up every day, because when you don't show up, they don't show up," Klitzke said. "You lead by example and you teach by example. So when you come to school, they want to come to school. When you're eager to learn, they're eager to learn as well."

Teachers unions facing harsh criticism recently about raising wages, from the State Chamber of Commerce. Arizona remains to pay teachers less than the national average. 

But to these two women? The pay doesn't drive the passion -- the kids do.

"Go into education," Fitzgerald said, tearing up. "It's the best job you'll have."