MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — The Jackson County school district is experiencing a teacher and maintenance staff shortage as a result of COVID-19.
Tony Pumphrey, the Jackson County School Board Chairman, said seeing 13 open teaching positions in the district is disheartening.
“Obviously the COVID pandemic had a toll on us,” Pumphrey said. “A lot of your senior teachers weren’t willing to take that chance, so they retired and went home.”
Pumphrey says this is the highest number of teaching positions he’s seen go unfilled in the district.
“Last year we probably had three, four, five, positions that went on into the second nine weeks of not being filled,” Pumphrey said.
Not only do teacher positions need to be filled, the district’s maitenance department said they’re experiencing a staff shortage as well.
Stuart Wiggins, the director of facilities for the Jackson County school district, said the coronavirus has impacted their department.
“We’ve had one man test positive in the last few days, and the men that worked around him of course are now being quarantined so our typical staff of about 14, is now down to 5,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said at the beginning of the year, the department had three retirements unrelated to COVID-19, but the loss of three staff members still put them in a hole.
“I told the board last night that my electricians had spent Monday and Tuesday as plumbers,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said he is grateful his staff is talented enough to be able to work outside of their specialties while they are short staffed.
According to Wiggins, the maintenance staff members who were quarantined will be able to return to work on Friday. Pumphrey also said the school board is prioritizing getting the 13 open teaching positions filled.
Anyone who is interested in applying for the open positions in the Jackson County school district, click here.