PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Bay District Schools is once again looking for people to fill openings before the start of the next school year.

With a nationwide teacher shortage, there are over 150 openings for Bay District Schools.

As the school year ended Rutherford High School and Middle School had 40 vacancies. Rutherford High School Assistant Principal Barbara Craft said they needed a change.

“It’s just that time of year. Like every school in a district, you’re looking at the teachers that you have on campus for that previous school year and looking at the ones that may be a great fit for your school to continue, and be there for the next school year. And that’s what our principals do with all of our schools. So we just look and see which ones are a great fit for diverse learners at Rutherford High School,” said Craft.

As of Monday, Craft said they have already filled the majority of those openings, and are only looking for 7 people to hire. However, BDS Executive Director of Human Resources Holly Buchanan said other schools are looking for qualified personnel to fill vacancies on their campuses.

“We have 106 instructional positions. We have 46 support positions. But out of those many of those are custodians, office clerks, instructional paras, and our maintenance department, we have HVAC, which is our AC guys,” said Buchanan.

During the last year alone, there has been a 21 percent increase in vacancies in Florida and a two hundred percent increase over the last 15 years.

The district has been recruiting from outside the education field for years, offering programs for non-teachers to transition to the classroom.

“If you have a bachelor’s degree, we can put you in the classroom working as a conditional substitute with just a bachelor’s degree. The state of Florida has a clear plan for how people obtain their teaching certificate, and we are here to assist and help our employees obtain their teaching certificate,” said Buchanan.

There will be a job fair held at the Nelson Building on Balboa Avenue on June 19. For more information about the openings for Bay District schools, click here.