FILE PHOTO -- Meriden Public Schools superintedent Mark Benigni speaks at Platt High School on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy was in Meriden Tuesday morning to announce statewide SAT scores. | Bryan Lipiner, Record-Journal
September 20, 2017 09:55AM
By Leigh Tauss
MERIDEN — The Board of Education made 38 hires for the 2017-18 school year, but found shortages in bilingual and special education teachers.
“Anybody that has those skills is high in demand across the state so it’s part of the reason we try to hire early and hire quick,” said Board of Education President Mark Hughes during a meeting Tuesday night.
The 38 hires were comprised of Washington Middle School Assistant Principal Jessica Showerda, 16 elementary school teachers, 9 middle school teachers and 12 high school teachers. Last year, the school system filled 45 open positions. All hires filled vacancies created by retirements or resignations.
Of the new staff, 40 percent had previously worked in Meriden in some capacity, said Director of Talent Development Louis Bronk said. Three percent of teachers hired identified as racial minorities.
Three bilingual elementary school teacher positions remain unfilled along with an elementary school special education teacher position and a middle school English as a second language position.
“Those have been the hardest to fill in our district and have proven hard to fill in the state,” Bronk said.
Bronk said the school system has fewer open positions than last year, despite having a shorter hiring window due to delays in budget process. The city delayed adopting its budget for nearly a month after the charter-regulated deadline and the state is yet to adopt a budget. Hughes said the board may need to meet to discuss anticipated state cuts.