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Wake Co. Schools uses "hiring blitz" to address special ed teacher shortage

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RALEIGH, N.C. -

Just weeks away from the new school year, Wake County is still facing a major shortage of special education teachers.

On Saturday, the school tried what they called a "hiring blitz", bringing in teachers from all over the state to interview all at once.

Principals and special education teachers from 38 schools reviewed resumes and interviewed with the candidates.

More than 200 hopeful special education teachers registered for the event.

"We are currently in need of 50 to 60 special education teachers," said Douglas Thilman, Assistant superintendent of Human Resources for Wake County Schools.

Some teachers, like Aaron Pinski, came from out of state looking for a job. Pinski came down from Virginia and says special education is his passion.

"I was diagnosed at a very young age with Aspergers and that motivated me to become a special education teacher myself," he explained "I wanted to give back, I wanted to use my insight both as a student and as a teacher to create a very interesting learning environment that will be productive."

Thilman says schools simply haven't been able to fill the positions.

"It is harder to find qualified Special Ed teachers. There's always a need for teachers and there always will be, but specifically for Special Ed teachers we knew we had to focus our efforts,'

"We're looking for teachers who love kids, looking for teachers who want to see kids be successful, looking for teachers who understand the special education process, and looking for teachers who are going to be committed to these kids and the needs of these kids," explained James Hendrich, principal at Green Hope High School.

Wake County Schools says there are about 20,000 special needs students. They hope to have all the positions fill before the first day of school

Jonathan Rodriguez

Jonathan Rodriguez is an investigative reporter and member of the WNCN Investigates team. His storytelling specialty is connecting the dots to get to the truth, with a goal of delivering results for our community. If you have something you’d like WNCN to investigate, contact Jonathan.

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