JACKSONVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – The new school year is just around the corner, and while parents are getting ready to send their kids back, one school district in Eastern North Carolina is getting their new teachers ready. 

Onslow County Schools held its first-year teacher training. OCS has onboarded about 175 brand new teachers and has been getting them ready for the classroom. Just like every other school district, they’ve been facing some teaching shortages. By bringing on these new teachers, they’re hoping to have a great year ahead of them.  

“I’m just so much closer to the point where I finally get to do what I want been wanting to do for years and it’s super rewarding,” said one first-year teacher Ashlyn Burchill. 

The nerves and all the excitement are settling in for Burchill. 

“Everything that they’ve been teaching us, it’s just amazing. And they’ve been so helpful and I’m like, I know I’m ready to be in front of students in the classroom,” said Burchill. 

Burchill has been busy learning everything she needs to know before hitting the classroom for the first time on August 26. 

“It’s nice to have these couple of days with them. And then to have seven workdays for them to work with their principals, the mentors, and again, the beginning teacher coordinators at their buildings,” said Executive Director of Secondary Instruction, Will Laine. 

Onslow County Schools officials said the number of new employees is helpful as they work to combat the teaching shortage. They said they still have about 70 vacancies.  

“Not having enough staff or enough teachers on that first day is going to make it make it challenging for those as we go in, may have to combine some classes at first until we can fill those positions, or make some other adjustments on campus,” said OCS Chief Communications Officer, Brent Anderson. 

While they work to fill those remaining positions, these new and eager teachers continue getting ready for their first day of school.  

“I’m excited and I can’t wait to be here for a long time and hopefully be in the auditorium sharing my experience in a couple of years with new teachers,” said Burchill.  

The school system said they are offering a 12% salary supplement to all new teachers, which puts them at the second highest in the region.  

If you’re interested in applying, you can learn more on their website here.