FAIRFIELD — With the first day of the school year fast approaching, officials with School Administrative District 49 still have a couple dozen openings to fill and will hold a job fair to find more applicants for a variety of positions.

The job fair is scheduled for Monday from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Lawrence High School Annex, located across from the entrance to the high school auditorium. The GPS address is 7 School St., Fairfield.

“I think it’ll be helpful in attracting potential applicants,” Superintendent Roberta Hersom said, adding that, “if someone is wondering about applying for the job, getting the materials together, it is a bit of a task, so to help facilitate that and help an applicant take that on and work through it is helpful.”

The district — which serves Albion, Benton, Clinton and Fairfield — has advertised for an array of positions, from teachers to bus drivers, however, Hersom said this week that the majority of the teaching positions have been filled. A flyer for the job fair says the district has 28 openings for educational technicians, although Hersom said that some of those positions also have since been filled.

Education technicians are key support staff in the schools, Hersom said, and provide a variety of services, including working in the library, assisting individual students in the classroom, small-group tutoring and helping students develop life skills.

To become an ed tech, a person must apply for certification through the state Department of Education. There are multiple levels of certification, and the only requirement for the first level of certification is a high school diploma or GED. The higher levels of certification require certain amounts of college credit and training hours.


The job fair will offer assistance applying for any needed certifications, as well as help fingerprinting applicants for background checks and on-the-spot interviews.

The idea for the job fair came up at an administrative meeting earlier this summer, Hersom said, when the staff was discussing vacant positions. The hope for the fair is to get applicants through the door and taking that first step of the process. Hersom said people who attend the fair and are hired can be onboarded quickly, and could be in place by the start of the school year.

“I think it’s a great idea, and I hope it’s successful,” Hersom said.

There still are openings for teachers, administrators, food service workers, custodians and bus drivers. Interested applicants are asked to bring their resume Monday, letters of reference and copies of any transcripts or certifications.

Because of the vacancies for bus drivers, district officials made the choice to move the school day 15 minutes earlier for high school and junior high students. The school day for those students will run from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m., compared to 7:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. last year.

Because drivers make two trips for students — first to the high school and junior high, and then to the elementary schools — the lower number of drivers meant that it was difficult to get the younger students to school at a consistent time. By moving the older students to an earlier start, it gives the drivers a larger cushion of time so that bus pickups will be more consistent, Hersom said.


Younger students begin the school year Aug. 31, with all other students starting a day later.

Other school districts are seeing similar problems finding last-minute hires, said Jon Moody, superintendent for School Administrative District 54, which serves Canaan, Cornville, Mercer, Norridgewock, Skowhegan and Smithfield. He said the district also has a number of vacancies, with several openings for bus drivers, custodians and entry-level education technicians. The district has had open positions in the past, Moody said, but nothing like what he is seeing this year.

In response, the district has shared job postings on more websites than in the past, Moody said, and the good news is the district has filled critical roles and will be ready for students to return for the fall.

“We are going to be ready when kids arrive, but we all as a society in Maine have to encourage more people to go into education, and we have to value those jobs,” Moody said.

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