When the 2001-02 school year concludes Thursday afternoon, several district employees will be taking more than a summer break from the Moffat County School District.
Twenty vacancy notices hang on the bulletin board of the Moffat County School Administration Building, leaving district administrators with the daunting task of filling them all before the start of the fall semester.
"We have twice as many this year as we usually do," said district Superintendent Pete Bergmann. "It's one of those things where we've had a lot of people retire and some just move on."
The biggest area of need, Bergmann said, is coaching positions.
Currently the district is seeking head coaches for boys and girls soccer, volleyball, boys basketball, girls soccer and several assistant coaching positions, said Athletic Director Jim Loughran.
Head volleyball coach Vicki Haddan, along with her two assistant coaches, Karen Rohnke and Misty Jones, resigned at the end of the 2001 volleyball season.
Head boys basketball coach Blaine Corlett resigned from his position in April because his wife accepted a new job in Cheyenne, Wyo.
"There is a little concern about whether or not we'll have enough applications to fill the coaching positions," Bergmann said.
The challenge lies in finding an employee that can fill the role as both a teacher and coach, Bergmann said.
"Our preference is to have school employees as head coaches," Bergmann said.
While many people might be qualified to coach an athletic squad, administrators know that people with teaching certificates have been trained to work with students, Bergmann said.
Loughran agreed that the challenge is greater this year than in others.
"This has been an unusual year as far as resignations in head coaching positions," he said. "Many people are just moving on in their careers."
There were about six vacancies at the elementary school level, but candidates for most of those positions were interviewed last week and those jobs will likely be filled soon, Bergmann said.
"We were able to fill many of the elementary positions because we had a talented pool of part-time employees in the district," he said.
"We feel lucky to have the applicants we have for the elementary school positions."
Bergmann said there is an educator shortage nationwide.
"There is a shortage of educators, whether it be teachers, principals or superintendents," he said. "We're seeing the impact of that at the secondary level."
A few positions that still need to be filled include a math, science and band teacher in the high school.
Bergmann said the district is
still advertising for about a half dozen positions that need to be filled at the middle school and high school.
No changes have been made in the "extensive" process always used to advertise vacancies, Bergmann said.
Job openings are posted at more than a dozen education-related Web sites, Bergmann said. They are also advertised at college campuses.