BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4) - Boulder High School's motto is it's a place for everyone. Together with the Boulder Valley School District, they're making sure that includes their teachers.
"Probably from elementary school all the way through college I could count how many educators of color that I was able to interact with," Dr. James Hill said.
He went from searching for those figures to being one.
"What are you working on?" he asked a student while walking through an afternoon class recently.
As the school's principal he's also an advocate for his students who want more diversity in their classrooms.
"It took me awhile to realize how much I missed seeing people that looked like me and realize how much it was effecting me," one student shares in a video made by the district.
While Boulder Valley School District has been criticized in the past for its lack of diversity among the staff, the issue is not specific to Boulder.
According to numbers from the Colorado Department of Education, 86.5% of all Colorado teachers are white, roughly 9% are Hispanic and less than 2% are Black.
"We are seeing that across our whole district. We probably have one school that is proportionately accurate," said Mike Gradoz, BVSD's Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources.
He says they are putting renewed focus on shifting those numbers.
"What we are trying to do is get more teachers of color within Boulder. We are sponsoring and holding a teacher of color fair," he said.
The event, which is open to everyone, has been advertised across the state. It has brought in dozens of new applicants as well as some criticism from those who believe the event itself is discriminating.
"I know a lot of people don't understand that, but you can't have reverse discrimination when the dominant society is white and the system is white ... but yet most of the people might be of color," he said.
The district would like to reach a point where school staff is reflective of the students they serve. It's a goal Hill supports and says could change the future for many of their students.
"It really has a tremendous impact when you're sitting in classroom and you see people in those positions that look like you," he said.
The Teacher of Color hiring event is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boulder Valley School District Education Center located at 6500 Arapahoe Road in Boulder.
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