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Vacaville School District Getting Creative To Fix Teacher Shortfall

VACAVILLE (CBS13) — As schools statewide are struggling to hire teachers, a local school district is getting creative.

It is a competitive recruiting game with many other districts looking for teachers too, for the Vacaville Unified School District, it means recruiting here at home and even in other states.

Fourth-grade teacher Jenna Thal loves getting her students excited and engaged. Born and raised in Redwood City, Thal was recruited by a Bay Area school.

"I got offered a job in Concord," she said.

A bilingual candidate who also went to UC Davis, Thal was also on Vacaville Unified School District's radar.

"The district definitely has an eye for teachers that are innovative, creative," she said.

It's a district like many in California facing a large shortage of teachers after many left the field during the recession. In an effort to fill more than 20 teacher openings, the district is getting aggressive.

"It's a really competitive market right now so if we find a great candidate at a recruitment fair we have them sign a preliminary contract so we can secure that candidate," said human resources director Janet Dietrich.

That means recruiting candidates as far away as Seattle—speech pathologists, Spanish and math teachers. The district confirms the travel costs were about $3,000 for the Washington trip, but believes it's worth it.

"For us to spend the time and money to get quality teachers in the classroom that's the best investment district can make,: she said.

Thal says it was easy for her to choose Fairmont Charter School in Vacaville. The supportive district and the resources to keep her happy, productive and able to teach and inspire her students.

The district says it touts the quality of living here in Vacaville, a great place to live and right between San Francisco and Sacramento.

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