Hamilton board hiring an extra 46 high school teachers
Retirements and enrolment help spur job growth, superintendent says
By Richard Leitner, Hamilton Mountain News
Hamilton’s public high schools are going on a rare hiring spree thanks to more teacher retirements and higher than projected enrolment.
Jamie Nunn, the school board’s superintendent of human resources, said 46 teachers are being hired for the second semester that starts on Feb. 2.
That’s on top of 13 hired last June, he said, reversing fortunes from 2016, when 13 were placed in full-semester occasional assignments because retirements didn’t cover all of the 37 lost jobs due to a drop in enrolment.
“It’s certainly very exciting when you see some teachers who have been waiting for years for permanent work,” Nunn said.
It’s certainly very exciting when you see some teachers who have been waiting for years for permanent work.
“We’re excited to have them and it’s exciting to see their emails, their acceptances (of job offers) when they come back.”
The latest enrolment figures show there were 14,306 high school students at the end of October — the reporting date for provincial funding — or 78 students more than projected in this year’s budget.
Ten of the board’s 14 high schools topped enrolment expectations, with Waterdown, Ancaster and Sherwood leading the way — the last benefitting from a new French immersion program that will be fully in place this fall.
The employment picture at elementary schools is also rosy, with the board having hired an extra 21 teachers after the start of the school year because enrolment exceeded projections by 322 students.
Nunn said the board has been hiring additional elementary teachers for consecutive years but is now adding educational assistants, early childhood educators, and occasional teachers at both levels.
He said the board is in the midst of a second hiring wave for occasional teachers and is aggressively recruiting candidates through its website and job fairs, including at universities with teacher-education programs.
A report to trustees’ human resources committee detailing new hires as of Nov. 23 shows the board had added 110 elementary occasional teachers, 47 high school occasional teachers, 25 educational assistants and 25 office and clerical staff.