'This is unprecedented,' principal says of critical need for teachers in Martin County

Martin County School District hosting job fair on Wednesday, hoping to fill variety of positions
Martin County students learn inside a classroom at Indiantown Middle School on Jan. 10, 2023.jpg
Posted at 4:56 PM, Jan 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-10 20:36:04-05

INDIANTOWN, Fla. — The Martin County School District has a critical need for teachers and other support staff for the second half of the school year.

There are about 60 teaching vacancies throughout the district, and that leads to a ripple effect with other employees covering classes.

District leaders hope a job fair on Wednesday will help ease the burden.


Scott Boring's eighth grade English class is anything but. The career educator could teach anywhere, but Indiantown Middle School gets his stamp of approval.

"I realized I had landed in the land of Oz, because this is a fantastic school," Boring said. "Love the community. The parents really value teachers and want their kids to have opportunities that they didn't have growing up."

Boring doesn't live in Indiantown, but that doesn't bother him.

"I don't mind the long drive in every day, the money that I spend, because I feel like I'm making a difference here," Boring said.

Now Indiantown Middle School needs more teachers to do the same.

The school currently has nine teaching vacancies. Usually at this time of year, it doesn't have any. Teachers get a $2,000 a year stipend here, but right now, the principal said it's just not enough.

"This is unprecedented, and part of it is a ripple effect of inflation. So it costs more for eggs, milk, and you name it. Gas went up and, oh, Indiantown is far," proud principal Jeff Raimann said.

Raimann calls it a psychological distance that keeps prospective teachers from coming to Indiantown, which is actually only 19 miles from Stuart.

"At a job fair, people will often pass by our table thinking Indiantown is too far," Raimann said. "And if I can get candidates to come to the campus and speak to fellow teammates who have taken this calling to make a difference in the lives of our children, they, too, fall in love with wanting to go the extra mile for children."

Raimann wants to make a dent in the school's teaching vacancies at the Martin County School District's job fair on Wednesday.

"The one thing we will not do is settle. We need great teachers who really want to be here and are committed to our children," Raimann said.

Art teacher Ashley Monks is one of them.

"I love IMS. I do," Monks said. "All of our middle schools are fantastic, but IMS has that togetherness and I feel we all work as a team."

The Thunderbird family hopes others will fly high with them.

"I would encourage them to come out and give us a look, because it really is a great place to work. I really won't work anywhere else," Raimann said.

Shannon Armstrong, the director of recruitment and retention for the Martin County School District, said that this time of year, the district starts to hear from people from out-of-state who are interested in working in Martin County.

"We always need teachers, but right now we really need those high school level teachers, middle school, English, math, our special needs areas for exceptional students. We are always looking for qualified paraprofessionals," Armstrong said.

Armstrong added that anyone interested in education is welcome at the job fair, regardless of experience.

"We also get a lot of people who are career-changers. They are like, 'I don't know a lot about teaching, but I would like to become a teacher. How do I do that?' So they might choose to become a sub first, So pop-up job fairs help fill the gap with those vacancies. What's really fun is people come in from all walks of life, all different levels of experience. Whether you are a veteran, a retired realtor, or I have people who might have been teachers for years and they've retired and they're like, 'when I look at my life, I really want to get back. I miss being with kids.'"

The Martin County School District's job fair will be held Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the district's headquarters, located at 1939 Southeast Federal Highway in Stuart. You can walk in or pre-register by clicking here.

A second job fair will be held on Feb. 15 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the district's headquarters as well.

The district is hiring for classroom teachers (all levels), paraprofessionals, part-time extended day (after-school) counselors, food service workers, substitute teachers, and custodians

Classroom teachers are paid a minimum of $47,500 per year. Substitute teachers earn a minimum of $17.50 per hour.

Educators hired to teach at Warfield Elementary School or Indiantown Middle School are eligible to earn a $2,000 western zone supplement.