Palm Beach County teachers return to work Monday, and joining the group will be about 600 new teachers in the school district.
The district widened its search to recruit teachers. There are some that are moving here from up north, certainly to get away from the cold, but there are others joining the district out of necessity.
Gloria Santana-Rebot is among those joining the district from Puerto Rico. She will be teaching at Melaleuca Elementary in suburban West Palm Beach.
Santana-Rebot left Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria devastated the U.S. territory. She says it was a tough decision considering that much of her family is still living on the island.
Santana-Rebot returned this summer to visit and says many are still worried about having basic needs covered.
“It’s sad that I had to leave, but at the same time I’m pursuing my dreams,” Santana-Rebot said. “It’s like starting over, but with many doors opening up for us, because we’ve gotten a lot of help from the state.”
Santana-Rebot sadi she has had the opportunity to meet a lot of people and says she is touched when she hears about the things students and teachers did to help Puerto Rico after the hurricane.