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Jena Koren, a DeSoto Central High graduate hoping to return home to teach, talked to Lewisburg school principals about teaching high school science during Tuesday’s DCS Teacher Career Fair held in Hernando.

More than 250 prospective teachers attended DeSoto County Schools second annual Career Fair on Tuesday, March 5 at the Board of Education board room in Hernando. Potential teaching candidates were able to meet 42 principals in one location, representing eight school zones in DeSoto County.

“We are looking for the best and brightest teachers to join our team,” said DCS Supt. Cory Uselton. “While we recruit and interview at surrounding colleges and universities, this is an opportunity for candidates to meet the educational leaders in our school system and hear how DCS is committed to excellence.”

Claire Simoneaux and Natalie Keane were two of the first teacher candidates to arrive at the two-hour event. Both want to teach in a K-5 school and will receive their educator’s license in June.

Jena Koren, a graduate of DeSoto Central High School, has an undergraduate degree in business and horticulture. She is working toward a Master’s degree in Education.

“I am teaching near Jackson, Mississippi, but this is home,” Koren said. “This event was well-organized, beautifully done, and I could meet principals from every area of DeSoto County.”

Jessica Grabowski, currently a teacher in Arkansas, wanted to explore teaching chemistry at one of the eight DCS high schools. She began working her way around the room. Her first conversation was with Duane Case, principal at Hernando High School.

A mix of veteran teachers as well as college seniors attended the event.

“Our school district is the largest in Mississippi, and our district is the largest employer in DeSoto County with more than 4,400 employees,” Uselton said. “DeSoto County is the fastest growing county in Mississippi. DCS is a leader in state test scores, student achievement, technology, performing arts, and physical education. It is a great place to work.”

Besides hearing about job opportunities, school administrators were on hand to explain salaries, health insurance and retirement packages. School Board members also attended to help welcome visitors.

A number of sponsors helped make the event possible, including Hernando Flower Shop, Domino’s Pizza, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Shelter Insurance, State Farm Insurance, Belhaven University, and the 95.3 The Rebel. Other vendors donated door prizes and donated refreshments.

“We have wonderful community support in DeSoto County,” said Ashley Bryant, coordinator for the event. “Our event is bigger than last year and I believe it will continue to grow. We are appreciative of how many people worked to make this possible.”

Van Alexander, associate superintendent of personnel added, “Last year we had 200 teacher candidates register, and 104 are working for us now. This is an event we will want to continue.”

Katherine Nelson is the Communications Director for DeSoto County Schools.

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