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Most teaching positions filled in Franklin, Fulton counties

August 09, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. -- Only a few teaching positions remain vacant for the 2009-10 school year in Franklin and Fulton counties, where cash-strapped school districts are trying to shift current employees to new positions.

Although the Chambersburg Area School District is advertising for a language arts/social studies teacher, applicants not currently employed by the district might find themselves at a disadvantage.

"When we have vacancies, we're looking at other positions internally to fill," district spokeswoman Sylvia Rockwood said.

Chambersburg district officials already committed to finding employees that can transfer to open positions. Now, with the Pennsylvania General Assembly not yet passing a full budget, they're ramping up efforts to save money as aid checks are delayed.

"Every day, we're looking at ways to fill from within," Rockwood said.

Reading and technology specialists are already being transitioned into classroom positions, she said.

Since June 1, the district, which employs about 613 teachers, has received 120 applications for vacancies, Rockwood said.

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Fannett-Metal School District Superintendent Dixie Paruch said there will be eight new faces in classrooms this year. She said the openings were due to teachers transferring within the district, moving out of the area or retiring.

As of Tuesday, all eight vacancies will be filled, she said.

Tina Clever, human resources director in the Greencastle-Antrim School District, said six teaching positions left open at the end of the 2008-09 school year have been filled for the coming year.

The Tuscarora School District, in the Mercersburg, Pa., area, has one long-term substitute position remaining open at the high school. A district spokeswoman said more applications are received for elementary school openings than specialized areas at the high school.

Central Fulton School District Superintendent Julia M. Cigola said the same thing happens in the McConnellsburg, Pa., area.

"The number of applications depend on what the position is," Cigola said, adding that 15 to 20 applications typically arrive for elementary education positions.

The district filled the two special-education posts that were open, she said.

Waynesboro (Pa.) Area School District officials did not return calls for comment.

Staff writer Kate S. Alexander contributed to this story.

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