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updated: 9/3/2014 5:28 AM

U-46 still filling administrative, support staff vacancies

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Elgin Area School District U-46 officials are still interviewing candidates to fill a few administrative vacancies, including a fine arts coordinator and special education director.

While more than 130 new teachers were hired this school year, the district still needs dozens of support staff a week after the start of classes.

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The goal is to fill the vacancies by month end.

Officials are reviewing several internal and external applicants for the fine arts coordinator job left vacant after the retirement of Terri DeDecker, said Melanie Meidel, U-46 assistant superintendent of human resources.

"We have many more external applicants than internal," Meidel said. "We would love to be able to move within the month."

The salary range for that position is between $80,000 and $120,000 yearly.

The challenge is finding someone with enough experience to serve the state's second-largest school district with a K-12 population of more than 40,000 students, Meidel said.

"You need to have that added experience of being able to schedule 40 elementary schools, not only in art but also in music," Meidel said.

"In our district, we have itinerant fine arts teachers."

The fine arts coordinator is responsible for managing and scheduling roughly 60 elementary music and art teachers among 40 schools.

"The other part of the job is community outreach, scheduling concerts, art showcases and band (performances)," Meidel said.

Officials are still accepting applications for the positions of director and assistant director of specialized student services -- the jobs were reorganized after special education director Pamela Harris' retirement. The salary range for the director's job is between $92,000 and $139,000 yearly.

Special education professionals are in high demand since the candidate pool is much smaller, Meidel said.

"It's hard to fill, not only on the teacher/special education specialist level, but all the way up to the director level," Meidel said. "It's challenging because of the competition."

Meidel said several applicants were sought after by other school districts because they were qualified in multiple areas.

"We've been battling each other trying to bring in experienced, qualified individuals," she said.

A job fair for open support staff positions is tentatively scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 13 at the district's Education Services Center, 355 E. Chicago St.

More than 300 employees are expected to retire by the 2016-2017 academic year.

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