WACO, Texas (FOX 44) – For several school districts in Central Texas, ESC Region 12’s 28th annual Educator Job Fair was the first in person job fair in over two years.

“Well, job fairs are a little bit different than making a connection with someone in person. And you can really show people what all you have to offer,” says Copperas Cove ISD instructional coach, Hailey Parker.

McLennan Community College attended the event to talk about their alternative teacher certification for those interested in joining the education field.

“A group of candidates that we are recruiting to our program will be able to start their coursework in June, and then they’ll be prepared to start teaching in august,” says Laura Conrad, program director for the alternative teacher certification program at McLennan Community College.

The goal for many school districts, is to fill positions before summer starts.

“Bus drivers, you know, a transportation, custodial service, anything. But we’re also looking for paraprofessionals and teachers,” says Parker.

The state of Texas is seeing a shortage of teachers, and to encourage potential educators to apply.

“We’re trying to offer some stipends in other areas like science, bilingual, where there’s a greater need to make ourselves attractive,” says Parker.

Copperas Cove ISD starting pay is $50,000 and an additional $1,000 for those who have an advance degree.

Copperas Cove is offering a $10,000 math stipend, $3,000 science stipend, $3,000 bilingual stipend, plus a full-time bilingual paraprofessional in every classroom.

For the past two years Lorena ISD has partnered with Texas Tech at MCC, they put student teacher interns in Lorena ISD school, as a way to get those students teacher hands on experience.

“Allows us number one to interview a teacher for a full year. And then she gets a he or she gets an opportunity to interview the district for a full year,” says Lorena ISD Superintendent Joe Kucera.

For more information about future job fairs, you can click here.