March 5, 2021 ~ Olathe Public Schools kicked off an innovative initiative to help cultivate homegrown educators. In partnership with the district’s 21st Century Future Educators Academy, located at Olathe East High School, students who desire to return to the district to work as educators in the future can apply to the Olathe Hire Our Own Program.
“With a national shortage in educators, we are extremely proud that our district is promoting the education profession and investing in our students,” Olathe Public Schools Director of Staffing and Talent Acquisition Cathy Donovan said. “Research shows that many education graduates have a desire to give back to their community by returning and teaching in the district from which they graduated. We hope that our Future Educators Academy will provide quality teachers for hard-to-fill areas and a more diverse workforce.”
Students interested in education and who want to return to work in the Olathe Public Schools after they graduate from college sign a statement of commitment outlining program requirements and participate in a mentor program during their college career. Upon completion of their degree and outlined requirements, students would ideally be placed as educators in the Olathe Public Schools.
“This program has been a dream since I began work in the district,” Future Educators Academy Facilitator Shelley Staples said. “This initiative will work to prevent teacher shortages by focusing on workforce development at an early age, creating a culture of collaboration and promoting the positives of a career in education.”
The Hire Our Own initiative was announced to Future Educator Academy students March 1. Interested students who advance through interviews will sign offer letters May 6 at an awards ceremony.