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Marengo BOE continues to fill staff gaps

LINDEN &8212; Monday&8217;s Marengo County Board of Education meeting showed a measure of progress with several positions filled, including the principal&8217;s spot at Marengo High School.

Superintendent Luke Hallmark said he was pleased with the recent developments in the search for teachers and staff for the 2008-09 academic year.

In the last several weeks, the board hired 19 people. The system has filled positions that included two math teachers at A. L. Johnson High School; a guidance counselor, elementary school teacher and history teacher at John Essex High School; a history teacher, elementary school teacher and science teacher at Marengo High School; and an at-risk elementary school teacher at Sweet Water High School.

Hallmark said the system has five certified positions and three support personnel jobs still open, but he hopes to fill them soon.

Hallmark attributes the influx of candidates partly to layoffs in surrounding school systems and other factors.

But when seeking new faces to join the county&8217;s school system, Hallmark said they are only looking for &8220;above average&8221; candidates.

While there are still some shortages in critical areas like math and science, Hallmark said he anticipates the rest of the search to be complete soon. Hallmark added that over half of those hired were &8220;homegrown,&8221; teachers, meaning personnel from the area.