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Omaha Public Schools welcoming 320 new teachers for the fall following big faculty exodus

OPS welcoming 320 new teachers
Posted at 7:09 PM, Jun 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-23 20:09:35-04

BELLEVUE, Neb. (KMTV)  — Omaha Public Schools has hired about 320 teachers for the upcoming school year. This comes after nearly 700 teachers were projected to leave the district in May.

New teachers got a grand welcome at an event for the new Forest Station Elementary.

Principal Shelly Burghardt knows there are challenges ahead that come with the profession.

"Any year there's some turnover. That's just part of education. That's something we've seen not just within our district, but across the nation," Burghardt said.

Some teachers who left the district cited low pay, burnout and classroom behavior problems.

"I'm not gonna say it hasn't been challenging for teachers, but we have been through really tough times before and this is no different," Burghardt said.

Amy Stenger taught for 33 years in Millard Public Schools. Once she retired from that district she decided to keep teaching and is now a new OPS teacher. The new job brings a new challenge she's not faced during her decades in the classroom.

"Getting back into the swing of things after the pandemic has been a challenge; building up endurance for the kids," Stenger said.

Stenger feels strongly that what she does isn't a job — it's a calling.

"I have that internal passion for it and really enjoy being with the kids — helping them learn, making as much progress as they can," Stenger said.

The classrooms will be full of learning as these new teachers strive to bring out the best in their students and themselves.

Four hundred and twenty-five students will be attending Forest Station Elementary in the fall. OPS is still hiring teachers for the school year.

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