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Morning Sun
  • PSU hosts Teacher Interview Day

  • Kent Runyan had a big smile on his face on Thursday at John Lance Arena.

    “We’ve been doing this for 23 years. This is always my favorite day. A lot of these employers have already come through here, and it’s neat to be able to shoot some good kids their way,” said Runyan, Pittsburg State professor of teaching and curriculum.

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  • Kent Runyan had a big smile on his face on Thursday at John Lance Arena.
    “We’ve been doing this for 23 years. This is always my favorite day. A lot of these employers have already come through here, and it’s neat to be able to shoot some good kids their way,” said Runyan, Pittsburg State professor of teaching and curriculum.
    Among those hoping good kids would be shot her way was Deborah Pfortmiller, associate superintendent of USD 512 Shawnee Mission.
    “We send recruiters to a lot of universities so we get a broad range of people interested in our school district,” Pfortmiller said. “But this is the only place to interview for industrial tech teachers.”
    Pfortmiller, whose son had attended Pittsburg State, was a representative of just one of the 60+ school districts and organizations taking part in Pittsburg State’s Teacher Interview Day on Thursday. A solid crowd of educators and future educators met up at John Lance Arena, with a small change making the room feel even larger than usual.
    That small change was the completion of the new flooring at John Lance Arena — and with it, a larger space of floor carpeting to help expand the interview area.
    “The school districts are about the same, over 60. That is about where we’ve been the last year or so. We’ve steadily increased the last three years. We’re excited, because that’s a good sign,” said David Hogard, Pittsburg State Career Services assistant director for employer relations.
    Most important for students, it brought those 60 districts under the same roof and made them available. Otherwise, students would have to go through the lengthy application process at each district.
    “It would take so much time and effort,” said technology and engineering education senior Rachel Hartley. “The application process is so exhausting and long. I filled one out online and it took me between two and three hours. This is fun to have an opportunity. Most don’t get past the application stage. There’s nothing like getting out there, face to face.”
    Employers came from all over a four-state region (one group from Nebraska had planned to come, but had to cancel). Many have been coming for years thanks to successful trips in past years, like Nancy Burger from USD 465 Winfield. During the last two years, Winfield has hired at least one Pittsburg State student each year, and they have no regrets, Burger said.
    “They have rural interests, and they tend to know what’s trending and what’s important in education,” she said. “They know Common Core standards, and they’re familiar with teaching them.”
    Runyan said the event is a win-win-win, with Pittsburg State showing off their quality students, school districts getting the chance to hire quality students, and students getting an opportunity to network. Some even came away with job offers from Thursday’s Teacher Interview Day.
    Page 2 of 2 - “It’s so nice to network. Networking is huge when it comes to a job. Getting your name out there is key to finding a job,” Runyan said.
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