School Views: We’re committed to finding staffing solutions |

School Views: We’re committed to finding staffing solutions

Adele Wilson
School Views
Adele Wilson

Eagle County School District’s ongoing pursuit to be fully staffed continues to face challenges not unique to education or Eagle County. The impacts of labor shortages can be seen on the mountain and around our valley across every industry.

Whether waiting in long lines at the post office, opting for self-checkout at the grocery store, or booking a haircut a month out, staffing challenges persist. In Eagle County, we also have obstacles such as affordable and available housing and livable wages impacting the hiring process.

We’ve been fortunate, as a large organization, to have team members to lean on and take on extra duties here and there. Unfortunately, while this model has kept us afloat the past few years, this is not a permanent solution. We continue to try and fill our open positions so our staff can get the breaks they need and so rightly deserve.

We continue to exhaust traditional recruitment channels and explore more creative avenues, however, the same issues endure.

We’re reimagining what our support positions look like. Where once upon a time we only sought full-time applicants interested in the benefits we offer, we are now willing to work with applicants who may only be interested in part-time employment opportunities, whether they work a different job or want to focus their time on other priorities.

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We’re also working with applicants to complete trainings and certifications necessary to fulfill the requirements of our available roles, such as a commercial driver’s license to operate a school bus or an alternative teacher licensure program for those with a bachelor’s degree and an interest in a career in education.

Colorado’s pension system also recently changed some of its rules surrounding retired teachers’ ability to work without losing their PERA retirement benefits. House Bill 22-1057 temporarily waives the “working after retirement” limits for substitute teachers in all school districts while there are critical substitute teacher shortages. This bill was signed by Gov. Polis on March 17, 2022, and became effective on that date. This law expires on July 1, 2025. We are taking full advantage of this temporary change to support our students and our staff.

While these challenges continue, this message is not meant to be disheartening. If anything, it demonstrates the district’s commitment, resiliency, and tough-mindedness to work through problems as they present themselves. We will not be discouraged and will continue to work with our community members to assist where we are able while also recruiting educators from across the state, country and world.

This year alone we have seen success hiring from an international talent pool. We have hired 17 teachers on J-1 employment visas for the next three years. These new hires come from all over the world with the following countries represented: Colombia, Ghana, the Philippines, Spain, and the United Kingdom. These teachers are able to extend their J-1 visa for an additional two years, for a total of five years with us in Eagle County. This has become an exciting recruitment tool that offers our students a unique perspective in the classroom.

As one of the largest employers in the valley, we understand this work cannot be done alone. We will work together to provide the best educational experience possible for our students and fulfilling careers for our staff members.

Adele Wilson is the chief human resource officer of Eagle County School District. Email her at

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