WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — “We’re excited about it,” said Ouachita Parish School Board Assistant Superintendent Todd Guice. “It’s always an exciting day. I know it’s a nervous day for applicants, but we’re happy to be here today.”

On Monday, May 16, the Ouachita Parish School Board held a Teacher and Paraprofessionals Job Fair. The board held the event at the West Monroe Convention Center, from 1:30 p.m. until 7:00 p.m.

According to Guice, the annual event kicked off the board’s hiring season.

“It gives our schools and administrators a chance to visit with applicants in the district,” Guice said. “To come in and visit with them get to know one another. It’s convenient to our applicants because all our schools are right here in one location. They don’t have to travel all around the parish to set up interviews.”

One of those applicants was Conner Valentine, a West Monroe native who will graduate from Louisiana Tech University on Saturday, May 21.

“I like being able to come to one spot and know that I get to see all the schools,” Valentine said. “I get to talk to everybody and it’s not me having to do it on my own and email, call, text or whatever else you have to do to get in touch with different principals. They’re all here. They’re available. They’re ready to talk to me as well as I’m ready to talk to them.”

The school board required applicants to pre-register, but it also accepted walk-ins.

The Ouachita Parish School Board’s Biggest need is, “Certified teachers, I mean I can’t say in any one field,” Guice said. According to Guice, there is especially a need in secondary education, including math and science teachers.

“We want to visit with all certified teachers to get them into our parish. We think we have actually a great place for people to work, go to school and we’re just excited to visit with them and see if we can find a match,” Guice said.

According to the board, 135 applicants pre-registered for the event. If you missed the event, you could still apply by visiting the Ouachita Parish School Board’s website here.