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Become a teacher: CCSD makes it easy to switch careers

CCSD wants teachers with life and work experience
Posted: 9:20 AM, Jan 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-01-30 22:45:46-05
Backpacks in the hall. Learning in the Classroom.
Principal Katie Decker talks ALTA program
Teacher Gareth Dale
Learning Time

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — One of the biggest challenges the Clark County School District faces is finding qualified teachers. But it's a challenge you can help.

If you have a bachelor's degree and are looking for a more satisfying career, CCSD is making it easy for you to get right into the teaching profession!

The district says candidates like you bring a wealth of work and life experience to the classroom.

From the flags on the walls to the clocks telling world times - teacher Gareth Dale wants his students thinking globally.

"So we look to create a culture that is understanding and accepting of different cultures," Dale said.

It makes sense since this self-proclaimed foreigner knows he sounds a bit different from his students.

Our gaming industry attracted him to Las Vegas.

"I've worked all over the world and have had various employers--Hotels, casinos. I've done a lot. I've got a lot of life experience," Dale said.

And that life experience is what the Clark County School district wants.

They're helping people like Gareth, who already have a bachelor's degree, get right into teaching through their ALTA program -- Accelerated Licensure Teacher Academy.

Jennifer Varrato is the Director of Employee Onboarding and Development. She oversees the program. "

We've always known there are people with lots of great gifts that can be offered to our students. Across the country, we are facing a teacher shortage. So this gives us an opportunity to get more teachers in the classroom," Varrato said.

Katie Decker is the principal who hired Gareth Dale. She says the program is perfect for someone with a passion for working with children and who wants to make a difference.

Gareth says it's the most rewarding decision he could have made.

"You go from doing one type of job where you're not contributing to making a huge contribution, and you feel it every day. It is truly a worthwhile occupation. You go home and think about the day, and you know you've done something."

Since 2014, the Clark County School District has hired over a thousand teachers through this program with 82 percent still in the classroom today.

Anyone with a bachelor's degree can apply here and If you're accepted into the program, you take an intensive ten-week crash course followed by 20 days of field experience.

What is Raising The Bar?

Together with parents, educators, business and community leaders, 13 Action News will lead the discussion on improving education in Southern Nevada. We will connect families with solutions that empower our community to build a foundation for a successful future. If you have a story idea, email us at raisingthebar@ktnv.com.

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