More than 500 apply to teach in Horry County

More than 500 teaching applicants interviewed for jobs within the district Saturday at Conway High School. According to the district's website, there are only 32 open positions. This time last year, there were more than 250. (Taggart Houck/WPDE)

More than 500 prospective teachers filled the halls and auditoriums of Conway High School Saturday morning, each looking for a classroom in the district.

"It is the full district, it is any open position that we have that people can be interviewed for today," said Mary Anderson, Chief Human Resource Officer for the district.

Interviews Saturday had the potential to lead to on-the-spot hires. But according to the District's website, there were only 32 positions available.

New college graduates like Will Corbett, who completed his degree at Coastal Carolina University, were eager to network.

"Right now, it's not necessarily like, I'm gonna get the job today, I'm going to make sure my name is out there, so that when they do have that opening, they're gonna think, 'Hey, that Will Corbett guy, he's a little crazy, but he might just be the crazy we need,'" he said.

Lots of people there have been paying attention to state teacher pay and demands for an increase.

"They're certainly priceless to me, so I would always say and advocate for them to support them more and make them feel valued," said Lee James, Principal at Conway High School.

Anderson said that topic didn't come up much Saturday among prospective teachers.

"More than salary today, I think they're concerned with finding a place that is a best fit for them," she said.

That's also how Taylor McConnell feels. Also a Coastal Carolina University graduate, she said living comfortably is important, but her passion to teach has taken her mind off that.

"You want to be able to live comfortably but at the same time, I'm not in this profession for the pay," she said.

She hoped to land a job at the elementary school level, teaching math and science.

"To see that light bulb moment go off when they finally understand a concept they've been struggling with, it's just so rewarding," said McConnell.

For now, she and the hundreds of other interested teachers will wait, hoping to get a call back from the district.

Florence School District One and Marion County School District also held Recruitment Fairs Saturday.

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