The nationwide teacher shortage is forcing the Clark County School District to look overseas for educators.
For the second year in a row, CCSD is welcoming teachers from the Philippines.
“There are a lot of children with special needs back in the Philippines,” said Olive Baclay, special education teacher from the Philippines.
Baclay and Chloe Panganiban are among the more than 100 special education teachers from the Philippines helping shrink an educator shortage at the Clark County School District.
“Everybody is welcoming, accommodating with our needs because, at times, we feel homesick but with the support that we get, we are very lucky,” Baclay said.
Both are working at Hal Smith Elementary School as a result of recruiting efforts in the island nation.
“I look forward to my professional growth since I’m still a bit fresh from the, from the educational field,” Panganiban said.
The two are form the capital city of Manila. Both also worked in special education prior to their move to Las Vegas.
And although they didn’t know each other in the Philliphines, they’re glad to have crossed paths some 7,300 miles away from home.
“It’s good that I have someone in the same school so it’s not going to be that hard for me,” Panganiban said.
It was a long process getting the foreign teachers to Las Vegas and their stay may not be permanent.
“It took about three months of processing all of the papers, all the resumes that we have to submit and all the things that we we need to prep,” Panganiban said.
Both teachers had to apply for a J-1 work visa which is a teacher exchange program.
“Then after three years, we need to go back to our home country, which is Philippines, and then share all the experience and the knowledge that we learn here,” Baclay said.
If possible, the new colleagues and friends would like to stay for longer than three years.
“If given the opportunity i would love that,” Panganiban said.
“This is a dream though,” Baclay said.
There are still 540 teacher vacancies in CCSD. The majority of the openings are for elementary and special education.