School explains local hire process

OSAN AIR BASE, Republic of Korea -- There are often job openings in the Department of Defense Dependent's Schools at Osan and Camp Humphreys say school officials, but for a spouse to snag one of those jobs requires careful planning and preparation.

Spouses of servicemembers and civilians who are American citizens all compete on a level playing field when it comes to getting one of these "local hire" jobs. Sometimes the job openings are available when a teacher in the system has an unexpected event that prevents them from finishing out the school year.

However, DoDDS permanent employees can apply for transfers to other locations usually in early spring of each year. All of the transfer rounds must be completed prior to any openings becoming available for local hires in the schools.

Some may believe that if a spouse was teaching stateside, they are highly qualified and ought to be a prime candidate for a local hire position but there is more to the process than presenting your teaching credentials to the principal at your base or post. People looking for these jobs are entering the federal work force and just like other DoD employees, have to complete applications, background checks and meet DoDDS specific certification requirements.

"All teacher vacancies are first advertised to current teachers within the district", said Charles Steitz, Pacific Area Communication Specialist. "If the vacancy is not filled internally, the principal will consider the other sources of candidates," including local hires.

Further, teachers already in the DoDDS system have first preference when vacancies are created by current teachers leaving DoDDS. This is important to remember because of the major military drawdowns occurring in Europe. Those teachers have priority for the openings that are created in the DoDDs system worldwide. If a teacher receives a transfer, most often that job is backfilled by a DoDDS teacher from another location in the system.

Osan Elementary School has 7 local hires and that, says Principal Linda Kidd, is higher than average for a single small school like Osan's elementary. Each of these people successfully completed the application process, DoDDS certification process and met the federal guidelines to be hired.

Mrs Kidd said that people who are looking for these jobs should begin the application process as soon as they arrive at Osan and can begin even before they arrive by going to the Department of Defense Education Activity website at: http://www.dodea.edu/offices/hr/onlineapplication/default.htm and completing the application process. It will take some time so if a person is being assigned to Korea or any base that has a DoDDS school, the best advice is to start early. Applications cannot be accepted at the local school. All applicants must complete the application process online in order to be considered for any teaching positions.

"The needs of the school for classroom teachers can vary significantly from year to year," said Mrs. Kidd.

Enrollment increases in the summer months can often open up new positions at the schools. However, there are ways to set yourself apart from the crowd if you are looking for a local hire position. Teachers who are certified in more than one area are better positioned to be local hires because they offer a greater range of classroom skills.

In addition to the local hire positions, DoDDS schools at Osan and Camp Humphreys are looking to develop a pool of substitute teachers and educational aides. These positions can be for a day or longer depending on how long the regular classroom teacher is out on leave. Substitutes can apply directly at the school and once accepted, they are eligible to substitute at any of the schools on Osan or Camp Humphreys. Substitutes must be in Korea, be a U.S. citizen and have a high school diploma. Like the local hire process, substitutes must complete a background check; therefore it can take a while to be added to the substitute pool.

As the numbers of accompanied family members on Osan and Camp Humphreys grows, the need for qualified local hires and substitutes will increase. For anyone wishing to apply for a local hire or substitute position, the principals at Osan or Camp Humphreys are available to discuss how to make a contribution to the education of Team Osan's children.