75 recruiters show up to education job fair at Eastern


Justin Richards

Blake Esker, a middle level education major senior, talks to a recruiter during the teacher job fair on Wednesday. Esker is interested on what the fair had to offer and enjoyed the amount of options the job fair had to offer.

Hannah Shillo, Associate News Editor

Future educators discovered employment opportunities while connecting with current educators at the education job fair Wednesday.

Career Services Director Bobbi Kingery said Eastern is one of two Illinois schools that puts on a fall education job fair.

“We’ve done it for the last 10 years or so,” Kingery said. “(Illinois State University) had quit doing theirs and they just added it back in this year.”

There were 75 registered employers at the fair this year, and Kingery said the numbers were in the 60s in 2018.

She said the teacher shortage could have aided the increase in participating employers this year. 

Todd Rogers, principal of Carterville High School in Carterville, Illinois, was a first-time job fair employer and said the teacher shortage was a main reason he registered for the event.

“Recruiting has never been something we’ve had to do but with the shortage we want to get our name out there,” Rogers said. “We’re pretty well-known in southern Illinois as being academically the best and so we want to try to get up here and get our name out and see if we can track some quality candidates. I know for one how great the Eastern Illinois teacher’s preparation program is (because) I went through that and got my master’s here as well.” 

AnnaMarie Hanes, a postbaccalaureate student getting her teacher certification, said she attended the job fair to see the opportunities available for when she graduates in December.

Hanes said she has already secured employment in Cerro Gordo, Illinois, but wanted to keep her options open for the future.

The education job fair is something Hanes said she appreciated having the opportunity to attend because it was easy for her to make connections in the education field.

“I actually got the job I have now from last year’s career fair, so these career fairs really work,” Hanes said. “I talked to the school district because I knew I wanted to work there. I didn’t hear anything, but over the summer they reached out and asked if I could come in for an interview and I did and then two hours later they called me back and offered me the job.”

Dominique Snow, a senior middle level education major, said she was offered an internship while she attended the fair.

Snow said the offer, along with her recent edTPA results, are encouraging considering the work she’s put into her future teaching career.

“It makes me feel really good. I did a lot of hard work and it’s paying off,” Snow said. “I know that a lot of people have struggled with it and I know that Eastern did really well preparing me, so I’m glad.”

Snow said networking is the most important part of any job fair and encouraged students to attend future events so they can get their feet in the door. 

“Even if you aren’t interested in getting a job that day … you never know what’s going to happen,” Snow said. “If you make those good impressions with everyone, you’re more likely to get a job down the line.”

Morgan Thompson, senior art education major, said some of the schools she was interested in working at in the future were at the job fair, so she went to make herself known to them.

“It’s been awesome,” Thompson said. “They’re so welcoming and inviting. It’s a really nice atmosphere in there and that takes the pressure off a little bit, so it’s nice.”

Thompson said networking was also a reason she went to the fair.

“I believe networking is one of the biggest things, especially as an educator,” she said. “You want to get your name out, there you want to talk to as many districts as you can (and) you want them to remember you so that they will most likely give you the job over someone else in the future.”

Thompson credited her networking skills to the previous job fairs she attended throughout her time at Eastern.

“I’ve been coming to these since I was a freshman,” Thompson said. “Coming to each one has helped me so much with learning how to talk to these people and learn how to have conversations about what you’re looking for in a job.” 

Hannah Shillo can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].