EIU/UIUC Spring Education Job Fair allows students to get started on their careers


Rob Le Cates

More than 50 Illinois school districts presented tables to graduating education majors during the EIU/UIUC Spring Education Job Fair at the Union Grand Ballroom Tuesday morning.

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Eastern and the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UIUC,  collaborated in hosting a fair aimed at education majors.

The event was titled ‘EIU/UIUC Spring Education Job Fair’ and was held in the Grand Ballroom in the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

There were over 50 different elementary schools present to recruit students to work at their schools.

Sophomores and juniors were encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity in order to explore future possibilities in education.

The event was filled tables for each school to inform attending students about what their schools had to offer and what positions they were looking for.

Jordari Rene, the assistant director of employee relationship and professional connection at UIUC was part of the team that helped host the event.

Rene said UIUC has had a 10-year affiliation with Eastern to help host the event.

“We interchange our school platforms to help school districts hire students of all educational levels [such as] administrators [or] anyone who wants to lead their impact in a K-12 school system,” Rene.

Rene said he got into this position due to his passion for college life. He said it allows people to network and getting better in the position.

“It’s just great to just [do] the background work [and] get those students the opportunity to talk to employers [and] get them in their milestones again them a future career,” Rene said.

Kendra Leftridge, a principal at Taft Primary School, located in Kankakee, Illinois was present at the event to try and recruit teachers, specifically high school teachers in English, math and science.

Leftridge had encouraging words for people considering joining the staff there.

“It is exciting [and] diverse,” Leftridge said. “If they can teach in Kankakee, they can teach anywhere.”

Krystal Clifton, the innovation coordinator at Taft, also spoke on what they were looking for at the school.

“We’re looking for seniors [students] this year that are looking for places to be and that have a solid education,” Clifton said.

Clifton also said that they are looking for certified teachers, but have hired teachers that are not certified that fulfill ‘instructor’ roles.

Clifton also said it is hard to find teachers due to a teacher shortage, but it is exciting to see what people are interested in, and that is what really motivates her.

Jae Owens, the assistant director of human resources for Champaign Unit 4 School District was also present at the event.

Owens said she came to the event due to her relationship with the school of education at UIUC.

Owens said staff at the school have open teaching positions at elementary, middle and secondary levels.

“We are looking today to be able to let students know about our vacancies, offer tours for them to come to our school and interview on the spot with us today,” Owens said.

Owens said she has been in the field for 10 years and at the school district for seven and loves what she does due to her ability to impact children.

“So the one thing that I really enjoy about my job is it I am employing teachers that will be teaching our future doctors, lawyers, psychologist, artists, theater, makeup artist, whatever the case may be,” Owens said. Everyone starts with a teacher. And so it’s very important and it’s a great responsibility to be that assistant director of HR, knowing that whoever you’re going to employ for your school district could very well be teaching that next doctor or president.”

Cam’ron Hardy can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].