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Back-to-school: 150 new teachers hired, but BCSD still needs more

A BCSD new-teacher orientation is held Aug. 8, 2017, in Bakersfield, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Inside of the Sequoia Middle School auditorium in Bakersfield, more than 150 new elementary and middle school teachers gather for orientation.

Starting on Aug. 16, these teachers will be leading students in a classroom.

"I'm equally excited as I am nervous," said Maria Munoz, a first-year teacher.

Munoz will be teaching fifth grade at Voorhies Elementary School, which is in the same part of town where she grew up.

"I grew up in the Bakersfield City School District, and I had many teachers that made a difference in my life," said Munoz.

Munoz grew up in east Bakersfield, an area she describes as being plagued with drugs, crime and poverty. Growing up, many of her peers tried to pressure her in joining a gang. She said her saving grace was being in the classroom, surrounded by teachers who cared about her and her academic success.

Munoz said she hopes to use her life experiences to relate and inspire her students.

"To be able to tell my students, I grew up where you are growing right up now, and I know that you can succeed and you can become a better person," Munoz said.

Munoz is the type of candidate the BCSD is looking to hire.

They are still trying to fill about 25 vacant teaching positions.

Many of the new teachers at BCSD are a part of the provisional internship permit program. The program is designed to get teachers in the classroom as they work towards getting their credentials.

As for Munoz, she said this teaching opportunity is a way for her to give back to her community.

"They made a difference in me, and I want to make a difference in the students that I have in the future," she said.

If you would like to apply for the vacant teaching position, visit the BCSD website for more information.

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