Volunteers, Central Services Staff Step in as Subs
This year's budget cuts have impacted schools greatly, but three groups are stepping in to help by substituting – for free!
Earlier in the year, the district administration identified substitute costs as a way of saving money. Teachers were asked to help by limiting their requests for personal days. Teachers were also asked to help by covering their absent colleagues' classes during their own planning periods. When necessary, however, substitutes are being employed.
Darlene Hughey, the district's volunteer specialist, knew there was another way, so she began to rally volunteers, Central Services employees and aspiring young teachers.
"It just made sense to recruit volunteers," said Hughey. "We have 1649 wonderful individuals who donate their time and talents to our schools. Right now our biggest need is substitutes, so I knew many would come to our rescue."
And they did.
Hughey took her volunteer substitute idea a step further, contacting Southern Wesleyan and Clemson universities to see if their education majors would help out.
To recruit volunteer substitutes, Hughey pointed out the many advantages for the students: gaining real life experience, having something applicable for their resumes, getting their feet in the door and providing critical relief to our teachers and staff that would enhance the educational environment of students.
Hughey even arranged for the nursing staff from Clemson University's Sullivan Center to be on the Southern Wesleyan campus to give each volunteer sub the required tuberculosis test at a reduced cost. Then, she scheduled the district's coordinator of nursing to visit the campus two days later to check each individual's injected area.
"The collaboration among SWU, Clemson and the district has been overwhelming," added Hughey. "We have 31 volunteers ready to begin subbing after spring break. They will gain valuable experience while helping our teachers."
Central Services employees also wanted to do their part. Certified staff members volunteered several of their workdays and began subbing immediately. Support staff members went through the district's substitute training program before going into the classrooms. Together, Central Services employees have scheduled over 100 days to sub.
"Being in the school was a great experience" said Rosanne Morris, secretary to the superintendent. "I subbed in a middle school, and the kids were great. I do have a new appreciation for middle school teachers though!"
Anyone who is interested in volunteering to substitute may contact Darlene Hughey at 855-8150, Extension 171 or by .