Buckeye Local puts out call for substitute staff

DILLONVALE — A shortage of substitute workers has Buckeye Local School officials putting out the call for more help.

The district began the school year in August with a lack of substitute bus drivers; since then it has gained applications to fill the list for as-needed assistance. Now, a similar situation is brewing in the custodial and cafeteria departments and leaders are seeking applicants for the slots.

District Maintenance Supervisor Tony Panepucci said he is operating with only a few extra hands and hopeS to remedy the situation.

“The issue we have is that subs are only as-needed and it’s hard to retain people,” Panepucci said. “I have two subs now, and we’ve had upwards of 10 (in the past). I’d like to get four or six more, and that would be great.”

He said he has faced a staffing shortfall at the elementary schools and available workers have worked overtime and weekends to maintain the buildings. Substitute workers who are hired will become familiarized with different buildings so they are ready to go when their call comes. One advantage is the opportunity to obtain a full-time position, and three subs have joined the main roster, creating the need for more help.

District Food Service Director Denise Smith echoed many of his remarks, saying she also sustained a decline in substitute cooks and the lack of manpower could impact student services.

“This year is the worst because we only have two substitute cooks now,” she said. “We’ve worked them constantly when cooks are sick and they could get a lot of hours. One day I had four cooks off in two buildings and it affects getting the food ready in time.”

Smith has even distributed applications at school open houses to gain interest and said potential employees living in the Adena, Brilliant, Rayland and Tiltonsville areas could remain at the schools in those communities if they chose, but they also had the option to travel to different buildings. They would be trained within three to four days in all positions so they can easily slip into the role where they are needed.

Both posts earn minimum wage and anyone interested in applying for either position may do so at the central office in Dillonvale, plus they must also undergo fingerprinting and a background check for a $55 fee. For more information, call the central office at 740-769-7395.