LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Today was a big day for first-year teachers who are joining the Clark County School District.
Nearly 1,800 teachers spent the day at the Venetian on The Strip taking part in new teacher orientation.
New teachers are getting ready to take on one of the most important jobs to the future of this community.
“I'm just so excited for this year,” said Janelle Millander a special education teacher. “I'm scared for the first day. You want to be organized and prepared.”
According to the Clark County School District, it's the largest group of new hires in about eight years.
“We had funding available through district dollars to reduce class sizes. The legislature gave us additional dollars to reduce class sizes as well,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Dr. Stacy Vesneske.
The reduction in class sizes was largely focused on the elementary school level.
First-year teacher Beatriz Cruz says she looking to make a personal connection with her students, many of whom share her background.
“I think coming from a low-income background i can relate to my students and be able to connect with them and their families and they're community. And show them they can do it despite the circumstances of where they come from,” Cruz said.
Another big need in the district is special education teachers like Millender.
“I love kids with autism and when they make such great growth,” Millender said. “I'm just glad to help.”
These teachers will spend the day learning all they need to know about the district. The sessions will include professional development, presentations even a little entertainment.
Just under half of the new teachers starting this year are from this community like high school teacher Colin Snyder.
“I grew up there and I owe Cheyenne my love of learning,” Snyder said.
This year will be their first chance at instilling that love of learning in the lives of an expected 313,000 students in the Clark County School District.
“I feel like this a good job and career to make a big impact on students and families' lives,” Cruz said.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman kicked things off this morning with some words of inspiration.
If you have a love for kids, the district is still looking to hire teachers, substitute teachers, support staff and bus drivers.