JOPLIN, Mo. — Filling the teacher void in the Four State region is a step closer to being accomplished, all as a result of what happened at Missouri Southern.

“The more we interview, the better we’ll be. There’s lots of opportunities to do that here,” said Hailey Stamper, MSSU Educ. Student.

A skill Hailey Stamper hopes she won’t need for long.

“I guess it kind of hit me today, that I don’t have a guaranteed job the moment I graduate. We’ve had that conversation. You’re getting your degree, that’s your goal, what do you do after?” said Stamper.

She’s one of the dozens of education students local school districts are hoping to hire.

“It’s been hard to fill all of the positions that certified teachers. We have great certified teachers, but we need more,” said LaDonna McClain, McDonald Co. R-1 Curriculum Director.

The McDonald County School District is hoping this education career fair will help fill a list of openings.

“Not every district has the same needs. Not every district is looking for the same things and we want a good fit. You know, McDonald County we pride ourselves in having fun with a family atmosphere,” said McClain.

In all, nearly four dozen school districts are here, in one spot, looking to hire. In some cases bring that future teacher back home.

“One of the things that we love is that we had so many alumni from local K 12 school districts that as they went through that K 12 School District, they want to go back and work for that same school to give back to their community and teach those same students from their hometown. And this is also a great place to connect those two people,” said Alex Gandy, MSSU Career Svcs.

Great options for job hunters like Andrea Day, who says this career fair is a step in the right direction.

“MSSU has a wonderful education program. They set up things like this, like this career fair that sets us up for success. And gets us out there and networking and making connections,” said Andrea Day, MSSU Educ. Student.