NORFOLK, Neb.-- There’s still a major teacher shortage in the United States and Nebraska is no different.

Cities like Omaha and Lincoln are especially struggling to find qualified individuals.

In northeast Nebraska, Norfolk Public Schools officials say they find themselves in a better position compared with other districts and are looking forward to the upcoming school year.

“We’ve started having some teachers in for some training this summer,” said Angie Baumann, who is the Director of Human Resources at Norfolk Public Schools.

“There’s energy and excitement to get back at it this fall,” she added.

According to a report put out by the Nebraska Department of Education for the 2021-22 school year, there were 143 districts with unfilled positions during the beginning of that year.

The most affected areas were central and southeast Nebraska.

 Baumann said NPS hasn’t had many issues finding people.

“We’ve continued to recruit and be out looking for new teachers to fill our positions,” she said. “We’ve been very successful at bringing in teachers so that we don’t have the large shortage that we’re hearing in other areas across the state,” added Baumann.

Back in late May, the Omaha World-Herald reported that more than 1,250 teachers were leaving Omaha districts for various reasons.

Baumann says it's a complicated issue.

“I think there’s a variety of factors,” she said. “When we look at everything coming along with the pandemic and the changes and the pressure that went along with that to keep our buildings open and still be able to be safe with everything.” 

She also mentioned politics might play a role as well.

“I think politically there are pressures in society,” she added. “I don’t know if the feeling is different in Omaha than the feeling with Norfolk Public Schools but I feel like our teachers are strong and positive."

According to a Gallup poll that came out in mid-June, around 44 percent of K-12 teachers say they often feel burned out at work.

“I think teachers feel that stress,” added Baumann.

NPS does still have some open positions going into the school year. 

For a link to all open NPS positions, go to the Norfolk Public Schools website.