Substitute teacher wages increase for retired teachers

BROOKINGS – Hillcrest Elementary Principal Brad Olinger was awarded a Brookings B.E.S.T. Award at Monday night’s Brookings School Board meeting.

Superintendent Klint Willert explained that Olinger “is a true leader; he covers for his staff and subs wherever he needs to. Hillcrest staff members are proud of Mr. Olinger for going above and beyond to keep our school open and educate our students in person.”

Olinger’s award highlighted a glaring issue that is still plaguing the Brookings School District: a severe lack of substitute teachers.

To combat this issue, the school board unanimously approved a substitute teacher pay increase from $110 per day to $120, only applicable to retired teachers who are currently collecting a South Dakota Retirement System retirement payment.

The half-day sub pay rate for retired teachers also increased to $60 from $55.

“We are currently acknowledging if they are collecting South Dakota retirement that they are qualified for this additional rate,” Willert said.
For all other substitute teachers, who are not retired teachers, the pay rate remains at $110 for a full day and $55 for a half-day.

Willert said that because the sub issue has been so challenging, the district is looking for ways to reward retirees who have chosen to sub in the district this year.

“We are continually watching for ways that we can recognize opportunities for increasing staffing and support,” Willert said. “Just know that we are going to do all we can.”

According to the Camelot Administrative Report, attached to the school board agenda online, “Camelot averages three to four teaching assistant shortages each day, and staff have had to make due in meeting the needs of all learners during this time of substitute shortages.”

To fill these roles, staff “has stepped up every day in attempting to fill roles that normally are teaching assistant responsibilities.”

“Just really encouraging, if you have the opportunity to be a substitute teacher, to go ahead and do so,” School Board Member Keli Books said.

To apply for a substitute position, visit the employment page on the district’s website. South Dakota does not require a teaching license to sub. For more specific questions related to substitutes, contact Laura Gerjets at [email protected].

Contact Addison DeHaven at [email protected]


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