FORT WALTON BEACH — The Okaloosa County School District hosted its third annual Teach at the Beach recruitment fair on Saturday at Choctawhatchee High School.

According to Okaloosa School District spokesman and Assistant Superintendent, Steve Horton, there were approximately 70 vacant teaching positions available.

“We have almost 2,000 teachers in the district so when you say 70 openings, it’s not an exceptionally large number for a district this size,” said Horton. “Every year, we have a number of retirements, military spouses that transition out and some who choose other professions. There’s a mix of reasons why openings become available.”

According to the school district’s human resources department, the number of openings is typical for this time of year compared to previous years.

More than 100 applicants attended the event to meet with principals and other school staff. Attendees included recent graduates looking for a first teaching job, military spouses and veterans from the immediate area, and applicants from as far away as California.

Seventeen teaching positions were filled during the event, while several other attendees left with multiple offers. The district expects to hire around 50 teachers from the event.

“Our principals and their staffs did a great job highlighting our schools,” said Superintendent Marcus Chambers in a press release from the school district.

Despite the success of the event, the district said it will still need to hire additional teachers. Those who were unable to attend the recruitment fair are encouraged to apply for a teaching position through the district’s website.

The beach theme of the job fair was a marketing tool to draw applicants to the event.

“We have a great school district in part because we live in a great community. We’ll leverage any resource we can, including our beautiful beaches, if it means attracting the best teaching candidates to the area,” said Chambers in the press release.