August 12th. The start of the LPS school year is just more than two weeks away. Superintendent Dr. Steve Joel says it's the earliest Lincoln Public Schools has ever started.
"This time of year just reminds me, time is flying by," Dr. Joel said. "But we have a talented group of people and we're ready to go."
He says he wishes students and teachers could've started later, but sometimes, that's just the way the calendar works.
Dr. Joel hosted the LPS Leadership Conference on Monday at Lincoln Southwest High School. It's a two day event for local administrators to discuss what's going right, what needs to be improved on and what to expect for the following year.
"It's the unofficial, official start of the year," he said.
According to the superintendent, LPS hired a record 360 new teachers this year. That's a number, Dr. Joel says, that will likely increase even more by time August 12th rolls around.
"A lot of talent walks out the door with retirement and transfers," he said. "But we replace that with top notch talent."
Top notch talent that he says comes 80-percent from Nebraska. Dr. Joel says it's not uncommon for the LPS to sift through 100 or more applicants for one opening.
"We get great interest, but we have the ability to vet and narrow it down the best and the brightest."
More teachers is a by-product of more students. The student population is expected to grow by 1,000 students this year.
"The numbers just continue to exceed our expectations," Dr. Joel said.