Wilson County Schools turn to national guard to fill staff

Wilson county school board
Posted at 9:30 PM, Nov 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-30 06:32:58-05

MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Running on fumes, Wilson County Schools turned to the Tennessee Air National Guard to fill the vacancies.

Captain Charles Agin, A1C Olay Phimphivong, and Master Sgt. Rex Soberano serve with the 118th Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard.

“So we're trained for operation support in various capacities for the mission out at Berry Field,” Captain Agin said.

But on this day, it’s not about analytic support. They are donning aprons inside Green Hill High School in Mt. Juliet. The mission: feeding hungry teenagers.

“One of the stats they threw at us is -- they have eight folks to serve over a thousand students.

That’s because, just like many companies, schools are experiencing staffing shortages.

“We need them, we need all the help we can get, that's where it's gotten to — to no fault of anyone. We've exhausted all efforts to recruit and retain staff across the district,” said Bart Barker, a spokesperson for Wilson County Schools.

The 118th has been volunteering in the district for two years in a variety of roles. Captain Agin sees the service as part of their calling.

“You serve your community and whether it's a time of disaster or if there's just staffing shortages — whether it's serving pizza or helping with flood recovery.”

If you are interested in volunteering in Wilson County Schools — call the district office and ask for the Food & Nutrition Department. The number is: 615-444-3282.