SAN ANTOINIO -

Wanted: bus drivers and more. 

Five weeks before the school bell rings, Northside ISD is having two job fairs to try to fill hundreds of positions.

"Over the next couple of weeks, we have probably 500 jobs ready to offer," said Pascual Gonzalez, NISD spokesman.

The district is looking for 200 bus drivers. 

It's a job Christine Miranda highly recommends.

"It's not in a building. It's fun. It's outside. It's with kids who I happen to love," she said.

The district is having a bus driver job fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday at McClung Transportation Station, 14173 Old FM 471.

Starting pay is $11.97 an hour and includes full benefits.

Hiring enough qualified drivers has been a challenge for area school districts.

"We're in competition with jobs that pay $50,000, $60,000 for people that want to go drive a truck in the Eagle Ford Shale industry," Gonzalez said.

Applicants must be at least 21 years old, have a valid Texas driver's license, and have a good driving record. Those hired will be trained to drive a bus.

Applicants must also apply online on their website before the job fair.

Northside ISD is also hiring a few hundred service personnel such as cafeteria workers, custodians, maintenance crews, police and people for the new aquatic facility.

That job fair is 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday, July 29 at the Northside Activity Center, 7001 Culebra Rd.

The sprawling district is booming. Two new elementary schools and one new middle school will open their doors for the new school year. With an anticipated enrollment of more than 101,000 students, more employees are needed to staff the campuses.

Many of the jobs fill positions of those who recently retired, according to Gonzalez.

"And, more importantly, the state released some money they cut two year ago.  So, we're putting the bulk of the money we get right into new personnel," he said.

For a list of recent stories Marilyn Moritz has done, click here.