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Local teachers feel optimistic even as COVID-19 vaccine rollout faces obstacles

"We want to teach. I really, I really just want to get this vaccine."

AKRON, Ohio — The rollout of educators to get the COVID-19 vaccine is frustrating a lot of school districts as the supply cannot meet demand. Akron Public Schools are eager to start vaccinating their staff later this week, however they’re still finalizing the logistics since they’re only getting a fraction of what’s needed.

Mark Williamson, Akron Public Schools Director of Marketing & Communication says the plan is being worked on every day. “You have to also have a method of determining who of the 3,000, which 780 go first, so that all part of what’s happening right now," he told 3News.

Chad Pittman is a music teacher for Akron City School District. He says he trusts the science and he is ready to get back into the classroom with his students.

“The last time we were in person was first week of March 2020, so we are coming up on a year,” said Pittman. "I am excited [about the vaccine and] I trust the scientific community, I trust everyone who has trusted the process. The district is very committed and they understand how difficult things have been for the kids.”

For Kent City Schools science teacher and coach, Kate Swango, she's anxious to get her turn. Her district is slated for the third week in February.

“I just need this piece of mind, I want to be effective I don't want to worry about how close I am to a student when I'm in the classroom with them, I want to be able to have one less burden on my mind,” said Swango.

Swango is aware of the shortages and while concerned, she's optimistic.

“If we have to wait an extra week, my goodness, we've waited what…a year? What is another week? Every day is a risk but I'm willing to take it for kids to teach, the sooner we can get the vaccine though, the better," Swango adds.

Governor DeWine has a goal to get all students back into the classroom by March 1.

“I really don't know any teachers that want to be in the classroom, we just want it to be a normal year. We want to teach. I really, I really just want to get this vaccine," Swango says.

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