HOT SPRINGS, Ark – School districts in Central Arkansas are getting creative this year to help fill a growing number of vacancies in the classroom.

The Cutter Morning Star School District started the year Tuesday with several retired teachers back on campus.

“I envisioned moving to Hot Springs Village and playing golf every day,” said David Smith. “But I needed to be in education.”

This is Smith’s first year in the district, coming back to teaching after several years in retirement. According to Anderson, Smith is one of two at the high school doing so.

“They’ve been very gracious, and they know that our kids need them, and I need them, and our school needs them,” said Anderson.

Anderson says it’s been a tough summer trying to fill a number of vacancies that seemed to grow every day.

“We’re calling our friends, our colleagues across the state asking, do you know anybody?,” said Anderson.

Anderson says she’s pulled at least two teachers and two administrators out of retirement to help.

“I guess school is just in your blood,” said Cutter Morning Star Curriculum Coordinator Terry Lawler.

Lawler is back again this year after retiring twice.

She says teaching is a passion and lending a hand is just what educators do and will do, as long as they’re needed.

“It becomes your life, not just your schedule, not just your mindset, it’s who you are,” said Lawler.