Alice Smith

Alice Smith recently left her post as one of Jasper County’s local Purdue Extension educators, which will need to be filled early next year.

RENSSELAER — Jasper County Purdue Extension Educator Bryan Overstreet approached the Jasper County Commissioners on Monday to renew Purdue’s contract with the county.

The commissioners approved the renewal of the contract, which included a note that the upcoming replacement for former educator Alice Smith will be full-time, instead of part-time. This new educator will join the remaining educators, which include Overstreet and Anna Williams.

“Now, we’re going to be moving up to three (full-time) educators,” Overstreet said. “When we hire somebody to replace Alice, they’ll be a full-time person.”

Overstreet said that the process of hiring a third educator will be slow and could take as long as six months.

“Hopefully by the middle of next spring we’ll have somebody,” he said. “It’s a slow process. They’re taking applications now. It’s been advertised. They’ll be probably taking applications that last through the first of the year, and then it’s got to go through HR on campus, and about three sets of interviews before we ever get to interview anybody.”

As the county’s three educators, Overstreet handles agricultural concerns, Williams handles youth development (largely dealing with 4-H activities), and Smith’s upcoming replacement will handle health and human sciences.

“It’s preferred (to have) the master’s degree,” Overstreet said. “That’s not required, but if there’s somebody with a master’s that’s qualified, they’ll look at them first.”

Anyone interested in the position is encouraged to visit www.purdue.edu/hr/careers.