ROCK HILL, S.C. - We’re less than a week away from the first day of school for students in South Carolina.

Friday, the Rock Hill School District hosting a pep rally for teachers, more than 12,000 educators were in attendance.

“You don’t do this for the money of course," said Briana Barnette.

Barnette is a fourth-year 4th grade teacher at Lesslie Elementary School. “You do this to give back to the students of Rock Hill.”

From school pride, to motivational talks and prizes, the rally sets the tone for what students can expect in the classrooms.

“We’re going to have fun this year," said Tina Stukes. She teaches 6th grade at Dutchman Creek Elementary School. “We are going to do a lot of things, we will grow, I will be their biggest supporters.”

Stukes is one of 200 new teachers in the district. While that may be exciting, school leaders admit they’re still heading into a new year with several vacancies.

“It’s always a hard to staff the area for special services, special education,” said Mychal Frost, spokesman for Rock Hill School District. “We’ll continue to make adjustments as necessary.”

As 18,000 students prepare to return to school in the largest district in York County, leaders want parents to know the need for more teachers will not impact their children.

“We’re going to be okay,” said Frost. “We are going to make everything happen on the first day of school. Which means next Thursday, we’ll be good to go.”

Anyone interested in helping fill some of those vacancies for the Rock Hill School District can click here.