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WE Expect Excellence: Certified Personnel Specialists

In small offices, tucked away in the Human Resources Department at the District's Administration Center, work three very energetic and resourceful women dedicated to serving schools and students in the Beaverton School District.

Lisa Burnett and Erica Marson are the District's Certified Personnel Specialists responsible for recruiting, screening, interviewing, hiring and supporting the District's more than 2,500 certified staff and 800 substitutes. "We want charismatic, excited, eager teachers that want to share their love of learning with students and who are learners themselves," says Burnett. "We want teachers that will be able to inspire and motivate students."

Lisa and Erica, along with Administrator for Licensed Personnel, Susan Rodriguez, develop and execute the District's diverse recruitment plan. The plan includes working with university partners to engage students in educational programs with mock interviews and hiring fairs. It includes non-university hiring fairs both in and out of state, planning and implementing specialized fairs for special education, advanced math and English Language Learning teachers, and the biggest recruiting event each year, the Oregon Education Fair.

"Coming into the position as a former principal, I had no idea how much Human Resources contributed to the daily workings of a school, says Marson. "When interviewing, we are always thinking - would this be a good person for our kids, would they exemplify all of our pillars? – that kind of contribution in HR is great, and we are making a difference."

"Recruitment is a mindset that is bigger than just going out and attracting people to Beaverton, recruitment is a commitment to the people that we seek," says Rodriguez.

To support new hires, the team hosts new hire orientations and offers Teacher Chats each Spring to gauge how the new teachers have fared, and gather any information they can offer about their onboarding experience in Beaverton. "We want to constantly be working with the rest of the organization to make Beaverton School District the kind of place that people want to come to and want to stay," says Rodriguez.

Along with recruiting and screening teachers and substitutes, the team supports certified staff with their licensing requirements with the Teachers Standards and Practice Commission (TSPC). "The rules can become very arcane, we bridge the gap between what schools need to happen and how that can happen legally through licensure and TSPC rules and regulations," says Rodriguez. "We recognize that we can recruit hundreds of people, but if they are not staying with us, then it is not a net benefit for the District, or for our kids."