Team Highlight with Talent Acquisition

By Bianca Viazzoli

With almost 8,000 school staff occupying the 115 DCPS schools, it’s a wonder how all these talented people make their way here. Ellen Vari and Jay Snead of the Division of Talent Acquisition in the Office of Talent and Culture explained their team’s mission to, “ensure every student has a great teacher and great school leaders,” to the UELIP Cohort.

Ellen, the Coordinator of School Leader Recruitment and Selection explained that there are many steps school leaders take to land their spot in a school. The process starts in December, ends around May or June of the following year, and includes a four-hour long interview. This process tests school leaders’ abilities in a variety of key areas, including managing other people and providing effective instructional feedback to teachers.

As Coordinator of Teacher Recruitment and Selection, Jay has a hand in every step of the process . He deals with a few different types of recruitment, but enjoys regional recruitment the most. Tasked with managing the west coast, Jay travels 3,000 miles to recruit young teachers at various colleges. Although Jay likes meeting with new teachers face to face, he confesses this is not always the most effective way to recruit. His office also uses virtual recruitment, reaching an audience that he may have never reached otherwise.

Visibly excited, Jay explained the ways his office encourages teacher retention such as Chancellor’s Teacher’s Cabinet, Opportunities Newsletter, Retention Emails to Highly Effective Educators, Performance Incentives and Standing Ovation Gala Event, all in hopes of keeping brilliant teachers here at DCPS.

Jay, Ellen, and the rest of their team agreed that the strongest candidates are authentic and display their talents to the best of their abilities. Liz Koons, a UELIP Associate and aspiring teacher said, “this meeting enhanced my desire to teach in DCPS because it shows that they truly care about making sure their students have qualified teachers and making sure that the teachers have a positive work environment.”


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