By Nicole Felmus and Amie Littman
DCPS Office: Chief of Staff, Data and Strategy Team
Education: Yale University
Program of Study/Major: Cognitive Science, History
Hometown: Bath, Maine
When Kyle Hietala isn’t hard at work as a UELIP with the Office of the Chief of Staff, he’s looking through his camera photographing the DCPS UELIP experience. He also takes the time to get to know the subjects of his photos through the interviews he conducts and writes. Kyle finds the interview process a good way to get to know people beyond “water cooler talk.” “It’s my favorite part, easily the highlight of my summer,” he said.
In addition to his social media projects, Kyle’s primary work involves analyzing data and developing statistical models. Despite the fact that Kyle had limited data experience going into the summer, he now “appreciates that data is only as good as the ways you gather it, as well as how you go about asking questions in the first place.”
After looking at over 50 internship opportunities, Kyle decided to become a UELIP because he wanted to do something education-related while still trying something new. To him, “DCPS stood out because it’s innovative, controversial, and well-intentioned.” Kyle appreciates the location as well. He feels in DC that he is immersed in an interesting culture, which has led him to have a more exciting experience.
After he graduates, Kyle wants to work in the most innovative and creative setting he can, preferably by founding a school one day or serving as a principal. Kyle wants to revamp how schools teach, and would ideally like to see more interdisciplinary approaches to stimulate rich and complex curriculum.
“We talk all the time about how we need STEAM, or science and the arts, and I think the way to intellectually stimulate students is to find ways to put all of those pieces together.”