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Human Resources

K-12 HR Spotlight: Sherry Mauch

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Meet Sherry Mauch, an HR Business Partner here at Frontline Education. With a rich K-12 background spanning various roles – from supporting the Superintendent’s and Principal’s offices to working in the Human Resource Department for her local district – she brings a wealth of experience to the table. We’re thrilled to introduce you to Sherry as she shares more about her journey in K-12 HR!

What was your first job in education?

I was a secretary at an elementary school. One of my responsibilities was coordinating substitutes for our building. At that time, we still had a sub caller – a person whose job it was to call substitutes directly to fill vacancies. This was back in 2003, and that year, our district purchased Frontline’s Absence Management tool (then AESOP).

If you could give any advice to yourself at the beginning of your career, what would it be?

Don’t over-estimate your importance and under-estimate your influence.

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced while working in K-12 HR, and how did you overcome them?

Many of the back-office processes such as managing position control, recruiting and hiring, ensuring compliance during onboarding, and managing employee records were done manually. As recently as 2019, we still had paper files for every employee. Data was stored in multiple databases that were not connected. Sharing information between HR/Payroll/Finance was very manual. We did not have access to systems with workflows for approval – everything was done via interoffice mail with paper approvals.

What is one skill every K-12 HR professional should have?

A desire for process improvement and a willingness to explore how technology creates efficiencies, not roadblocks. I never like to hear the reason we do something a certain way is because that is the way it has always been done.

Based on your experience, what are the top three best practices you believe are critical for effective HR management in K-12?

  1. Strategic Workforce Planning
  2. Professional Development
  3. Technology Integration

Can you share a piece of wisdom or a learning lesson that has stayed with you throughout your career transition from K-12 HR to EdTech?

Educators spend so much time ensuring our children are prepared to meet the technology challenges of the future, but Districts are slow to adopt technology to create efficiencies for their own internal processes related to recruiting, hiring, time & attendance, and professional development. Transitioning to EdTech has been very rewarding and has allowed me to better understand the meaningful impact technology can have on shaping the future of education.

What will change the most in education over the next 10 years?

AI will have a profound impact on education by creating opportunities for personalized learning and tutoring, while enhancing accessibility for all students. Many administrative tasks will be automated, and enhanced data will provide deeper and more meaningful insights related to student performance and instructional strategies. Students will soon have the ability to learn and collaborate with each other around the world, allowing for an exchange of ideas, cultures, and perspectives on a global scale.

How do you continue to stay informed and ahead in the field of HR, and are there any resources or networks you recommend?

Continued education through professional partners such as SHRM, collaboration with other local HR professionals through organizations such as the CCHRA, and online resources and webinars.