Without authentic partnerships with schools and the community, school districts’ work becomes nearly impossible. I am thankful for opportunities in school districts where strategic partners exist to serve students.

With Silicon Valley in its backyard, Jared Joiner knew the San Francisco Unified School District’s (SFUSD) Department of Technology should be a beacon of educational technology in the U.S. But prior to new leadership in the department, there had not been authentic partnerships forged with schools or Silicon Valley.

Jared wanted to start with the teachers. He knew that if teachers didn’t have access to technology, their students certainly wouldn’t. So Jared helped accelerate  an initiative to put laptops in the hands of every teacher in the district -- at one point deploying 2,100 laptops over 10 days to educators at their school sites. Getting devices into the hands of teachers allows SFUSD to provide educators with comprehensive online and in-person professional learning.

That was just the beginning. For years the San Francisco district’s Internet connection was bottlenecked by outdated equipment, so Jared helped aggressively obtain and install new hardware capable of supporting 1:1 initiatives for student devices. Additionally, Jared helped the district migrate to a modern productivity, communications, and collaboration platform that allows every student to complete assignments collaboratively, and allows teachers to leverage digital tools to augment their teaching. During the migration, SFUSD partnered with Salesforce team members so every school would have access to on-site support the first week.

Jared attributes his success in two urban school districts to his commitment to building partnerships throughout and beyond the organizations he has served in.

Jared’s work and results include:

  • Moving the SFUSD’s Department of Technology to being highly ranked (among 40+ central office departments) for consistency, accessibility, responsiveness, and effectiveness in a school and site leader survey, with two teams in the top 10 of the rankings.

  • As Director of Strategy and Communications, Office of Human Capital, for Boston Public Schools, helping overhaul the Office of Human Resources into the Office of Human Capital -- leveraging the support of foundations and philanthropic partners to transform the district’s hiring policies so that over 80 percent of all hiring was completed by June 1 and ensuring that principals could compete for the most diverse talent.

  • Establishing new structures and organization at Boston Public Schools to focus on the strategic needs of principals in all aspects of talent management.

  • Helping overhaul teacher evaluations in Boston, to move from an annual evaluation rate of 25-35 percent of teachers to over 70 percent of teachers in the first year, and over 85 percent in the second year.

  • Developing a comprehensive talent management system in Boston focused on hiring the best teachers and developing leadership pipelines for aspiring teachers to lead schools.