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Dr. Allison Clark selected as ACS Supervisor of the Year

woman in black suit and pink shirt

Congratulations to Dr. Allison Clark for being nominated and selected by her Arlington Community Schools peers as the 2023-2024 ACS Supervisor of the Year! As the Chief of Human Resources, Dr. Clark oversees the employee experience, from recruiting and retainment efforts and onboarding to health benefits, retirement and everything in between.

“Dr. Clark has established herself as an excellent gatekeeper for ACS,” Superintendent Jeff Mayo said. “This role requires meticulous organization, good working knowledge of district policies and state laws related to HR functions and the ability to juggle many tasks well all at the same time. She continues to take the initiative to grow her own knowledge, and due to her diverse background, she relates well with all classifications of employees.”

Indirectly serving students by supporting workplace culture

As someone who spent 10 years as the principal of Arlington Middle School, Dr. Clark’s connection to students was never more than a few doors or even feet away. She directly saw the impact her teachers and employees were having on children every day. She could see them, hear them in the hallways, engage with them in class. It’s not quite as easy nowadays. Now in her fourth year as the leader of human resources, a position located in the ACS Central Office and not in a school building, Clark’s relationship with students has changed, but they continue to keep her grounded in understanding the needs of employees.

“Any opportunity I have to be in a school to observe how students are learning and teachers in action, I take,” Clark said. “Being involved helps me see and understand how I can better support employees or even recruit employees who will continue to provide that high level of learning and engagement. In human resources, you work with the adults, the employees of the district, so I try to do whatever I can to help them so they can better help students in return. I hope to be an indirect impact to the students because they are ultimately the most important piece of our organization.”

Since taking the helm of HR, Clark has focused on building upon the district’s recruiting and onboarding processes to be even more engaging and productive for new employees. Immediately after taking the position, she was tasked with recruiting during the pandemic, not exactly an easy feat. But her creativity in using digital technology and partnering with the communications department led to ACS Human Resources Department winning two Awards of Excellence from the National School Public Relations Association for producing a teacher recruitment video that highlighted the district’s four schools and for its appealing marketing materials, including brochures, banners, the careers website and employee testimonial videos.

“Human Resources is the first department many employees meet, so your first impression is everything,” Clark said. “I’m constantly thinking about how potential employees may perceive our district and how we can better tell that story, because at the end of the day, I want to recruit the best employees possible for Arlington.” 

Clark’s approach to selling the district continues even after employees are hired. During the onboarding process, she and her staff give new employees tips, tricks and advice on acclimating to their new roles, provides them with background on the district to give them an aerial view of the climate and culture and dives deep into health benefits offered by ACS. As she likes to say, “teachers went to college to be teachers, not experts in their benefits.” She also follows up with new employees throughout the year to address any outstanding questions they may have.

“That’s what I love about ACS – you get the amenities of a large district while maintaining that small district feel,” Clark explained. “You’re a person here. We know who you are, the superintendent knows who you are, and you’re not just a number.”

Recruiting and retainment only scratches the surface of Clark’s responsibilities. She also supports school principals and administrators with various issues as they arise, conducts employee evaluations, helps develop board policies and more. She serves as the ACS representative on the Interlocal Health Trust Board, a position in which she advocates for low-cost health premiums and maximum health benefits for employees. This year, she’s also helping Superintendent Jeff Mayo lead the district’s inaugural class for the Arlington EDGE Academy, an in-house program aimed at identifying and training the next generation of aspiring administrators by helping them cultivate leadership skills and showing them the inner workings of being an administrator.  

“Dr. Clark consistently provides support, valuable advice and mentorship to building-level administrators,” a fellow colleague said when nominating her for Supervisor of the Year. “Dr. Clark’s steady leadership in the face of challenges positions ACS for success. She is an inspiration and a shining example of an exceptional supervisor.”

Dr. Clark will now be submitted for the regional and state Supervisor of the Year competition as she represents ACS over the next year!