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New Faces of Informed K12

It’s officially January, which means it’s officially 2020! As we reflect on the successes of last year, we’re proud of not only bringing on a record number of new school districts, but also of bringing on quite a few new employees. It’s a bit surreal to look back on where the team was at this point last year and see just how much progress has been made on many fronts. Yet, while the team is constantly evolving, one constant has remained - our commitment to building a different type of tech company. 

The word “different” can evoke lots of thoughts and sentiments, but for us it simply means building a passionate, purpose-driven team that reflects the diversity of the users it serves. Over the last few months, we’ve added new team members that are helping us keep our team strong. Meet some of them below and learn what drew them to Informed K12. 

 

 

Ethan (1)

Name: Ethan Schlenker

Team: Engineering 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

There were some good "regular" reasons:

  • The interview process was incredibly well designed for an engineering manager (which is rare!)
  • I appreciate the complexity of the product and the goals of the company
  • I felt a very strong alignment with the engineering team and co-founders.

But on a personal level, my first job after college was at a company that was in the process of digitizing the processes around refinery inspections.  It was super niche, but I loved the customers and felt like the app was making the lives of the refinery inspectors more productive. After a couple tours in ad-driven web development/management, Informed K12 felt like coming home. We're a company working to make the experience of working in a school district easier and more predictable. Helping people with tools is why I got into web development in the first place and that value is very rewarded here.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to applicants considering joining the team?

For Engineers: Don't be fooled by the seemingly simple veneer of "forms and productivity".  It might sound straightforward, but the reality of building effective software for the incredibly unique environment of a school district is very complex.  It's different than many challenges in the tech world because it's less about scale/metrics and more about really meeting your customers where they are. And our customers are in lots of different places, but all share a strong need for the app we're building.

 

Juan

Name: Juan Cervantes

Team: Engineering 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

One of my biggest priorities when it comes to working and life in general is making sure I feel challenged. After interning as an engineer at Informed K12 I felt like it was the perfect place to satiate that hunger. Every day brings new challenges and I appreciate the clear path to improvement. Another reason why I joined is the team culture, we all care about each other's growth and provide a very constructive and collaborative environment with constant feedback and check ins. 

What's the biggest thing that surprised you since joining? 

Since joining I’d say the biggest surprise to me has been how open we are as a team to changes and suggestions for improvement. We’re not afraid to try out new processes and everyone's voices are welcomed. 


kate_square

Name: Kate Higa

Team: Engineering 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

This might sound cheesy but everything about Informed K12 struck a chord with me from the people to the culture to the work. I wanted to continue growing as an engineer while doing work that aligned with my personal values— I felt Informed K12 offered exactly that. Informed K12 is one of the only companies focused on the school district admin space— whatever is happening at the school district level carries a system-level impact to the students. It’s incredible to be able to do work that makes an impact in this space! Aside from impact, the people I talked with at Informed K12 seemed so supportive, smart, and genuine. I was confident there would be plenty of opportunities and people to learn from!

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to applicants considering joining the team?

Be prepared to learn a lot and develop skills even beyond technical skills. Our engineering team is small and extremely collaborative-- curiosity, empathy, and open-mindedness is valued! 


DSC_0641

Name: Rachel Lucero

Team: Operations 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

Having taught in an urban school district at an under resourced school, I saw how inefficiencies would affect both my students and my colleagues. That experience drove me to work towards improving the environments and structures in public education, and I knew that Informed K12's mission aligned with that.  As a Customer Experience Manager, I am so lucky to work with schools and district offices to make sure that our product is working great for them.

What's the biggest thing that surprised you since joining? 

I'm surprised by how close I still feel to the work that schools are doing. Transitioning from the classroom, where you can closely see your impact on a daily basis with students, to a tech startup, I wasn't sure if I would feel distant from the education world.  Since joining, I've been really happy to continue my work in supporting schools and seeing the huge impact that our product has on school district staff across the country.

 

natalie welcome slide

Name: Natalie Rhodes

Team: Customer Success 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

I was first interested in the role because I thought the product fit a critical need for school districts. However, what really convinced me that I had to join the team was how intentional and thoughtful the hiring process was. I felt I had a really solid understanding of the work I would be doing and the team I'd be working with so it was a no-brainer. 

What's one piece of advice you'd give to applicants considering joining the team?

Consider if you would enjoy and thrive in an environment where feedback and innovation is embraced. You'll have a lot of autonomy to continuously improve your work and processes. 

 

Elena

Name: Elena Noyes

Team: Operations 

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

I was looking to change job sectors from the nonprofit world to a startup or medium sized company. My goal in my job search was to find a mission-driven company with staff that was passionate about customer success. I worked in my previous position with a number of schools in Oakland Unified, Hayward and West Contra Costa and loved connecting to the educators and administrators and saw the amazing, extremely difficult work that they do day to day. When I came upon Informed K12 I loved how the focus was on the success and satisfaction of both individual users and the districts at large.

What's one piece of advice you'd give to applicants considering joining the team?

If you are not coming from an education background, take some time to learn about hierarchy and different school district departments. Workflow routes can get really complicated! There's also a lot of new and exciting projects to work on-be prepared to try it, change it and try it again.



stef-square

Name: Stef Morris

Team: Partnerships

Why did you join the team at Informed K12? 

For me, it was the opportunity to work for a high integrity company whose customer base is absolutely evangelical about the product.  The product delivers on its promises and with a much faster/smoother implementation than I thought was possible for Ed Tech. As a partnership person, you can't ask for more than that!  

What's one piece of advice you'd give to applicants considering joining the team?

This is the most collaborative and high integrity sales team out there. Even though half our team is remote, we talk every day about what we're working on and how to better support our district partners through their evaluation process.  If you're looking to be part of a team that is always asking, "How could we do this better?" and willing to make changes towards improvement, this is it!

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