DPSCD Transition Manager Steven Rhodes Announces New Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources

New Cabinet Member Will Provide Transformative Executive-Level Leadership and Guide DPSCD Effort to Identify, Recruit and Retain Talented Teachers and Staff

Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes has selected James Baker as the new Deputy Superintendent of Human Resources for the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD). Baker most recently served as the Superintendent of the Huron Valley Schools in Highland, Michigan. He holds a MA degree in Education Leadership from Wayne State University and has more than 17 years of experience as a central office administrator. Baker is scheduled to begin work with DPSCD on August 22, 2016.

“The district needs a strong leader to help identify and support the best, most qualified talent possible. Jim has a robust background in education and administration to lead the district in this important work and he is an excellent fit for the team,” said Transition Manager Steven Rhodes. “He has proven experience in the various functions of human resources, most importantly with a focus in education.”

Baker’s attention to accountability, benchmarking and planning made his resume stand out. He understands communications, evaluation systems, negotiating and the importance of building strong relationships inside and outside of the organization. Baker has experience working with an appointed board, unions and a cadre of employee issues and concerns over the course of his career.

Baker will assume responsibility for hiring and retaining certified teachers in national critical shortage areas; will reorganize the human resources department at DPSCD; and will streamline the hiring process for all District employees. He will also work with Interim Superintendent Meriweather to implement an evaluation program that will sustain the new long-term DPSCD Academic Plan.

In addition, Baker will continue to work on structuring the new district and aligning all talent strategies with DPSCD’s approved and balanced budget.

Background on James Baker
James Baker has worked in several school districts in Southeast Michigan, serving in roles that range from High School Principal to Superintendent. He is certified in education leadership and as a human resource specialist. He attended Wayne State University for graduate school and the School of Human Resources & Labor Relations at Michigan State University.

Baker has served as a Chief Executive Officer of large diversified Michigan public school districts overseeing budgets of $85 million, serving up to 9,500 students and more than 600 employees. He is passionate about having a positive impact on the lives of all students by making responsible and sound decisions in senior leadership roles. He has worked in Oxford, Madison Heights, Dearborn Heights, Romulus and Highland, Michigan.

He has direct experience working with all aspects of human resources. from negotiating union contracts to negotiating health benefits for employees. This includes: working with budgets, managing, evaluating and bargaining with various unions; and writing and implementing policies and procedures. He has a comprehensive understanding of the Family and Medical Leave Act, Americans with Disabilities Act and Worker’s Compensation claims and laws. He is committed to working hard to ensure long-term success for Detroit kids, and to help continue to transition Detroit’s public school district back to local control.

About the Detroit Public Schools Community District
The Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is the new public school district for the Detroit community. It was created through the Michigan Legislature’s passage of the education reform bills in June 2016. DPSCD has replaced the former Detroit Public Schools. It will maintain all 97 schools, as well as all necessary support services including transportation, school nutrition, special education, early childhood learning and much more. In addition, DPSCD will emerge with new and innovative academic programs and support, along with facility improvements and enhanced security. Most significantly, DPSCD emerges with virtually no past debt obligations. Learn more at detroitk12.org.


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