Your "Human" Resource
Updates, Reminders, And Guidance From WWCS Human Resources
Selfish or Self-aware?
It is not uncommon for many of us to tend to the needs of others before we address our own, especially when it comes to those we care about most. As we attempt to do what's in the best interest of our families, schools, and departments, we often think about ways to support the needs of others, which is essential, but we can't neglect our own. Some people believe thinking about your own needs first is selfish, but when done appropriately, I argue it is being self-aware. Being helpful to others is noble and likely why many of us chose our career path; that said, we are at our best for everyone else when we are conscious of our personal needs and practice self-care. There are many stressful things beyond our control that we all experience daily, and to combat those stressors; we should prioritize our mental wellness as it is an essential part of our overall health.
As a department, we are committed to providing resources for WWCS employees to help them grow professionally. This month's highlighted tools are the Employee Assistance Program - EAP (available to all WWCS staff members) and the MyStressTools through MESSA (available to MESSA members).
MESSA supports your overall health by providing resources to help alleviate stress and anxiety. MyStressTools is a suite of stress management and wellness resources available for free to MESSA members to help you manage stress and anxiety.
MyStressTools uses a "Stress Profiler" to identify your personal sources of stress and
anxiety. Based on your answers within the profiler, MyStressTools provides you
with information, strategies, and resources tailored to your specific needs.
MyStressTools offers podcasts, short videos, webinars, and informational articles on
topics such as resilience, wellness coaching, stress tracking, meditation, mindfulness
exercises, "desk yoga" and more. The content can be accessed from any web-enabled
Here's how to get started:
- Log in to your MyMESSA member account at messa.org.
- Select "Wellness Resources" in the left menu.
- Select "MyStressTools" to launch the MyStressTools site.
- Begin your journey by taking the Stress Profiler quiz.
Dr. Alex Ofili
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources
HR Focus - Collaboration
Education uses a lot of buzzwords, and collaboration can be one of them. It is defined in the Merrian-Webster dictionary as "to work jointly with others or together, especially in an
intellectual endeavor." That doesn't sound hard. Don't we all need to work together daily to do our jobs? We have many jobs in Wayne-Westland, but they all come down to the success of our students. Maybe you drive them to school, feed them, teach them, clean up after them, or support them in other ways, but without you, they can't be successful. And without them, we aren't needed. How can collaboration help our kids succeed and help us do our jobs more efficiently? Working together to solve problems is the answer. This seems like an easy task, but sometimes we assume that others don't want to solve problems that we see. Together we have more power than as individuals.
In their article, 5 Tips to Make Collaborative Problem-Solving Work for Your Team, The Wrike Team suggests these helpful steps, which I have simplified below.
1. Bring the Right Attitude to the Table
Be ready to listen. Collaborating isn't just about making your ideas the solution. The goal is to find the best solution for all.
2. Individual Problem Solving is Essential to Collaborative Problem Solving
Come to the table with ideas. We've all been frustrated by coming to meetings and talking without moving toward solutions. Be prepared to share.
3. Split up into Smaller Groups
Start with the entire team to ensure clear communication and use them as support during the process. Smaller groups can be more effective and focus on specific problems and potential solutions.
4. Allow Space for Innovation and Conflict
People should be free to share their thoughts even if they might be considered out of the box. Team members should also feel comfortable disagreeing with ideas and find areas of concern with the suggestions. This has to happen without condescending snipes or attacking the individual.
5. Make Communication and Progress Transparent
This is where so often we fail when solving problems. We have to make sure that all team members, whether it be a department, office staff, building, or the District as a whole, know the overall goal and what tasks need to be completed to get us there.
Collaborating with others requires risk. We must share our thoughts and ideas and listen to others without judgment to come up with solutions. We all come to the table with various experiences in and out of the District. Let's use this to move forward, not stay in the past. This all boils down to trust; we have to rely on each other to help solve problems and improve our District.
Director of Human Resources
HR Focus - Investigation Confidentiality
In an organization as large as Wayne Westland Community School District, there are inevitably times when incidents occur. Sometimes these incidents involve students, and other times they involve staff. Regardless of who is involved, these incidents require the administration to carry out fair and complete investigations in order to make sure issues are addressed and all parties are treated fairly. In order for us to complete this important work, we need all staff and students to maintain confidentiality at all times. When confidentiality is broken, the work of gathering accurate information becomes increasingly difficult. Additionally, the individuals are stripped of their right to privacy throughout the process. We ask everyone to do their part and not share rumors or things you hear from unreliable sources. If you have a concern about something you have heard, please relay the information to your administrator so it can be addressed. Together we can ensure that everyone has a chance to have their situation remain private, as we would want if we were in their position.
Dr. Jim Anderson
Director of Secondary Services
Legal Focus - Service Animals
HR Reminders & Updates
Emergency contact information for employees must be kept current. Please click here and follow the e-Voucher instructions at the bottom of the page to sign in to eEmployee. Click on the contacts tab to update emergency contact information.
Staff members should use this link to report their positive case of COVID -19 to Angelle Allen COVID Reporting. Please get in touch with Angelle (ext.2040) in the Human Resources Office if you have any questions.
Informational sessions regarding 403B, short/long term disability, HSA's, etc., are coming soon!
Leader Spotlight - Cheryl Watson
Name: Cheryl Watson
Title: Administrative Assistant for the Superintendent
Did You Know: Cheryl started with Wayne-Westland as a kindergartener at Wilson Elementary School (formerly on Wildwood), and graduated from Wayne Memorial.
She has worked for the district in many different buildings/departments since the summer of 1976 - it's the only place she has ever worked! Even after all these years she still loves coming to work every day and doing whatever she can to support our students, families, and staff.
Cheryl has been married to her wonderful husband Robert for almost 39 years. They have two sons - R.J. who lives in North Carolina, and Eric, who lives in Ypsilanti with his partner Griff Hermann. Griff teaches Game Design and Programming at the Ford Career-Tech Center.
Her very favorite thing is spending time with family. She also enjoys reading, traveling (mostly to North Carolina and Florida), Coke Zero, and a good chocolate chip cookie.
Noteworthy Contribution: Throughout Cheryl's impactful tenure in WWCS she has earned the respect and admiration of her colleagues as a result of her thoughtful insight and responsive nature. During times of crisis, Cheryl is instrumental in coordinating behind-the-scenes support for administrators and community members. Cheryl embodies the top leadership qualities we promote as a district and she never seeks recognition for her efforts to enhance WWCS. Her colleagues refer to her as a "Wayne-Westland historian with a wealth of institutional knowledge, who possesses a great sense of humor and a calming presence during stressful times!"