Rebecca Shaw, Director of Operations & Management
Division: Division of Early Learning
Joined OSSE: June 2015 and Feb 2008-Nov 2009
Hometown: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: American University, BA, MPP
Must read books:
- Chronicle of a Death Foretold, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood
- In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
Why did you choose OSSE?
I was introduced to District Government as a Capital City Fellow and in that program I had the opportunity to learn how different District agencies handle budget operations. When OSSE was created in the District, I jumped at the opportunity to be a part of the Chief Financial Officer’s team to put everything I learned about budget operations to work. After a few years away from OSSE in operational roles, I learned about another great opportunity in Early Learning Division that had more of a programmatic operations focus and I was ready for a change in my career. I have always been interested in education since both of my parents were teachers so I put my hat in the ring for this opportunity. I felt I could have more impact on early learning policy and implementation in a programmatic operations role and I am excited to be back.
What do you wish you knew before joining OSSE?
I wish I knew more about early childhood policy and research—I knew a lot about budget, operations and public administration, but I wish I was a subject matter expert in the early learning arena so my learning curve would not have been so steep. I have learned a lot in my time here, and my experience coupled with my team’s expertise has made my experience at OSSE a truly inspiring journey.
What is a typical day like for you?
I don’t think I have a typical day—what I love about my job is that every day is not the same. I meet with a lot of divisions at OSSE. Any given day I meet with childcare providers or with one of our Early Learning Units, and while each conversation is centered around early childhood education, we discuss different strategies and priorities.
What is most rewarding about your work at OSSE?
Getting to see the impact on the children and working families. Since I get to meet with so many internal and external teams that work on early learning, I am able to physically observe the quality of the work that the division creates manifest in the field. There’s nothing like the feeling you get when you are out in the field meeting with students, families and education agencies and you can actually see the impact of the work you do.
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