Creating Change on a Larger Scale

By Kathy Gurchiek Jun 23, 2015
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Jatisha Marsh

​Jatisha Marsh, SHRM-CP

A passion for education is in the DNA of HR professional Jatisha Marsh, SHRM-CP, employee performance analyst for the Atlanta Public Schools.

“My mother was a teacher and my grandmother was a teacher for a time,” said Marsh, who left a corporate job as a marketing representative to join Teach for America from 2006-08, during which time she taught in the Atlanta Public Schools. After two years with Teach for America, she continued teaching full time in the school system until 2013.

She wanted, she said, “to help alleviate the educational achievement gap” in Georgia.

In 2013, she started her current position. She also was an adjunct teacher for the school system’s virtual school from August 2013 to January 2015.

As one of the five recipients of a new scholarship the SHRM Foundation awarded in 2015, Marsh is eager to soak up knowledge on HR best practices, employee relations and ethics at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2015 Annual Conference & Exposition and to meet mentors who can help her introduce innovations in the workplace.

The nearly $2,500 scholarship gives HR professionals who might otherwise be unable to attend because of a lack of financial support the opportunity to experience Annual Conference. It comes with full-conference registration, four nights’ housing at a conference hotel and a $500 travel stipend.

Marsh has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business administration from Florida A&M University.

As employee performance analyst, she works extensively with schools and principals. She was drawn to the position because she wanted to impact change on a larger scale and do her part to ensure that students have the most effective teachers in their classrooms.

“There are many Title I schools in Atlanta, so education is [the students’] ticket to change their life trajectory,” she said. “In HR, I work with adults, but adults are just big kids to a certain extent. [HR] can build competencies in their staff” and help them change behaviors, she noted.

In 2014, Georgia Trend Magazine and the Atlanta Business Chronicle recognized Marsh as a leader under the age of 40. In 2013, she was named a Hope Street Group National Teacher Fellow. She serves as board chair for the Collective Atlanta, an affinity group for Teach for America alums of color; is on the National Alumni Recruitment Board; and chairs Teach-A-Rama, a program conducted by chapters of the education sorority National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa Inc.

Atlanta Public Schools had to work hard to rebuild the trust it lost with the public when its former head of human resources admitted to wrongdoing in a widely publicized cheating scandal. Marsh is intent on bringing back best practices, she wrote in her scholarship application.

Working with students has taught her a lot about human behavior, she said. That includes thinking strategically about how she can influence a child to be a role model and how to keep calm in the craziest situations.

The latter, she said, is “a skill that’s very important to HR.”

Kathy Gurchiek is the associate editor at HR News.

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