New HR manager eager to support staff and students

Veteran educator Dr. Karen Baldwin will be joining Linden Public Schools as human resources manager.

Baldwin has 25 years of experience in education, having previously served as a superintendent, HR director, and athletic director.  She will begin in her new role in Linden starting April 1. The Linden Board of Education approved her hiring on March 2.

“I am excited to join Linden Public Schools and partner with Dr. Hazelton and the entire leadership team to support the important work in the school district and community improving outcomes and opportunities for all students,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Marnie Hazelton welcomed Baldwin to the district.

“We’re very excited to have Dr. Baldwin joining our Linden Public Schools family,” she said. “She brings a great energy and love for education. She has a wealth of expertise not only in human resources but also in central administration.”

Baldwin said she recognizes that the way we teach students has changed dramatically due to COVID-19.

 “This past year has been one of extraordinary challenges for children, families, and all who work in education,” she said. “In my new role I am eager to support our staff as they strive to meet the needs of all learners and create safe, healthy, equitable, and inclusive school cultures.”

Baldwin has served as superintendent in Ridgefield, Suffield, and Watertown, Connecticut, and has worked as an independent education consultant. She is also a trained mediator through the Quinnipiac University School of Law. She earned her doctoral degree from the University of Hartford in 2014 and her dissertation explored the leadership influence of superintendents with boards of education.

“During my 25 years in education I have held a variety of positions,” she said. “In those roles I have especially enjoyed the challenge of building the best possible staff in order to do the critical work of educating our next generation of leaders and citizens.”

Baldwin said she was inspired by the recent words of Merrick Garland as he was nominated as U.S. attorney general.

“He stated that he believed becoming attorney general was, ‘the highest best use of my own set of skills,’” she said. “I believe that to be true of my current opportunity to serve as human resources manager in Linden. I believe the greatest resource in our organization is our people and the key lever in effecting improved outcomes is through a strong system of human resources and talent development.”

She said she has been impressed by Linden as she learned more about the city and school district.

“I think Linden is a wonderfully diverse community, and my initial observations through research and the interview process indicate that people value relationships and that the school district is a great place to work,” Baldwin said.

“I think as communities and schools all across the country prepare for the reopening of schools, we have an opportunity to address the inequities that have been exacerbated by the pandemic, and work collaboratively to unleash the  potential of our people in the organization to close achievement gaps, increase learning, and prepare all students for life, learning and work in the global society.”

– Story by Gary Miller

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