Insight on Menlo’s Hiring Process

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Insight on Menlo’s Hiring Process

Dr. Bridgett Longust works to find the perfect teaching candidate. Staff Photo: Ella Hartmanis.

Dr. Bridgett Longust works to find the perfect teaching candidate. Staff Photo: Ella Hartmanis.

Dr. Bridgett Longust works to find the perfect teaching candidate. Staff Photo: Ella Hartmanis.

Dr. Bridgett Longust works to find the perfect teaching candidate. Staff Photo: Ella Hartmanis.

Ella Hartmanis, Staff Writer

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A lot of behind-the-scenes work goes into hiring every teacher at Menlo, a process that can last three to four months. The process begins when a teacher submits a resume after seeing a job opening, usually posted online. Occasionally, over 100 people will apply for one of the teaching jobs, but few make it past the resume round, according to Dean of Teaching and Learning Bridgett Longust. When Menlo finds a teacher that they think has the experience and is a good fit, someone like the respective department chair or Upper School Director John Schafer will do a comprehensive phone interview with the candidate. If the department thinks a candidate is a good option, they will invite the candidate to come to Menlo, teach a demo lesson and do some interviews, including one with Director of Diversity and Inclusion Keith Wheeler. Usually, only around three candidates make it to the demo class and on-campus interviews. After getting input from students and other faculty, the department members then vote, and the department chair makes a recommendation to the Head of School Than Healy. In the end, Healy makes the final decision about whether or not to hire a specific candidate.

A drawback for some teachers when considering working at Menlo is the living expenses. “It’s just one more barrier,” Longust said. Many teachers choose to live in the East Bay or in other areas far from campus because they are cheaper, causing them to have a long commute.

Menlo offers a unique program where new teachers are able to rent an apartment in a nearby six-apartment building that Menlo bought a couple of years ago. Teachers are able to live there for a year or two, paying a little below market rent. This helps them save money and get to know the area, according to Longust.

The hiring process can last a very long time because the department works to find the best possible fit for Menlo. Typically teachers who plan on leaving the following year tell the school in January or February leaving the department plenty of time to find a replacement. In some rare cases, teachers leave unexpectedly part way through the year, which makes it more difficult to hire a replacement. While one teacher may be leaving Menlo, another teacher may be leaving another school and looking for a new teaching position. “Different changes happen in people’s lives all the time,” history teacher Otis Bryant said. Another solution is to have people who already teach at Menlo take over the classes of the leaving teacher for the rest of the year or until a replacement is found.