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YUHSD brings in VitalSmarts for support staff professional development session

As part of an ongoing professional development series geared towards district office support staff, Yuma Union High School District hosted VitalSmarts for an all-day training on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at the district office.

J. Lynn Jones, who has 40-plus years in education and is one of VitalSmarts’ top presenters in the field, spoke to the group about accountability and being positive influencers. They spent time discussing scenarios, thinking of alternative ways to approach crucial or necessary conversations, customer service, and ways to avoid letting frustrations build up.

“It was a really good day,” said YUHSD Executive Assistant Gina Olivas, who was one of more than 30 staff members in attendance. “I think all of us learned a lot and left the training with a new perspective on handling situations that we deal with every day. All of that just helps us to continue making a difference for the students in our district.”

Tuesday’s session was the second professional development session for support staff in 2019. They underwent an all-day, customer service related training in March and have plans to take part in another follow up training next spring.

“It’s important for our support staff to have professional development, like all of our other departments,” YUHSD Chief Academic Officer Eric Brooks said. “Often times in school districts, teachers get professional development all the time, but we haven’t necessarily always created opportunities for our support staff. So, it's teaching how our mission of every student really applies to all of us.”

VitalSmarts is an international company offering corporate training and leadership development designed to motivate teams, improve performance and transform corporate culture. The company previously worked with YUHSD in the fall of 2018, when renowned public presenter Justin Hale shared a keynote presentation about crucial conversation at the annual district welcome back kick off.

Eric Patten