Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023

New Richland One employee finds fulfilling niche in human resources

Dr. Tammy Small

Dr. Tammy Small

There are very few professions which haven’t been challenged to adapt to changes brought about by the pandemic. For human resource professionals, the already complex process of recruiting, hiring, and explaining benefits for employees has been altered drastically with the onset of COVID-19.

Dr. Tammy Small was hired by Richland One in August as a coordinator of special projects in the office of human resource services to assist with those changes. At the top of her job description is the proverbial “other duties as assigned” disclaimer and that suits Small just fine.

“I try to work with all the other coordinators and the human resource director to create more proficient and efficient ways to accomplish tasks,” said Small, who primarily helps employees obtain and renew their teaching certifications. “I like to provide prompt and kind service with a smile and resources to assist. Human resources is after all, a customer service field.”

Since people are the primary asset and arguably the most important one, in order to be successful, human resource professionals must have an appreciation for what each person brings to the district.

“People make the organization. Everyone in a district from the superintendent to the bus drivers and substitute teachers are a direct reflection and representation of the values of the district,” Small said. “At Richland One, we are working towards promoting a culture of empowerment and excellence that is reflected throughout the organization and to all of our stakeholders.”

No area specializes in knowing the job descriptions, qualifications, and needs of each employee the way human resource professionals do. Their role is to assist employees, answer questions, and provide resources to help employees be successful and satisfied in their positions.

“I am a people person. I communicate with teachers, principals, prospective employees, directors, and executive directors on a daily basis, and that takes patience and a level of kindness,” said Small. “Most of the time, people just want to be heard and treated with respect. It should not matter if a person is a high-ranking member or not, we should all be treated with compassion and respect.”

Small said it was the deference she received when she was first hired that she’d like every employee to experience at inception and beyond.

“When I came to the office for the first day, I had a note from the director to welcome me, which I still have in my office. Also, everyone has been very friendly since my arrival,” she said. “I have enjoyed developing the relationships with the people in the department.”

Small comes to Richland One from Kershaw County School District where she served as an assistant principal, so the field of human resources was new to her. Her advice to those seeking a call to purpose is to, “Apply for what you want and where you feel called to work. When you look for a job that you have a passion for or you feel will renew your spirit, then you will find the best place for you.”

“Committing to a position that is fulfilling will always land a person exactly where they need to be,” she added.

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