IT’S NOT OFTEN that public schools are considered one of the best places to work, and especially so this year, when teacher and staff frustration over the COVID-19 lockdowns and the unanticipated difficulties of distance learning sometimes seemed ready to boil over.
Only 10 of Virginia’s public school divisions were included in Forbes’ list of the Best 100 Employers in Virginia for 2020, so it’s noteworthy that Spotsylvania County Public Schools (SCPS) was not only on the list, but was ranked in 37th place overall, and fourth of the 10 Virginia school systems that also made the list, including the much bigger school divisions in Prince William, Loudoun and Fairfax counties.
SPCP was also the only employer based in the Fredericksburg region on the top 100 best employers list in Virginia. This is even more impressive because only 45 of them are Virginia-based employers, compared with 55 from out of state.
In fact, eight of the top 10 are headquartered in other states, such as No. 1 Raytheon (Waltham, Mass.), No. 2 FedEx (Memphis, Tenn.) and No. 3 Federal Reserve (Washington, D.C.) Only No. 8 Huntington Ingalls (Newport News) and No. 10 Capital One (McLean) cracked the top 10.
According to Forbes, the rankings were determined by anonymous surveys of 80,000 Americans working for 1,461 employers in all 50 states with at least 500 employees that were conducted between October 2019 and May 2020. Employees were asked to rate their workplaces for safety, fair compensation, opportunities for advancement and the ability to telecommute.
SCPS Superintendent Scott Baker attributed the school division’s inclusion on the list to its focus on staff well-being and professional development as two of its four strategic goals, adding that “this investment in our staff fosters a culture of collaboration and teamwork which ultimately benefits our students.”
Kudos to Spotsylvania County Public Schools for its intentional focus on staff members’ needs and concerns, which helps them perform at their best even under difficult circumstances. Happy teachers make for happy students. And students who are happy in school not only learn more, they make their parents happy, too.