PeopleAdmin celebrates university lecturer and K-12 substitute as Inspired2Educate recipients during annual customer conference

At PeopleConnect 2017 ‘empowering possibilities’ in K-20 talent management means sharing best practices, inspiring innovation, and celebrating how great educators change lives and build a brighter future

AUSTIN, Texas — April 4, 2017 — PeopleAdmin, a leader in talent management software for K-12 and higher education, last night in front of a crowd of more than 300 education talent management professionals announced the latest honorees of its Inspired2Educate recognition program, honoring their stories of how exceptional educators inspired them to pursue a career in education — a field both Michelle Hofmann and Adam DeSimone found a passion for as second careers thanks to influential educators.

“Each time I saw Professor O’Neil after leaving Pierce in 1996, he would say the same thing: ‘When are you going to go back to school and get your graduate degree and teach a journalism course?’ I would always return with: ‘Rob, you know that I’m not a teacher. I’m a journalist,’” said Michelle Hofmann, a lecturer at California State University, Northridge (CSUN). “Coming out of the dark time after my mother’s death, I thought I’d trust the professor who changed my life and give teaching a go. I’m glad I did. In many ways, teaching feels like coming home.”

For Adam DeSimone, substitute teacher in Brookline, Massachusetts, the inspiration came only after receiving a long-forgotten assignment in the mail — a letter Mr. Talon instructed his high school students to write to their future selves 10 years earlier.

“My parents called me saying they got an envelope addressed to me,” DeSimone wrote in his winning submission. “I opened it up, and after pausing blankly for a moment, lightning struck and I was taken back to Mr. Talon’s class. Among other things, I told my future self that if I wasn’t happy with my life, I should figure out what went wrong and make a plan to fix it. As it turned out, I was miserable. Later that week, I wrote to Mr. Talon to thank him and to let him know I was enrolling in a Master of Education program.”

PeopleAdmin CEO Jack Blaha awarded Hofmann and DeSimone with scholarships at PeopleConnect, PeopleAdmin’s annual user conference. CSUN and Arlington Catholic High School — DeSimone’s alma mater where Talon taught — will also receive scholarships.

“Michelle Hofmann’s and Adam DeSimone’s stories demonstrate the incredible legacy of great educators, often lasting long after their students leave the classroom,” Blaha said. “Their passion and commitment to keeping those legacies alive builds exponentially, benefitting future generations in ways we may never know.”

For Hofmann and DeSimone, continuing that legacy is an intentional act each year.
“I end my academic years with an exercise similar to Talon’s, and in 2025 I will mail my first batch of letters,” DeSimone said. “Included will be a note explaining that my delivery is how I am honoring Paul’s memory, that his work saved me from a life of spreadsheet drudgery, and that I hope their letter will provide a moment in their lives just as touching as the one Mr. Talon once provided me. Hofmann added, “Like Rob, I tell my students to embrace what they love and dream big. I write a lot of letters of recommendation and encourage students to apply for scholarships and grants and jobs. I often write ‘Why not me?’ on the board. We are told all the things we can’t do, but Rob made me believe that anything is possible. I keep that dream alive in my classes because he kept so many dreams alive in me.”

Inspired2Educate, a PeopleAdmin program begun in February 2016, encourages current education professionals at all K-20 schools — from kindergarten to doctoral programs — to nominate via video or in writing a teacher, administrator or staff member who inspired them to start their careers in education.

PeopleAdmin believes that effectively identifying, hiring and developing the right educators is key to ensuring academic success for the next generation. Inspired2Educate is PeopleAdmin’s way of recognizing some of those great educators and ensuring that our nation’s students get the education they deserve.

About PeopleAdmin
PeopleAdmin is the leading provider of cloud-based talent management solutions for education. Its software enables customers to streamline the hiring process, onboard new employees, efficiently manage positions and employee performance, develop compliant and defensible audit trails, and utilize industry-leading reporting and data-driven predictive analytics. PeopleAdmin’s talent management suite includes applicant tracking, faculty search committee management, position management, onboarding, and performance management. PeopleAdmin solutions are rapidly deployed, easy to use and supported through world-class customer service.