Meet the AmeriCorps Alum and CEO behind myEDmatch – Alicia Herald
Today we are happy to bring our interview with AmeriCorps Alum and Teach for America alumni corps member Alicia Herald, the co-founder and CEO of myEDmatch, a new matchmaking employment website that brings together best-fit teachers and schools.
myEDmatch is designed to empower teachers in the job search process because this is about more than just finding any job, it’s about find the right fit. myEDmatch is free for teachers and launches across the country today.
Prior to launching myEDmatch, Alicia served as the founding Executive Director of Teach For America – Kansas City for nearly five years. She led a regional staff and a teaching corps of over 200 who impacted the lives of over 15,000 urban students across the city. She started her career as an AmeriCorps and Teach For America corps member in south-central Los Angeles. She taught 4th grade at Figueroa Street Elementary School.
Alicia earned her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, majoring in both political science and Spanish, and was a member of the women’s basketball team. She also holds a master’s degree in elementary education from Loyola Marymount University and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis’ Olin Business School.
- Why and where did you serve in AmeriCorps?
I served in AmeriCorps from 2005-2007 in south central Los Angeles as a Teach For America corps member. Like many alumni, I saw this as an opportunity to make an immediate impact on a social injustice, in what many people today consider to be the Civil Rights Movement of our generation, education.
- Please share with us an “A-Ha” moment during your service.
The potential of all children. In the face of many challenges, by nature of growing up in poverty, my kids overcame so much but proved they could achieve on an absolute bar. There were so many moments that proved to me, their families, our city, and to the students themselves, that if held to high expectations they could achieve. Now, years later following my kids, many of whom are still in high school in Los Angeles, I know that more needs to be done to ensure they are not only get the opportunities they deserve, but that no one allows for the expectations and standards to be lowered. We need to ensure the systems and structures in education are designed to support all students to achieve at the highest level.
- How do you think AmeriCorps prepared you for where you’re at today?
My time in LA with AmeriCorps opened me up to not only see the deep complexities of the educational system, but more importantly to the great potential in all kids. I remain committed to a career in education because I truly believe we need to do more as a country and in our communities to ensure that a child’s zip code does not determine their destiny and life prospects.
- How did you come up with the idea of myEDmatch?
In my previous role as the executive director for Teach For America – Kansas City I quickly learned how critical human capital was when it came to making progress towards our vision that more of the kids in our city had access to an excellent education. I knew leadership was foundational to that vision. We needed the right teachers in the right schools to make progress towards delivering on a promise of education for all kids in our city.
At the same time, I was completing my executive MBA at Washington University in St. Louis Olin School of Business when I started online dating. When I was finishing up my business school program and studying entrepreneurship and innovation, I thought to myself, “What if there was a way to combine the idea of online dating with human capital in education?” I realized it would help bring together people that otherwise never would have connected and make the process more efficient by providing more information and transparency to the job search and hiring process.
That was the start of myEDmatch.
- What do you hope educators can gain for using myEDmatch?
We built myEDmatch to connect teachers and schools that share similar mission, beliefs, and goals. In doing so, we hope to empower teachers and elevate the profession of education. We believe fit is absolutely critical when it comes to matching a teacher and school.
- How can Alums stay up to date with the launch and development of myEDmatch?
- What does a Lifetime of Service mean to you?
A Lifetime of Service means an ongoing commitment to making an impact. My personal commitment is to make an impact in the lives of kids through education. In my current work I believe that the right matches between teachers and schools lead to great outcomes for kids. It is important to my entire team that we remember why we started myEDmatch and remain committed to running a student-centered company.
- One word that sums up your AmeriCorps experience.
Not to sound cliché, but “transformative.” Prior to my AmeriCorps experience I planned on a career in corporate law, but was transformed by the experience and now have a lifelong commitment to the transformative power of education.
myEDmatch is a job-matching website that brings together best-fit teachers and schools. It’s like online dating for teaching jobs. myEDmatch is built to help schools and educators with shared mission and values find each other. Both schools and teachers create profiles, complete a beliefs-based questionnaire and get matched.
For principals and hiring managers the educator profiles are built as virtual portfolios including sample videos, plans, evidence of student learning and more to help make your hiring season more efficient and effective.
You can check out their short product video here.