OCDE associate superintendent who oversees HR honored for leadership during pandemic

OCDE Associate Superintendent Renee Hendrick has been named one of this year’s top human resources executives by the Orange County Business Journal.

The 2022 Distinguished Leaders in Human Resources program recognized 72 Orange County executives leaders who navigated paradigm shifts brought on by the pandemic. Their challenges included managing remote work, tracking and implementing ever-changing safety protocols, and recruiting and onboarding qualified workers amid falling plummeting rates.

Hendrick oversees Administrative Services at OCDE. Under her leadership, the division has been a lifeline not just for the department, but for education staff, students and families throughout Orange County. 

Renee Hendrick

On top of its traditional responsibilities, the division was tasked with on-site COVID-19 testing, organizational contact tracing, and the coordination and distribution of millions of pieces of personal protective equipment and take-home tests for students and staff at 29 school districts and hundreds of charter and private schools. 

“I am incredibly honored and humbled to receive this award, which is really a credit to our team of dedicated professionals in Administrative Services,” Hendrick said. “Through a global pandemic that brought loss and disruption, our staff demonstrated the highest levels of dedication, efficiency and professionalism to support our employees and the school districts we serve.”

To prevent workplace infections at OCDE, Hendrick’s division rolled out a digital app that prompted employees to self-report any symptoms prior to reporting to work. A separate app enabled staff to upload their vaccine records. The team also coordinated with health providers to offer mental health supports and services to students and staff.

Meanwhile, OCDE’s Human Resources scaled up a robust two-day orientation and on-boarding program for new employees.

The Orange County Business Journal’s Distinguished Leaders were selected following an editorial review of nominees serving in senior leadership roles. The full list of winners includes executives from UCI, Coast Community College District, RED Digital Camera, the City of Irvine, Goodwill of Orange County and Providence Mission Hospital.