Haitian Heritage Profiles in Leadership

Get to Know the Director of Recruitment and Retention
Posted on 09/27/2019
Edwine Michel

Edwine Michel is the Director of Recruitment and Retention in the School District of Palm Beach County, rising to the position in August 2019. He began his career in the School District as a Specialist/Broad Resident for Special Projects in the human resources department in June 2018. 


Michel was born and raised in Miami, in the section of the city referred to as Little Haiti. The son of Haitian immigrants, English was not his first language, and he grew up speaking Haitian Creole at home. As such, he was enrolled in the English for Students of Other Languages (ESOL) program at school in order to get acclimated to a different language and culture. That experience had a lasting impression on Michel and fueled his career interest.

 

“Background is everything and it gave me a preference for education,” Michel said. “My journey, as the son of Haitian refugees, was positively impacted by the leadership, engagement, and policies of so many educators and administrators in the public school system. I was empowered to break the cycle of poverty and educational limitations that have faced my family for generations.”


Michel graduated from Royal Palm Beach Community High School in 1999, going on to earn an MBA from Boston University, as well as a master’s degree from University of Rochester. Through his education and experience, he emerged as an innovative, results-oriented professional, eventually gaining more than 10 years of management and leadership experience which he brought to the District.


“I am happy to be part of the School District of Palm Beach County,” Michel said. “It gives me an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.”


Michel is able to do just that in his current role. He has a positive impact on students, teachers, staff, and the community, as he is responsible for developing and implementing a recruitment program focused on attracting and retaining a high-quality and diverse workforce.


Michel’s experiences growing up gave him an understanding of the challenges and obstacles faced by many students in the District. His professional and cultural background greatly influenced his success, making him a valuable asset to an incredibly diverse District and community. 


Michel is a husband, and father to a 17-year-old son, and a two-year-old daughter. He loves music and has a passion for travel. His personal motto is “always better”, and those words laid the groundwork for his success, driving him to pursue higher education, and eventually leading to his career achievements.


“There has been no stronger influence in my life than the education I have received,” Michel said. “I believe that education is central to bringing about sustainable change in our society. I feel that a management career in education is the best way to maximize my impact on society, and achieve my goal of improving the lives of our youth.”


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