#MNPSVoices: Harold Finch II, Director of Workplace Safety and Training
After being wait-listed for medical school, Harold Finch II’s desire to be a doctor was temporarily put on hold. But he kept focused on his goals and decided not to let the grass grow under his feet while waiting for a space to open up. Instead, he proactively prepared for his dream by pursuing a Master of Public Health from Meharry Medical College.
As a student, Finch managed to juggle a demanding course load while also serving as a substitute teacher in Metro Schools for two years. This experience helped to pique his interest in education.
“My love for education and my love for health makes this a very good fit for me,” said Finch, MNPS director of Workplace Safety and Training. “There’s not one day that’s like the other and, more importantly, we get to help people here – that is our drive.”
Upon completion of his degree in 2003, his desire to be a doctor shifted and he decided to continue his work in the classroom teaching chemistry and physical science at Martin Luther King, Jr. Magnet High School and then as coordinator of health and safety for Head Start with the Metro Action Commission. Today, he continues to combine his experience and interest in health and education overseeing health and safety programs that support employee well-being.
“If employees are happy, we believe they are going to be effective in the work they do for our children,” Finch said. “A safe and healthy work environment that helps our employees means more effective instruction occurring in the classroom.
“My most valuable asset is my family,” he continued. “I have two children who attend MNPS and I am a product of MNPS as well. I believe that if what I do can better the learning environment and experience for my children, then that is going to do the same for the other 86,000 MNPS students we serve.”
Among his responsibilities include handling worker’s compensation, safety inspections at schools, training for employees on safety and health-related as well as some human resources concerns. His office also assists with providing accommodations for employees with disabilities and handling Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) health and safety reporting procedures
During his tenure at MNPS, he has focused on heightening the level of safety awareness all across the district.
“I think our work will speak for itself and our effect on the district’s success,” Finch said. “Our actions speak louder than anything we can say. We’re not only saving money, we’re saving lives.
If you’re interested in joining the MNPS team, visit our careers page for more information.