New HR Director Embraces Challenges of Pandemic, Addresses Needs of Staff

Nick Bumgardner, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

2020 has brought countless new challenges to the high school experience.

Honor Jensen, NDA’s new human resource director, is here to help the staff adjust.

“Imagine a pandemic hit the nation.  Employees get anxious.  The government enacts tons of laws.  The organization needs to carry on even though the very nature of the business flies in the face of the government, employees and stakeholders’ needs.  HR will help put all the pieces together,” she said.

Born in Colorado, Jensen grew up in Brillion, Wisconsin.

After seeing her own children graduate from NDA, she now takes the reins of the new human sources department in the midst of a pandemic, no less.

“I started with NDA when the pandemic hit.  During this time, most of my time is spent navigating the ever-changing laws and guidelines around COVID in the workplace.  I also work with managers to create and administer policies, pay, and benefits.  Ultimately, I try to create a positive work environment and iron out any of the wrinkles along the way,” explained Jensen.

A UW-Oshkosh graduate, Jensen has a masters degree in business administration and has been involved in human resource work since graduation.

She also has certifications in life coaching and financial counseling.

 “I took [the job] because I believe in the mission of NDA. This job gives me the opportunities to live my faith, serve and use my strengths and talents every day. It also gives me the flexibility to put my family first,” said Jensen.

 “If there isn’t a pandemic, on a day-to-day basis, HR might help resolve conflicts, take care of the employees, create and enforce policies, recruit, train and support leaders and employees,” she went on to say.

Her position may be on a part-time basis, but that doesn’t shake her dedication to the staff members and diverse community of NDA.

“At NDA, I hope I am creating structure and stability in an unstable world with this pandemic.  My heart goes out to the faculty and staff who have to learn how to do their jobs totally differently. This is a resilient group of professionals.  I am proud of the quick pivot each has made.  Not only do they keep education vibrant but they are also learning as they go,” she proclaimed.

As for her interests outside the office, Jensen is an avid learner and loves to stay active.

“I confess I am enjoying social distancing with my family and being closer more often.  Running, kayaking, reading and podcasts are my favorites.  I love trying things I’ve never done before.  If it makes me uncomfortable, or even if it hurts a little (I am clumsy), I know I’m growing,” she said.