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EDCOE Team Member Spotlight – Rachel Chaloux

14:20 PM - February 02, 2023

EDCOE, Team Member Spotlight. Picture of Rachel Chaloux, Program Assistant for Human Resources


Briefly describe your background (where you grew up, family, why you came to work for EDCOE).

My mom and I originally lived in Maryland when I was very young and then moved to California to be closer to family. We later moved from Concord to El Dorado Hills and then Shingle Springs. For most of my educational career, I attended schools within the El Dorado County school system and that is how I obtained my first job. I was enrolled in Regional Occupational Program (ROP) at Ponderosa High School and started interning at a local veterinary clinic. That internship turned into a permanent position, and I remained there for the next 15 years. During that time, I graduated from college and started substitute teaching for many of the teachers that I had growing up. Now that I have kids of my own, I knew I wanted to do something related to the school system but figured out that being in the classroom just wasn’t for me. It was time for me to move on from the veterinary clinic, and accepting my first position with EDCOE was the best decision for my growing family and me.


What is your department, title, primary work location, and how long have you worked for EDCOE?

I am the Program Assistant in the Human Resources Department on the main campus at EDCOE. I first started with EDCOE in February 2020 in the Special Services Department and then in July 2021, transferred to the HR Department. This upcoming February 2023 will mark three exciting years with EDCOE. 


Describe how your role helps support programs/schools/students directly or indirectly.

While I directly support Amy Andersen, Executive Director, I also receive inquiries from other departments and schools. I may not have the answer that they are looking for, but I know who in HR or another department can help them. I love that HR is the first contact for employees and sometimes schools. They come to us because they know we will do our best to help them in any way we can.


What do you most appreciate about your department/team?

Our office has not been fully staffed for almost a year now and for such a small department that has had a huge impact on workloads and stress levels. Because of this, we have had to pitch in and learn more about each of the vacant desks in our department than we normally would have. This was a great learning opportunity and has in turn made each of us more proficient in each of our jobs but also more knowledgeable in the jobs of our teammates. Anyone could walk into our office right now and we would all know how to help. It has been fun to bounce ideas off each other on how to improve various procedures and simplify workflow without the fear of someone shooting your idea down or making you feel like you had a bad idea. While this last year has been a blur, we have grown very close as a team and are one of the best groups of people I have ever worked with. 


What is your proudest moment at EDCOE? Why?

My desk does not normally handle any part of recruiting new employees. The Personnel Technicians are the pros in that respect. While we have been short-staffed, I have learned the ins and outs of how to recruit new employees and more about the hiring process than I ever thought I would. Successfully onboarding a new employee has to be one of the most rewarding parts of the hiring/recruiting process. Especially when you see that new hire walking around on campus, being successful and happy in their new position. It is a great feeling. 


What do you like to do in your spare time?

Being crafty and creative has always been in my nature. I like to look at a piece of wood and think of how I could transform it with some paint or turn it into a witty sign. I have taken that artistic piece of me and turned it into a little side business. It is neat to see my work up on someone’s wall or displayed in their house. While I don’t create as much as I would like, it is neat to see the same passion in both of my girls. I will admit though it is tough when their “passion” overflows onto the table or floor or when paints get mixed. My inner perfectionist has a hard time containing itself.


What is something many people may not know about you?

When my mom was pregnant with me, she lived on the east coast and the rest of her family lived here in California. The plan was to fly to California a month before I was due so she could deliver here, with our family close by. Apparently, I had other plans. My mom went into labor over Kentucky and made a plane change without anyone noticing. Finally, in the last leg of the flight, it was apparent that we would not be making it to California. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Nevada where the ambulance met us on the tarmac ready to take us to the hospital. I was born in fabulous Las Vegas. A few days later my grandpa came and picked us up in his Cessna and we flew to Barstow to meet the rest of the family. 


If you could meet anyone in the world, living or deceased, whom would it be and why?

Two relatives that I never had the chance to meet were an aunt and an uncle. They were on television, movie, and radio shows during the ‘30s and ‘40s. Billy Halop, my great uncle, starred in many shows such as The Dead-End Kids and The Andy Griffith Show. His sister, Florence Halop, starred in the sitcom Night Court and even appeared in I Love Lucy. I would have loved to have met them because I feel like there is an untapped theatrical side of me that I never explored. I love to sing, mostly in the shower, and even have this dream of singing as a Disney character in a movie.

From Amy Andersen, Executive Director, Human Resources

Why is this individual crucial to your team? 

Rachel’s calm and reassuring presence is always a constant in our office. This year with so many shifts in Human Resources, Rachel literally learned almost every position in our office and filled in whenever help was needed. Rachel contributes greatly to our Human Resources team, always collaborating, and bringing new insights and ideas to the team. Rachel is incredibly respected by her colleagues. Her commitment and leadership qualities, in addition to her ability to remain unflappable, are inspirational to our team.


What are this individual’s greatest qualities?

Rachel’s work ethic is outstanding; she is one of the hardest-working colleagues I have worked with in my career. She is a self-starter who demonstrates our organizational core values, acting with the highest integrity at all times. She is constantly striving to help others; if she doesn’t know the answer, she will find it out.  When faced with a challenge, she is focused, persistent, and looks for a solution with a growth mindset looking for new opportunities. Rachel never settles for the status quo; she seeks to always improve our practices and find better outcomes each time.  She is a true team player; she seeks to involve others and is always looking at different perspectives. We are so grateful to have her as a leader in our Human Resources Department.



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