As Director of the Region 2 Comprehensive Center at WestEd, Sarah Barzee works closely with the Region 2 CC staff to provide capacity building technical assistance to State Education Agencies (SEAs) and Local Education Agencies 9LEAs) in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island. Barzee is also a member of WestEd’s Talent Development and Diversity leadership team. Serving in this role allows her to share her extensive knowledge and experience leading large scale educator effectiveness and talent development initiatives.
Prior to joining WestEd, Barzee served on the Commissioner’s senior leadership team at the Connecticut State Department of Education (CSDE). In her role as Chief Talent Officer, Barzee established the Talent Office within the CSDE. As a leader in this area, she established a vision for her team and the state regarding the deliberate and strategic actions and investments needed to create a comprehensive talent management system designed to recruit, select, and support a world class educator workforce that is increasingly reflective of the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of the state’s student population. Barzee led the state’s work to increase the racial, ethnic, and linguistic diversity of its educator workforce.
Barzee has continued to contribute to these goals in her role at WestEd. In partnership with WestEd colleagues, she developed a new Talent Development Academy, launched in 2020 through a year-long collaboration with the Delaware Department of Education. The Academy provided both in-person and virtual professional learning opportunities designed to support local districts to develop strategic plans to meet their talent development goals. She has also been invited to share with other states about her work to diversify CT’s educator workforce.
Prior to her tenure at CSDE, Barzee served as Assistant Executive Director at the Capitol Region Education Council, one of Connecticut’s 6 regional education service centers. She also served as Associate Director at the State Education Resource Center (SERC) in Connecticut. In each of these roles, she provided leadership for various initiatives designed to support educator development and effectiveness through high-quality professional learning. For more than decade prior to transitioning to administrative roles, Barzee served as a teacher in both general education and special education roles.