Cocoon to Butterfly – The Metamorphosis of a School

Cocoon to Butterfly cover smallIntroduction

Several years ago when I accepted the job of principal at Yuba Feather Elementary School, a K-8 school in Northern California, I was told by a colleague that I was crazy to take the job. She told me that the atmosphere was hopelessly negative, that the staff was demoralized, and that students’ pride and interest in school were dismally low.

Having been given this advice and background information, I guess I was a little crazy, for I took the job. Despite the poor condition of the school, I sensed a powerful reservoir of potential. I saw a butterfly inside a tightly closed cocoon and believed a metamorphosis could happen. The metamorphosis of Yuba Feather School is something of a miracle? Today it is a school recognized through Northern California for its academic excellence, positive climate, and innovative atmosphere. The school has an award-winning writing program, a successful mastery learning “levels” math program, intense peer collaboration, a peer observation program, a highly successful literature-based reading program, a staff trained in teaching critical thinking, and an adult learning and problem solving environment for the teachers. Teachers from our school are sought out to make presentations locally and for other districts through Northern California. Two video films which focus on the Yuba Feather Writing Project have been distributed nationally and won first place in the 1986 National Education Film Festival. In 1986 the school was chosen as a California Distinguished School as a result of our students’ improved performance on the California Assessment Program test and our outstanding pride in their school.

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How Many Employees Will Resolve to Find a New Job in 2013?


Great article!!  The average Cost to Replace: SHRM has estimated the cost to replace an employee at $3,500, which was the lowest estimate of 17 organizations surveyed, but we agree with experts who suggest that the cost to replace really does vary by role. Still, the cost to replace even a minimum wage employee, when you factor in time lost, training time, interviewing and advertising investment, etc. is significant. It goes up exponentially when an exhaustive talent search is needed. To save over-complication we averaged the costs into a 75% of annual salary turnover cost.

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The 10 Skills That Will Get You Hired In 2013

Meghan Casserly, Forbes Staff 12/10/2012 @ 4:06PM

hiring talentThe experts agree: anyone can take a course in C++, but it’s not going to land you the job. The most in-demand jobs for the New Year might be rooted in the booming computer industry, but it’s not only technical and programming chops that prospective hires should be showcasing.

“The most sought-after skill-sets for recruiters are becoming less and less about proficiency in specific processes and coding languages,” says Rich Milgram, CEO of career network Beyond, “And more about how you think systems through and work within the context of the team. Learning a technology is the easy part. Having the mindset to apply it, having the mindset and logic to process it, being thorough and detail-oriented while doing so, these are the critical skills.” Continue reading

Finding the Right Employee in 6 Steps

Employee of the Month


Hiring is more of a headache than ever, so say many companies who receive services from my firm. This might come as a surprise considering that there’s no longer an overheated talent market in which companies desperately compete for top talent. But instead, business owners are facing a down economy in which scores of job seekers clamber over each other in order to land scarce positions. The influx of new candidates into the marketplace makes it even more difficult for executives and hiring managers to find the perfect people for open, high-impact positions.

And yet, hiring the right person is more important than ever. A single bad hire can cost between $60,000 and $120,000–that’s not exactly the way you want to spend precious dollars in a difficult market.
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There IS a Better Way to Hire the Right People

Great Employees


There is a better way to hire the right people.

  • Companies hired people who looked great on paper, only to find they couldn’t deliver because they didn’t fit in.
  • They spent a huge amount of time (and money) to land the right person, only to have them leave early on.
  • All too often, candidates didn’t even show up for interviews, or for their first shift after paid training.
  • If they did stay on, the damage to employee morale or the reputation of the company was disastrous.

We changed the game.

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Using Job Match Assessments With Existing Employees

Psychometric TestingHave you ever worked with someone whose performance was not what you expected?  Today, job match assessments can tell you why that happened and whether it can be changed. The accuracy of higher-generation assessment instruments has created extraordinary possibilities for analyzing and understanding the performance of existing employees.

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Let The Rabbits Run

Soar With Your StrengthsJob match is an integral part of a candidate’s actual on-the-job success. Job match refers to how well an individual’s cognitive abilities, interests, and personality traits match those required for success in a particular job.

To illustrate, let’s paraphrase the parable “Let the Rabbits Run,” from the book Soar With Your Strengths:

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