Principal Startup Manual


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It is common knowledge that public education has a critical shortage of qualified and talented people stepping into school leadership roles. A common lament among school districts is that there are so few candidates for principal positions. Educators who do take on a principalship often voice, very early on, frustration over the complexity and demands of the job. After being appointed, new and even experienced principals get little effective guidance and support, and there are few places for them to turn to for support and direction. This situation especially affects the brand new principal but is also a concern for those with experience entering a new job.


When, a new principal comes into a school a “productivity gap” occurs which affects the learning environment in a negative way. Teachers tend to hold back and often go into neutral while they wait to see what the new principal is like and what is going to be “the new game”. A new principal can take steps to reduce the time of this “productivity gap” and quickly move the school toward a shared vision of excellence in student growth and achievement. However, usually there is little or no support for the new principal in overcoming this gap.

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Aware of the need for new principal support, Pete Pillsbury and Tom Fahey brought together their executive experience in education and business. They have collaborated in designing a process which includes a manual and support system for principals as they start-up a new job. They have chosen to focus on start-up—the first 100 days-- because experience and research affirms that this early time frame is where the foundation for future success is laid. The manual lays out a leadership philosophy and specific steps which the new executive should take to ensure success. Each participant is supported and coached through a unique system of technology, group and individualized coaching.


Pete has been a principal, superintendent and a consultant in people selection and development. Tom has experience in developing an organizational design for the United States Army and as an organizational consultant with large and small business. Together, they bring over sixty years of experience in leading and developing people and building effective organizational systems and teams. Both Pete and Tom have a passion for effective leadership. They are committed to a vision of providing the highest quality support to principals as they face the difficult tasks or creating dynamic learning communities for all students.



The Principal Start-up Manual supports the California Professional Standards for Educational Leaders (CPSELS) and qualifies as a Title II expenditure.


Focus on: How To Hire The Best Teachers

The Structured Interview:

What is it and Why use it?


Learn more


Focus on: Selection vs Screening

Big Pool or Small Pool:

Balancing the Importance of Screening and Selecting


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Focus on: Structured Interview

The Structured Interview:

What is it and Why use it?


Learn more



Jodee Brentlinger Assistant Superintendent, Personnel Services Capistrano Unified School District
2012-12-27, 03:16
“Working with Pete Pillsbury, we have moved to standardize our selection process. We continue to build and develop a common language of … read more
"Be faithful to that which exists within yourself."
Andre Gide


Applicant Screening

Online Questionnaire-based Predictive Behavioral Profile

Training in Research-based precisely scripted Structured Interviews


Employee Review and Development Tools

Online Review and Feedback System

Leadership Development Programs

Organizational Culture Development


Applicant Tracking

Easy Online

Works with all online job boards


Easy and Secure


Full integration Support



Candidate Screening


Online Development Programs with Coaching Support


Structured Interview Training and Service


Posting Management


Fast and Direct Support


Specifically for Educators



Increased Student Success


Develop Talent and Leadership


Reduced Turnover


Reduced Hiring Costs


Improved Assessments


Improved Organizational Culture


Hiring the Right People



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Online Tracking and Applications Applicant Suitability Screening and Ranking Structured Interviews Leadership Development