Business owners like to talk about a clear vision and a well-defined path that led to the creation of the company. You will find no such story here. The paths that led to the creation of K12 HR Solutions are more of a maze and the beginning only becomes clear as you solve a maze as children do, from the conclusion back to the beginning.
Education was not an important part of my early life but it has become my passion. Through the prompting of a guidance counselor and the financial backing of the G.I.Bill, I reluctantly became a first generation college student. After two years in Jr. College and working with troubled teens I decided to major in education. My goal was to make a positive difference in the lives of students so they could make a larger impact in their communities and the world around them. Upon graduation from college that goal was put on hold. My wife, who was also a teacher, had our first child and wanted to stay home with her. As many who work in education know, being a sole provider of income and a teacher is often incompatible. I needed to earn more so my wife could stay at home and I had the opportunity to take a corporate management position with one of the largest corporations in the U.S. so I took it.
For the next several years I began to climb the corporate ladder. The opportunities to obtain important job titles and increased salary and bonus levels seemed limitless. I took opportunities to work on large projects in several different divisions of the company in efforts to find my place or meaning in my work. I never found it. While working in the corporate world I continued to volunteer at various schools helping students and teachers however I could. I saw teachers and school leaders and principals invest themselves in a greater purpose and I knew I lacked that feeling in my work. I gradually began to accept that I needed to step off the corporate ladder and trade my stock options for coffee mugs, and hand drawn thank you notes from students. After our second child reached school age my wife returned to teaching kindergarten. A year later I gave up the trappings of the corporate life and began teaching.
I spent the next seven years in the classroom. In large part, the void of purpose in my work was filled. I loved working with students and fellow educators, but I wanted to do more to affect learning and organizational performance at a higher level.
I began to reflect on my service in the Marines, the corporate world, and the classroom. I explored the common factors that determined success in each one of these very different sectors. I realized the largest distinguishing factor that determined successful leaders and organizations was effective people management and processes. How people who work for an organization are recruited, selected, developed, coached, motivated, and how they interact with others matter- a lot. People, not systems, buildings, or technology determines the successful outcome of an organization.
I began to explore factors related to successful organizations and how those principles could be integrated into education resulting in more effective schools and positive outcomes for students. Thinking back to several collaborative projects in the corporate world I recalled the field of organizational psychology and organizational effectiveness, a strategic human resource field of study that focuses on individual and team behaviors that result in desired organizational objectives. I pursued a graduate degree in industrial and organizational psychology.
While in my graduate program I studied with very intelligent human resource leaders working for Fortune 500 companies, the pharmaceutical industry, and large city governments. No one else in my field of study planned to work in education. Most said, “There’s no money to be made there and they’re set in their ways.” I rejected their notions because I knew school leaders and their ultimate desire to serve the needs of students while being effective leaders of their schools.
During my course work I met Adam Taylor, now the Vice President of Strategic Human Capital Management here at K12 HR Solutions. Adam had been in the field of HR and organizational effectiveness for several years. He also had a deep desire to contribute his skill set in a meaningful way to society. Together we began K12 HR Solutions.
Our collective backgrounds, me as an educator and corporate strategist, Adam as an analytic forward thinker and 10 year organizational effectiveness veteran, allow us to understand and develop solutions that are sensitive to the unique organizational environments in schools. We don’t believe in “cookie cutter” solutions. The tools and processes we implement are driven by local feedback from school leaders, teachers, and the community. We have built our company by listening closely to the needs of the districts we work with.
We care about student learning and relationships first. Our desire is to help leaders increase the effectiveness of their school districts through research based people practices. We work closely with school leaders in large and small districts, located in rural and urban settings as we develop tools to help schools manage their human resources. We deeply respect the work of K-12 school leaders and are here to help in any way we can.
Please contact us to see how we can help your district. We look forward to the opportunity to work with your district.
Founder of K12 HR Solutions