Shepherd helps to modernize district HR

August 24, 2020
When Mike Shepherd was hired as director of human resources for Folsom Cordova Unified School District, he had his work cut out for him. The district’s plan was to modernize its human resources department and transition nearly 2,200 employees to a nearly paperless work environment. Shepherd helped develop the district’s online evaluation system and implemented a new online system for employee screening and personnel records. He continued innovating at the district by adding an exit interview to the resignation form. Through that, the human resources department gained valuable input and feedback for the district. He also researched and implemented in-house fingerprinting for Folsom Cordova, which has helped the district save money when hiring new employees and volunteers. Shepherd is always learning and takes advantage of professional growth opportunities, said Superintendent Sarah Koligian. “He has attended several ACSA Academies and has served on numerous ACSA committees,” Koligian said. “(Shepherd) has immersed himself in training that equips him to coach and train principals, vice principals and other administrators to help build their learning capacity.” What’s your favorite book on leadership? I have many favorite books that I have read over the years. My current favorite is “The Outward Mindset: Seeing Beyond Ourselves” by the Arbinger Institute. What’s your favorite quote about leadership? “Note that trustworthiness goes beyond integrity to include real competence as well. You have to be true to your word, but also very good at what you do.” ­— Michael Fullan, “The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact” What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Always seek to understand. What’s your best strategy for work/life balance? Stay organized and schedule time for fun activities. What are the top five life hacks that you would recommend for a new administrator? 1. Lead by example 2. Don’t work in isolation 3. Be a servant leader 4. Students first 5. Build capacity with all team members What are you most proud of accomplishing? After 25 years in education, I am still excited every day to get to work with staff to support students and staff to maximize their potential. What was the best ACSA event you’ve attended? The Personnel Administrators Academy. How has ACSA supported you in your career/current position? Encouraging and fostering opportunities to be involved. Collaborating with colleagues statewide has been invaluable.   What has the impact of the COVID-19 worldwide health crisis taught you/how has it inspired you as an educator? The power of people working together to do what’s best for students. Even in these difficult times, everyone is pulling together and asking, “How can I help?”
ACSA Personnel/HR Administrator of the Year Michael Shepherd on vacation in Budapest.
Name: Michael C. Shepherd Award: Personnel/Human Resources Administrator of the Year Title: Director, Human Resources, Folsom Cordova USD ACSA highlights: member since 2005; ACSA HR Council, 2016-present; Region 3 VP of Membership, 2012-2013; Legislative Policy Committee, 2006-2013

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