By Wendy Gragg

Killeen Daily Herald

Steve Cook is the chief people person at an organization where people matter the most.

As executive director of personnel services for the Killeen Independent School District, its Cooks job to recruit, hire and retain the most highly qualified people for the district.

Quoting author Jim Collins, Cook said its his job to inject an endless stream of talent directly into the company.

In a school district with about 5,500 employees that has an average yearly turnover of about 400, recruiting, hiring and retaining is no small feat.

Luckily, Cook has been honing his personnel skills for years.

Before coming to KISD in 2002, Cook had a career with the U.S. Army. Through his journey as a military intelligence officer, an aviator and a pilot, he found he was always working with personnel functions.

Whether Im recruiting an MI aviator or a teacher its the same process, he said.

Personnel services is often the first face of KISD people see, Cook said, so the impression his department gives needs to be a good one.

Were in the people business; its all about relationships, he said. Be it on a recruiting trip, or in interviews, we treat people the way we would want to be treated.

Cook said his section of the district is all about customer service and treating people with respect.

Even when a visit to the personnel office is under difficult conditions, the office needs to be a pleasant place to be, Cook said. Cook said the result is that kind of treatment comes back to him everyday.

I cant emphasize that enough its all about relationships, he said.

Contact Wendy Gragg at

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