Many people are responsible for the creation of this Top 20 program. Throughout our lives, countless people young and old have shared their experiences, wisdom and life lessons with us. Because of this our lives have been greatly enriched. The quality of our relationships, education, and work have all been enhanced by what many people have shared with us. They have enabled us to have a great ride through life.
Besides trying to live the concepts presented in this Top 20 program ourselves, we have taught this material to thousands of students and parents at Cretin-Derham Hall High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, in a course called Thinking, Learning and Communicating. The course has come to be known as TLC. The enthusiastic response of our students to this material encouraged us to “spread the word.”
The development of the Top 20 program and the TLC course has involved the professional and personal journeys of five people.
Michael Cole’s work with Emotional Intelligence began two decades ago. After a less-than-stellar academic career, Michael found himself floundering in the hair-styling business. His life changed dramatically when he met Joe Francis, who mentored Michael in the Emotional Intelligence field. He and his wife Mary developed some of these ideas through their highly successful business, Salon Development Corporation.
The Coles first met Tom Cody when their two children attended Cretin-Derham Hall High School. In 1996, the Coles approached the school administrators with hopes that their Emotional Intelligence ideas could be implemented at the high school level. At that time, Tom, a math teacher at CDH since 1980, was developing Jump Start, a pilot summer program for orienting incoming freshmen. The Coles’ material was a perfect fit with Cody’s practical study skills course. When the course outgrew the two-week summer program, it was introduced into the mainstream curriculum at CDH in 2000-2001 as a 12-week class called Thinking, Learning and Communicating.
Meanwhile, Tom and Paul Bernabei had previously crossed paths as girls’ basketball coaches. Paul had been developing related concepts in his work as an educator and consultant. His work blended perfectly with that of the Coles and Tom. He joined the TLC team during its inaugural year.