It’s Time for a Change

It’s time for a change… but this is a personal, not a political post. After 15 years as Senior Advisor to the International Center for Leadership in Education, ICLE, and over 20 years of commitment to increasing the three R’s of Rigor, Relevance, and Relationships in schools, I left ICLE earlier this year.

I have always believed that Relationships, ICLE’s third “R”, is not the only the most important, it is absolutely essential. As my friend, Ray McNulty first said, “Relationships make the Relevance possible”. And It’s only when those first two R’s are firmly established that we even have a shot at Rigor for all students.

I learned these lessons from my own life, and I write about them in my new book, The Chemistry of Culture, and in my Blog here at I’m at a point in my life that I only want to spend time on what is most important to me. And I want to focus on Relationships as the foundation for creating effective culture.

My new home for this work will be the Peter R. Marsh Foundation, a non-profit, 501 (c)(3) here in Washington State, where I have assumed the role of Program Director. Our mission at the Peter R, Marsh Foundation is to promote and support Social Emotional Learning, SEL, in high school students. It feels so good to be back in the non-profit world.

Through our Silent Servant Award, we will recognize and financially reward students across America who unselfishly provide voluntary service in their communities. We will offer resources and support for schools choosing to make Relationships, and their school culture, a priority.

In my new position, I will continue to write, speak, and develop resources to help support schools and communities in building better relationships, stronger social emotional learning, and a more positive, effective culture. The Peter R Marsh Foundation is passionate about Servant Leadership and Service Learning. Our goal is to inspire today’s youth to greater empathy by making service to others a priority in their lives.

As a result of the pandemic and growing racial unrest, I believe our Foundation’s vision and mission has never been more important or needed. I have been writing and speaking for some time about the growing body of brain research showing the damage being done to our students’ social-emotional skills by their increasing use of technology.

If you want a better culture through improved relationships, increased empathy and service learning, you must be intentional in how you work on it. I am grateful to be part of offering a simple step on the path forward. It’s time for a change.


About Jim Warford

Jim Warford is the author of, The Chemistry of Culture: Strategies You Can Use to Create a Culture of Learning. For 15 years Jim Warford was Senior Advisor and Keynote Speaker for the International Center for Leadership in Education. Jim is an author, speaker, Leadership and Instructional Coach. He was named in March 2003 as Florida’s first Chancellor of K12 Public Schools. He stepped down in September, 2005 to become Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators, representing over 10,000 Florida school leaders. As a Senior Advisor for the International Center for Leadership in Education, he works with states, districts and schools to provide coaching and executive training and support to school leaders and their staffs. As Florida’s Chancellor, he led the creation and state-wide implementation of Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model, FCIM, which resulted in that state’s dramatic gains in student achievement and an 80% reduction in the number low-performing schools. FCIM remains Florida’s required intervention for all low-performing schools. As Superintendent of the Marion County, Florida Public Schools, he first implemented the Continuous Improvement Model district-wide. As a result, school grades went from three “F”, eight “D” and only one “A” school in 1999 to twenty “A”, 16 “B” and no “F” schools in 2003. Under his leadership the high school dropout rate was cut in half. He taught applied technology courses at the high school level for 17 years and created a Computer Graphics/Video Production program that won many national and state awards. He was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three separate times.
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3 Responses to It’s Time for a Change

  1. Nice post Jim and thanks for the shout out! Your new work aligns well with who you are and what has always guided your thinking.

  2. Pingback: Peter R. Marsh Foundation – Literal – Chat Fiction for Real Books

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