(John) listened so well to each Board Member’s comments in our pre-meeting focus groups, they all felt heard and understood, and when John appeared in our meeting it felt like he had 16 old friends in the room! During his presentation he seemed to remember and directly address everything I had shared in confidence beforehand without betraying his source. It was a masterpiece of coach/cajole/warn/encourage/inspire. I have never seen anything like it. We walked out of that meeting unified and joy-filled as a team…It was a 10/10.

Board Chair

I am reaching out to express my sincere gratitude for the exceptional guidance you provided throughout my contract negotiation process. Your ability to facilitate discussions with such skill was truly wonderful. The positive outcome we achieved is a testament to your impressive capabilities. I also want to acknowledge how your efforts have made me feel genuinely valued by the Board. The terms of my new contract are very good, and for that, I am immensely thankful to you.


John can help you in ways nobody else will, and he has certainly done so for me. Few board members want to hear it told like it is, and nobody does that with more grace, charm, and force than Mr. Littleford. He is the only consultant we use, though we have tried a half dozen.

by Dr. Sharon Hennessy, Superintendent, Taipei American School, Taiwan

I will say this in all seriousness – you are a rock star in my world. When I first came across your work I was a young and inexperienced school leader. And I found your work so insightful. It really did help guide me in various important decisions in the past, including taking my first headship as an internal candidate versus taking an external appointment. And even though I have learned a few things over the years, I found your session in New York to be very thought provoking and useful.

by James W. MacDonald, Head of School

I enjoyed your approach, which was direct, focused, and informed. We were left with specific, concrete plans for a path forward. I appreciated your style of encouraging everyone in the room to share his/her voice. We accomplished a lot in a relatively short period of time. Hopefully, we can continue the momentum you helped generate and act on our ideas. Of all the retreats, focus groups, and various workshops I’ve attended in eight years on the Board, yours was the most engaging and thought-provoking. It was a valuable session, full of striking content, illustration and provocative storylines to get us thinking.

by Board Member, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, Jackson, MS

In late August, TAS was fortunate to welcome back world-renowned independent school consultant Mr. John Littleford. Mr Littleford, whose extensive client list includes many of the top independent and international schools in the world, has been visiting Taipei American school for over 27 years. This he focused his presentation on the need to define excellence in the world of the great independent schools. Reminding his audience that while many public schools […] – Read whole article…

by Joseph Hwang, Board Governance Committee Chair, Taipei American School, Taipei

I thought the Board Retreat on Saturday was by far the best one I have attended in YEARS. You were so SPOT ON during the entire retreat. The retreat had movement, organization, interesting and relevant material , personal contact and I was so proud to be associated with the whole process. You were superlative in every way. Thank you.

by Dr. Susan R. Groesbeck, Interim Head of School, The New School, Fayetteville, Arkansas

The CIS workshop has been a wonderful experience. Thank you so much for the skills, stories, and insights you shared to assist with not only the Board in our current and future work, but also Sean Lynch in his smooth Transition as the Head of CIS. The time and effort you devote to the workshop and the CIS’s board’s healthy governance shall be deeply appreciated and cherished.

by Member of the Board of Governors, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

I have come to greatly anticipate and appreciate your workshops. They have been remarkably effective in raising my awareness of board issues and best practice and prompting me to think more deeply about where the School is heading.

by Member of the Board of Governors, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

It was a real pleasure to be part of your board training session at TAS, each time I do learn a lot of new things. It was a good session for our board as shown in the lively discussions, and the turnover in our board membership makes this continuing training necessary. Your collegial approach is much appreciated, and your acute awareness of the wisdom of being proactive in governance matters goes a long in helping our board to mature.

by Board Member, Taipei American School, Taiwan

I thought the workshop was superb, very helpful and of great value to our board members. You have instant standing and credibility with a group like ours and the perspective you bring from working with so many schools is compelling. I find that our board is always made up of fine people who are quite capable in their fields and whose experience can often be brought to bear on the challenges before the school. However what is always lacking is the actual working knowledge and experience of the independent/private school world which is just different from their own business frame of reference.

by Rector and Board Member, Augusta Day School, Augusta, Georgia

I thought the workshop was fantastic. It was great fun and I was lucky enough to have the Chair in my group, and I really immensely enjoyed seeing his response to the case study that we were looking at. Game/role playing with adults is a rare but largely informative exercise.

by Board Member, Branksome Hall School, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Thank you for joining us at Wesleyan to help us assess how we can improve our school. I walked away from our time together blown away with the statistics and information that we shared. While I was impressed with what you had to share, I was also floored by your mental capacity and desire to learn about us individually and to call us by name which is sadly a dying practice.

by Board Member, Wesleyan School, Atlanta, GA

Please know how grateful I am for what you did today. I thought it was really reassuring, convicting and overall very powerful. It was all I could have asked for and it went very well…I wish we had done this a few years ago.

by Board Member, Wesleyan School, Atlanta, Georgia

Thank you so much for coming to our board retreat and spending time with us. Your experience is invaluable and your fantastic presentation and facilitation skills made the event highly educational and very successful and allowed us to hear the opinion of the Leadership Team. It is particularly important for the new members of the Board to be coached on governance and transition issues by such an expert as you. Knowing that we can always turn for advice to such a brilliant professional as you reinforces our confidence in success.

by Board Member, The American School of The Hague

Your strengths are your vast experience and great communication skills. Your stories make somewhat dry governance principles come alive. Board Members at York House School sometimes have little or no previous board experience, and it is good for them to hear the potential consequences of bad governance from real life examples. I also like the way you encourage people to get involved even if they are somewhat shy.

by Board Member, York House School, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Thank you for a wonderful, spot-on session. Of all the training sessions I’ve attended over the past 8 years, I felt that today’s was executed to perfection and the most useful. The tone, just right and the material, tailored to what we needed. Your expertise and delivery of the material gave the assurances the board needed hear.

by Board Chair, Taipei American School, Taiwan

The retreat and your assistance was a huge success. I am fortunate having served on a similar Board and having been involved with a public company Board, I have seen or made many of the mistakes we discussed. Your extensive background and direct delivery greatly assisted us in getting us back on track as a Board to what we should be focusing on.

by Board Member, Prince of Peace Christian School, Carrollton, TX

A few things we have done in the Board that I can say have come directly from your previous workshops and provoking change: – Changed bylaws to increase non-parent board members from 1 to 3 (improve stability & Institutional knowledge)

– Changed bylaws to allow extensions to term by 2/3 vote (improve stability & Institutional knowledge) – Revised board communication plan where all staff and parent assemblies are addressed by the Board to clarify our role and channel parents through chain of command (community awareness of board role) – Initiated annual board summary, an internal/confidential document, that recaps the major issues/learnings for the year (institutional knowledge, orientation) Few times in life you meet someone who is truly at the top of their profession and continues to have a high level of passion and drive after a full career of achievement. You are one of those special people, thank you for the inspiration.

by Board Chair, American School of the Hague, The Hague

Our work together consisted of a day with individuals from our board in a focus group setting, and an afternoon joint training session. We covered a number of subjects including best practice for boards, the Carver Model of Governance, board -director interaction and school marketing. The insight gained during our sessions will he of great assistance for our board and school in the coming months as we move to implement a new strategic plan and improve on the implementation of our governance model.

by Dominic Andres Straessle, Board President, Academia Cotopaxi International School, Quito, Ecuador

We all found the discussions with Heads and Board Members of other International Schools most enriching and also took home new ideas from the highly professional presentations by John Littleford

by Dr. Henrik Huydts, President of the Board of Trutees, International School of Stuttgart

Over the past fifteen years, you have presented five governance workshops to our Board. These have been of great benefit not only to new governors but also to re-elected governors. Good governance cannot be taken for granted. Your workshops are fresh and to the point; current needs and issues are articulated into simple language. Having you return to present to our Board is testament to the value we place on your vast knowledge and experience.

by John Gjervan, Chair, Board of Governors, York House School, Vancouber, BC, Canada

As usual, your style brought everyone to attention. I believe it was an excellent reinforcement of the principles set forth in past encounters. I admire the talent you bring, the spot-on interpretation of challenges we face as a board, and what we can do individually to make Benedictine succeed in our mission. Thank you for giving us the map we need.

by Board Member, Benedictine School for Special Children, Ridgely, MD

The retreat was conducted in a manner which was informative, efficient, interesting, and effective. The meeting was well attended, and there was a great deal of participation from all of the targeted groups. The universal opinion from all of the participants was that the retreat was a resounding success and they were particularly impressed with your knowledge, leadership, and direction. We are dealing with very difficult issues. You seemed to be able to analyze the problems very effectively and then helped us to recognize what needed to be done. I also want to thank you for being so available to us prior to the meeting and after the meeting was concluded. Your willingness to continue to receive our e-mails and engage in discussion is very generous and has been very helpful to us.

by Kenneth B. Folstein, Board Member, Benedictine School for Special Children, Ridgely, MD

Both your experience as Headmaster and your consulting role with so many schools for so many years all around the world make you an incredible valuable source of information. Your personal touch and convincing style of presentation with great examples and materials are inspiring. Your energy to do this work is admirable. The mere fact that the challenges we are facing are the same as other schools around the world and solutions can be found and shared, is already very encouraging.

by Pieter S.K. de Jong, Former Chairman of the Board, Antwerp International School, Belgium

I am writing to express my appreciation and great respect for John Littleford. During a Woods Services board retreat, John spent a half day with my board leading a Best Practices in Governance session. This session was like none I have ever experienced. The rich content of information and relevant examples drawn from John’s vast experience caused the information to stick with me and members of my board. His earlier work as CEO of many organizations and his experiences in working with various types of organizations around the world provide a much larger context of information than I have found in my past experiences with governance consultants.

by Diana Ramsey, CEO, Woods Services, Langhorne, PA

Your use of case studies, combined with N.A.I.S. best practices guidelines, allowed the large and small group discussions to be meaningful and to have parameters against which to measure ones’ responses. Our Trustees came out of the morning session raving about the retreat-to the point that some of my administrators asked, what, exactly, did John Littleford do with the Board in their retreat? I simply said, he engaged them. Your professionalism, intelligence, style and preparation led to a very successful and energetic retreat. Oak Knoll School will benefit from that and I will be benefit as the Head of School because of a Board educated in the best practices of independent school governance. I cannot thank you enough for that gift to this school and, ultimately, all of its constituents.

by Timothy Saburn, Head of School, Oak Knoll School of the Holy Child, Summit, NJ

Learning was powerful at our two day workshop, and you adeptly facilitated the discussion with sincerity, openness and precision. Your intuitiveness, intelligence and creativity allowed for real-time understanding and growth. I honor the sensitive way that you challenge Board members to emerge from their comfort zones toward new understandings.

by Brian Matthews, Superintendent, American International School-Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

All our board members found your session thoroughly stimulating, thought provoking, pertinent, reassuring, challenging, energizing and worthwhile. It was empowering and valuable to hear your affirmation and reiteration of basic principles of practice that make my job easier.

by Richard McDonald, Headmaster, Aiglon College, Villars, Switzerland

Your stories were powerful and instructive and your ability to lead us through open discussions toward consensus on so many complicated issues was truly impressive.

by Vestry Member, Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, Dallas, TX

John has a wealth of experience and a charismatic, direct style, which gives him immediate credibility with me and with the board. He has worked with boards all over the world, which gives him a rich perspective on international school boards. He has first hand knowledge of virtually every problem or concern that we discuss. John employs a variety of teaching strategies, and he orchestrates an excellent discussion based on the responses of individual trustees.

by Larry W. Dougherty, Former Headmaster – Buckley School, Sherman Oaks, CA

I must say, I have been to a lot of corporate retreats over the last 15 to 20 years, many of them moderated by an external consultant. Your depth of knowledge, your ability to convey what you believe is right and what is wrong coupled with your personal style really impressed me. I have served on corporate boards and thought I knew a little about governance. The Saturday meeting thanks to our presentation, examples and moderation created a much clearer understanding of my role and my responsibilities (including go’s and no-go’s) that I hope will guide me in my future ASH board participation.

by Heinrich Loechteken, Dean and Member, American School of The Hague, The Hague

In each of the three board retreats you have directed for us, you have been direct, clear, and convincing in elaborating the roles of the effective trustee. Your use of fascinating case studies has worked to generate productive dialogue among trustees about proper and improper ways to handle difficult issues in the life of schools. To complement the powerful and often painful object lessons illustrated in your case studies, you then inspired with poignant anecdotes from your life as a student, teacher and Headmaster. While the case studies often dramatize how things can go awry in schools, your stories reminded us of the great things that happen in good schools. Your stories make us mindful of idealism and the optimism at the heart of education. After each of your visits, our trustees have mentioned to me just how affecting and effective your presentation has been.

by John Allman, Former Headmaster, St. John’s School, Houston, TX

The board governance session you ran for us this past Tuesday was exceptional and an enormous success with the board members. I have received numerous emails and verbal comments from the attendees describing how valuable they found the exercises and overall session. In my opinion, this session was more effective and impactful than the one a year ago (and I thought the previous one was a huge success). On a personal note, I want you to know how much I enjoy working with you and how fortunate The Fay School is that you decided a year ago to take Fay on as a client.

by Jeff Margolis, Past Board Chair, The Fay School, Houston, TX

You are masterful in your leadership of a session like this…your commitment and passion for making a personal contribution to the success of independent schools in delivering on their mission, worldwide, clearly came through and is most commendable. And the timing of your workshop could not have been better for us…you could clearly sense that we, as a board, were ready for both the information you shared in general about the rules of engagement and support but also your very clear feedback to all of us regarding what you had heard through your interviews with each of us and your perspective on this. I believe this session will serve as an important catalyst for us to take a number of actions which will strengthen the board and the board’s relationship with our Head going forward.

by Dick Warmington, Past Board Chair -Hillbrook School, Hillsborough, CA

Certainly you have a wealth of experience that provides invaluable insights to new governors, as well as those who need refreshment on the boundaries and working relationship between the administration and Governors of independent schools. Southbridge School would not hesitate to recommend you John as a valuable consultant to any school or institution looking to establish great governance models. We are very appreciative of your perceptive analysis of our school and look to apply many of your recommendations in the months and years ahead.

by Ian Mackintosh, Former Chair, Board of Governors, Southbridge School, Surrey, British Columbia

Your experience in working with so many other Independent Schools across Canada and the U.S. is invaluable and as usual your content was very concise, interesting and on the mark. Further, your format of focus group meetings followed by a seminar on Board Governance worked very well and provided us with some interesting insight into areas needing improvement or requiring further discussion.

by David Allan, Past Chair, Board of Governors, Crofton House School, British Columbia, Canad

Thank you for reinforcing best practices of good governance. Thank you for incorporating the subtitles of our particular situation into all of your examples. And, thank you for making the entire session so thoroughly engaging, practical and important for the short and long term health of our School.

by Stuart K. C. Grainger, Headmaster, Trinity College School, Ontario, Canada

Your work on Head succession planning with the Episcopal High School Board of Trustees was nothing short of remarkable. Over a two day period, working with the Board and focus groups composed of past and present Trustees, leaders, parents and alumni; you guided us to a unanimous decision on our succession plan. Without your assistance, I doubt we would have achieved consensus.

by J. Dix Druce, Jr., Past Chairman, Board of Trustees, Episcopal High School of Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL

This weekend exceeded my expectations. You provided guidance, energy and expertise throughout the two sessions. Crescent’s Board is now better prepared for the upcoming year than at any other time in its history. You directed the attention of the Board masterfully. If this weekend were to be rated from 1 to 10, it would be a 10. It was a great mini-retreat.

by Geoff Roberts, Former Head of School, Crescent School, Toronto, Ontari

As did the faculty you led through the evaluation process earlier this year, trustee after trustee praised your overall knowledge, your ability as a facilitator, and your efficiency in pinpointing meaningful policy issues important to the strategic health of the School. The best part of what you did was to ignite a passion for good governance that began a very positive learning process. Your work will help make our Board even more effective in the years to come.

by Joseph T. Cox, Former Headmaster- The Haverford School, PA

Trustees now readily admit that the workshop exceeded their expectations. You were masterful and everyone left feeling energized and ready to tackle the next project. Several trustees have written to ask what they could specifically do to support me. It was such a positive experience that we hope to make it a mandatory check up for us all.

by Priscilla G. Sands, Former Head of School- Springside School, PA

Many said it was the best retreat they have EVER attended. Some said they were suddenly aware of the crucial differences between corporate boards and an independent school board and they found themselves excited at learning a new kind of board culture and a new set of appropriate behaviors. While all the trustees appreciated the efficiency of the retreat because it took only a Saturday morning, several commented that they found themselves wanting it to last much longer because they were enjoying it so much.

by Wendy Cecil, Former Chair of the Board of Governors – Branksome Hall, Ontario

You were truly an inspiration. For us old hats who serve as governors, we sometimes fall into the trap that we know it all. Our batteries have been fully charged!

by Trustee, American International School of Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

I found your workshop to be paradigm-shifting. Sometimes you just need someone outside to come in and hold a mirror up to you and I believe you did that very effectively. To me the true measure of success is getting a group to shift its patterns of thought and you achieved that, so congratulations!

by Trustee, International School of Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

It was my pleasure to see John Littleford in action. He didn’t miss a beat in knowing where he was headed and what he needed to do to get there. At the same time, he was sensitive to each individual in the group, who they were, and what their unique input and perspective was. Bravo!!

by Trustee, Havergal College, Toronto, Ontario

Being only 30 days into a board term and with no previous experience on a board I have to say, your session was absolutely invaluable for me. The amount I learned and the opportunity to get to know some of my fellow board members a little better was exceptional.

by Trustee, Trinity College School, Toronto,Ontario Canada

It was a great pleasure seeing you again at the focus group and workshop at EHS this past weekend. I thought the workshop was fabulous. You were able to really zero in on the areas that our Board needed to work on with such efficiency after meeting with the focus groups as well as remind us with confident firmness of what the rules of governance are that we should be following. It was very timely as we move forward in this climate. Thank you. I will certainly propose that you visit us annually!

by Trustee – Episcopal High School of Jacksonville, Jacksonville, FL

What a great day we had with you. It was fast paced, to the point, no nonsense, let’s get to the point, get the job done kind of exercise. If a Board member didn’t come away with a better understanding of their roles, responsibilities, boundaries, then they were asleep at the switch! We all gave you kudos in great abundance.

by Trustee – Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, SC

I thoroughly enjoyed our meeting and felt it was one of the most helpful activities our Board has done because it is the one that I believe will make us a much more productive and effective Board. You stories were so helpful in that they will be imprinted on the minds of those in the room for a VERY long time. Your assessment was right on but most importantly you identified several key points that I felt we need to work on immediately. I told our Chair that I finally feel we got a clear message as to how our Board should work and now we have the pleasure of implementing such plan. I thanked him profusely for inviting you.

by Trustee – St. John’s School, Houston, TX

I found your workshop once again stimulating, thought provoking and your insight into the Shipley culture impressive. Although I remembered some of the ‘big points’ from last time, I clearly needed reinforcement. I will always remember the most important quality of a trustee from now onwards. Your test cases/scenarios were realistic and challenging and I enjoyed the speed with which you moved us through the process. I felt that you were able to get a firm grasp on our feelings and attitudes from the focus group on Friday.

by Trustee – The Shipley School, Philadelphia, PA

I want to thank you for working with our Board. I have taken the opportunity to participate in the NAIS Governance workshops that have been offered in our area, but I have not objectively looked at the Shipley Board in the productive way in which you guided us. I really enjoyed your heart warming stories about your teachers, students and families that you have met during you work. It reminded me that those relationships are valuable and life enduring.

by Trustee – The Shipley School, Philadelphia, PA


Tackling the controversial issue of salary and benefits was necessary for our school but we embarked on this process in the knowledge of the potential for division and acrimony! The process you set out, the experience you brought to the table and the manner in which you established trust and rapport as a partner to NIS have ensured faculty and board ownership of the process. We now have a set of proposals which are actionable and couldn’t be in a better position to meet our goal.

Matthew Parr, Head of School, Nagoya International School, Japan

Thank you for working with our little but proud and powerful school for girls. The meeting on Friday was unlike any workshop I have attended. You did a fabulous job of informing all of us and you did it honestly, with no obvious holdbacks, and I think everyone in the room was engaged. I am a huge advocate of bringing trustees, teachers, and administrators on board as a team. Together we can move mountains. I particularly liked your take on tuition remission. You know that we have been struggling with this topic, and your solution, remove the teacher salary from the financial aid calculation, was brilliant. Thank you again for such a great and inspirational presentation.

John MacDonald, Board Member, Castijella School, Palo Alto, CA

John assisted Kings Academy in helping us put into place a coherent and equitable approach to compensation, appraisal, and benefits in keeping with recommendations made to us by NEASC and CIS, our own strategic plan, and the mission of the school. These changes will undoubtedly improve our ability to recruit and retain our faculty, and most importantly, they will result in improved learning for all of our students. The appraisal process we have designed not only has the full support of the faculty but was also written with the specific needs of our school in mind: it is holistic, mission-driven, and grounded in the research on effective teaching and learning. As important as the result was the process that John helped us to create to achieve our goals. It was inclusive and provided opportunity for broad involvement, but it was also efficient and streamlined. Our faculty grew and developed over the course of this process, and we now have a much stronger, collective sense of who we are, where we are going, and what we hope to achieve.

John Austin. PhD,Headmaster, King’s Academy, Amman Jordan

I was also very impressed by your honesty, organization, and passion. The entire process, from interview to workshop, was very helpful. Perhaps the most beneficial element of the workshop was that it challenged us to examine our institution within a calm, yet constructive environment. Similar focus groups/evaluations too often create a tense and ineffective debate. Your workshop, however, laid the foundation for further, hopefully amicable, discussions. Again, the process was extremely helpful.

Teacher, Xavier High School, New York, NY

I truly appreciate all your hard work to assist schools nurture genuine cultures of learning, and I want you to know that. You have had an impact on me and my aspirations. For this, I am grateful.

Administrator, International School of Amsterdam

You led us through a profound re-evaluation of our faculty evaluation procedures, faculty salaries, and employee benefits. Your methodology – interviewing dozens of employees and trustees, collating that data and comparing it to best practices from around the independent school world, and then training us in ways to sort through the data to arrive at new policies that particularly fit our situation – ensured that everyone felt heard and that outcomes would be broadly supported. Many seasoned administrators in the final workshop said it was the most useful professional development they had ever attended. We are now well on our way to implementing new evaluation and compensation procedures that are mission-driven and widely supported by faculty -.quite an achievement.

Julian Bull, Head of School, Campbell Hall School, North Hollywood, CA

You provided an excellent workshop on evaluation of teachers. As a result of your efforts, we were able to redesign the method through which we evaluate teachers. The new system supports the performance based salary scale perfectly. Your evaluation of our benefit philosophy and menu of offerings were instrumental in enabling us to make constructive changes that benefitted both our employees and institution. The changes were viewed as being positive by each who was affected.

Steven Bliss, Former President/Brigadier General, Army and Navy Academy, Carlsbad, CA

Feedback was universally positive from your time spent with us. To a person, the faculty has thanked me for inviting you and including them in the process. Thank you for a job very well done.

Julian Bull, Head, Campbell Hall School, Los Angeles, CA

Thanks for the Kudo! This is THE BEST PLAN I have seen in any school or college. It incorporates transparency, equity, and incentives/merit, evaluation and growth. You will find it stimulating.

Joseph P. Healey, Head of School, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe, MI

As a consultant, you provided important counsel for both dialog and debate. Helping to create an environment of transparency and open inquiry, allowed for substantive exchanges with all parties. More importantly, John, you helped the School navigate some significant challenges. In a complex organization such as Cranbrook, your encouragement and analysis proved to be invaluable.

Arlyce M. Seibert, Director of Schools, Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, MI

You did an outstanding job in highlighting our strengths and pointing out our weaknesses. You managed to deliver a tough message to our teachers and to earn a standing ovation for doing so.

Egon Heldner, Former Board Member, German Swiss International School, Hong Kong

I wanted to express my sincere thanks for all you did in putting together an energizing three days for us in the workshop on faculty benefits, compensation, and evaluation. With a carefully planned and thorough approach, you did a terrific job of finding the heart and soul of our school. In addition, you were able to assemble your findings into a clear synopsis with an appropriate and sensible path for us to follow. Having been part of numerous workshops in the past, we found your workshop on the final day to be one of the best we have experienced.

Mark H. Kelly, Head of School, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX

Your vast personal knowledge of faculty compensation norms, combined with the results of the custom survey you undertook on our behalf, allowed us to make salary adjustment decisions with confidence. You showed us with clarity where we had been, and would be placed, in the competitive compensation landscape. Your presentation to faculty and administrator groups were not only stylish and amusing, but built consensus in a creative way, in short, making our ultimate job as policy makers considerably easier.

Mark R. Hornberger, Former Board Chair- The Town School, San Francisco, CA

Thank you for your excellent workshops on faculty compensation and evaluation. In many ways you accomplished the impossible. As we were trying to get ready for the new school year, we added your workshops to our teachers’ already busy schedules expecting some anxiety over the extra work they would have to do. Instead, they wanted more Littleford workshop and were genuinely disappointed that the time with you was so short. They felt this way because you were so thought provoking, and you so efficiently met the workshop goals. Teacher after teacher praised your overall knowledge, your ability as a teacher, and your making them see the importance of meaningful evaluation to the health of the School. Imagine, we added significantly to the workload of our faculty at the beginning of a school year and no one griped! Your visit improved morale and was a great to start the year.

Joseph Cox, Former Headmaster- The Haverford School, Haverford, PA

I did find your report and the workshop to be extremely helpful. More important, I think the faculty members of the group were, at least in many cases, receptive to your advice. That is an incredible result. We are all looking forward to continuing our work in this area, and will be much prepared and guided by your work last week.

Board Member, Buckingham, Browne, & Nichols School, Cambridge, MA


We have been impressed with your inimitable style, your knowledge of the underlying sources of climate issues in international schools and your ability to engage others in genuine dialogue on issues that really matter. We have been amazed (and relieved) to discover that many of the issues we struggle with are the very same ones you have helped many other schools tackle. John, as a result of our work together I have learned much about school climate issues, our school’s unwritten (yet potent) history, and have a much deeper understanding of the people I work with. And, I have personally acquired new strategies that can lead to improved understanding in a diverse school community.

Edward E. Greene, Ph.D., Director, International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

John Littleford was invited to our School to help us engage in deep reflection, collect our thoughts and clarify language and action. The tool was a school climate workshop involving school leaders from across the community. The experience was focused, intense and positive. Not surprisingly, because of John’s deep appreciation of independent school life, we were able to move beyond symbol and rhetoric to real issues. The workshop group has met several times since the conclusion of the workshop to formulate a strategy that will engage the whole teaching staff.

David Howie, Former Head of School – St. John’s-Ravenscourt School, Manitoba

I want to thank you for everything you have done to help Jacksonville Country Day School. You were very highly recommended to me as the right person to perform a school climate survey and Board governance workshop but your performance far exceeded those recommendations and my expectations. Your ability to quickly understand the school’s culture, assess our weaknesses and strengths and then direct us on a path to address those weaknesses was remarkable and extremely beneficial. I also want to thank you for your willingness to stay engaged and help us as we implement some of your recommendations.

Edward E. Burr, Former President, JCDS Board of Trustees, Jacksonville Country Day School, Jacksonville, FL

You immediately established a rapport with the faculty and earned their trust. These simple first steps allowed for an honest discourse on the school’s strengths and challenges. Your insights and ability to ‘hone in’ on the issues were remarkable, while at the same time putting them in the context of the independent school community at large. You have the extraordinary gift of engaging people with your personal stories and authentic style. Personally, this was a turning point for me and the school and I thank you most sincerely. I would recommend your approach to any school facing these issues and I look forward to working with you again in the future.

Eileen Daunt, Head of School, Bayview Glen School, Toronto, Ontario


We have worked with John over many years. He has never failed to deliver. Most recently in supporting our complex communityand governance teams to create a workable and engaging strategic plan. We are now in the second year of the plan, and it truly drives all of our board meetings and strategic thinking. This would not have been possible without the initial spade work that John brought to the table.

Colm Flanagan, Head of School, Seoul Foreign School, South Korea

John uses an inclusive, exhaustive process which only someone with his unique stamina and highly tuned interpersonal skills could possibly do successfully. He is the best I have used in my nearly 40 year career heading schools.

Sharon Hennessy, Superintendent, Taipei American School, Taipei

I been around a while and watched facilitators and consultants run a lot of meetings. I don’t remember one that was run so well. It was beautiful to watch you get everyone’s input and in groups get them to set their ideas of priorities. And of course you have a great deal of knowledge and experience, but you didn’t overwhelm them with it. As a professional I work hard at not speaking over my client’s head and also not tell them what to do. I hope I can take some of your techniques and work toward that level of professionalism. I find my work to be artful if done well and I think I just saw a great artist display his work. It was a wonderful experience seeing our Group get excited as you help politely lead them to set their priorities.

Trustee, Southfield School, Shreveport, Louisiana

You provided us with a real shot in the arm and a great deal to think about. I was skeptical about having a Consultant- sometimes they do not really deliver, they do not do the homework, and they offer insights without really looking. You did none of these. You did your homework and I was continually impressed by how much you absorbed about our entire operation. Also I appreciated the way you handled a few ‘difficult to handle’ personalities with a respectful but firm hand.

Diana Kon, Co-Head, Sonia Shankman Orthogenic School, Chicago, Illinois

John conducted a series of intensive focus group meetings that provide the backdrop for the community wide review of our guiding statements. He then facilitated a workshop with almost 30 representatives from our various stakeholder groups to sift through the focus group data, discern themes and to discuss how we could honor our past while we were seeking to embrace a new future that was before us. At the end of our time together, John had led us in the creation of not only a new and vibrant vision and mission statement but also to a new tag line and new strategic messaging for our school.

Kevin Baker, Head of School, Busan International Foreign School, Busan, Korea

Your knowledge of the process was just what we needed and your ability to work with our focus group constituencies created much positive feedback particularly from the hoard. the parents, and the alumni. Your ability to gather, sort and filter the focus group data into a list of our vital strategic initiatives was outstanding and efficient.

Eugene A. Naes Jr., Board Chair, Regis Jesuit High School, Aurora, Colorado

The authentic manner by which your data and information was gathered from staff members, board, parents, students and local community member has fortified the entire experience as We I I as results with tremendous valuable subjective results that will play a significant role in the upcoming five year strategic plan for the school. Overall, this experience has lead to constructing a solid ground for us to cumulatively embark on a strategic plan that will benefit and strengthen every single aspect as well as member of our school.

Dr. Hana AI-Nasser Malhas, School Principal, Mashrek International School, Amman, Jordan

The strategic planning process was inclusive to reflect a broad base of opinions. You were masterful in working with our multiple focus groups where the participants, under your guidance, were enthusiastic and purposeful in their work. The process culminated in a four-hour workshop during which our Steering Committee considered the 38 possible strategic issues that emerged from the focus group sessions. Through a series of votes, the committee arrived at a consensus: a final list of six prioritized strategic planning goals. We then spent the summer in six sub-committees formulating action plans and developing key performance indicators for each goal. The end result was a streamlined, crisp plan that reflected the priorities of our school’s major constituent groups.

David J. Farace, Former Head of School, Montgomery Academy

I would like to thank you for your work in guiding and leading us through the strategic planning process that will help us move the school into a situation where it is more able to understand and secure its long term success. BIFS has undergone remarkable changes in the past two to three years and your knowledge and experience moved us from just dealing with the here and now to a far better understanding of what is required to be truly strategic. This applies to multiple levels of the school from the Board downwards. All members of the community with whom you met were impressed by your rapid understanding of the unique situation of our school and what challenges lay ahead. In just a few days you were able to meet with representatives of all stakeholders and thus draw together a complete picture of where the school is but also where it needs to go.

Stephen Palmer, Former Principal, Busan International Foreign School, South Korea

I believe that John LIttleford’s recommendations and observations will strengthen our educational mission as we move into the future. John’s professionalism is unparelleled. He asked pertinent questions which helped us to reframe assumptions and beliefs. He gleaned breadth of depth from the individuals and groups with whom he met. He is objective about his findings, yet is able to situate your school in the context of comparative schools, along with his vast international experience.

Fr. Michael P. Caruso, SJ, President of Saint Ignatius College Prep, Chicago, Illinois

You engagesd those of us in the focus group well and helped us to easily respond to thought-provoking questions. I also feel that you presented the synthesized information very well during the workshop, appropriately explained and directed the small group work, and helped all present come up with a suitably challenging plan to move forward. Your demeanor, rapid-firing questioning and insightful stories helped us to openly and honestly express our thoughts, concerns and hopes for our school.

Faculty, St. Ignatius College Prep, Chicago, Illinois

Faculty felt heard, and students were honored to have been able to speak candidly. Parents left feeling that they had a much larger stake in the future of the school than they did before. The Board was extremely impressed, not only with your incredible work ethic and efficiency, but also with the accuracy and thoroughness of your assessment of our school’s strengths, challenges and unique issues and culture.

David Davies, Headmaster, Deerfield-Windsor School, Albany, GA

It was indeed a pleasure to participate in a live session with you. I must admit that you exceeded my expectations as well as the entire boards. One member mentioned that a four hour meeting seemed to last only ten minutes, a testament to the content of the discussions.

John Langford, Board Chair, American International School of Riyadh, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

The resounding consensus was that the strategic planning workshop was very productive, eye opening, and energizing for us all. I enjoyed your high energy and quick wit, your effective and efficient manner, and absolutely know why they call you the best in the business! You should write a book!

Gayle Tsien, Board Chair, Saigon South International School, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

You (John) are direct and meticulous. You create a comfort level that allows each to share honestly because they feel valued. You gave us suggestions on how to take our challenges and turn them into opportunities. You have a great gift of listening and an even greater gift in bringing all together to move into the future. You have given us the necessary tools and directions to challenge ourselves to become the best we can be for the lives entrusted to our care. We are far better people for having been with you. Thank you, John.

Sister Mary Jeanne Oesterle, President, Walsingham Academy, Williamsburg, VA

John was found to be very inclusive in his work. He was a good listener, and was very adept at picking up key issues when listening to different groups. He was able to articulate these issues into language that was acceptable and workable as we set strategic targets. John’s organization translated into meaningful activities that helped our community to focus and a product was delivered in a timely fashion.

Greg Hedger, Former Head, Escuela Campo Alegre, Caracas, Venezuela

It has been a great experience working with you on the strategic plan. I simply loved your methodology, its simplicity and effectiveness.

Trustee, International Academy, Amman, Jordan

Your workshop was an overwhelming experience. All the information you shared with us was helpful in understanding the most recent environment of schools around the world.

Trustee, Seoul Foreign School, Seoul, Korea

I want to say that John’s visit, his methodology, and his personal skills generated enormous good will among everyone involved. Over and over I heard comments from parents, faculty, staff and trustees that they felt heard and that at the same time, the process moved very quickly. John met with nearly 100 different people in small groups over the three days and everyone expressed gratitude for being a part of it- and excitement for the possibilities that were identified. Almost everyone commented with amazement how quickly John learned each person’s name- and how clearly he was able to synthesize the issues at hand. His experience and his broad understanding of school culture and school issues were invaluable. John’s expertise and his effectiveness made us look good for simply inviting him to work with us!

John Long, Head of School, The Post Oak School, Bellaire, TX

It was amazing, truly amazing. In my 35 years in this business, I have been involved in many strategic planning sessions with many facilitators, but never with results like this! Your skill in h helping us to focus, in distilling our thoughts, in providing guidance through the process resulted in true consensus and the framework for building our future. You said we had good people and a passion for what we do. But we’ve always had that. It was you who made the difference, and I am grateful to you.

John Markwood, Former Executive Director – Timber Ridge School, Winchester, VA

A bit of irony for you, as a member of the finance committee I was strongly opposed to bringing in a consultant, not specifically you, but any consultants. Universally, I have found that all but one consultant in the world (the one being you) only confirms what an organization already knows and the money is wasted. I have to say after your visit that I was wrong and am proud to admit it. Now I am strongly recommending that we retain you for our marketing efforts.

Trustee – Southfield School, Shreveport, LA

Planning on not attending the four hour session, I consented to attend the break-out to meet at least a small portion of my obligation as a new member of the Board. During that session I changed my mind about the general retreat and changed my calendar. I was impressed with the depth and range of your experience and knowledge, and likewise with the ability with which you conveyed (and received) information. Not being easily impressed and not being completely sold on the vital importance of what a private school education offers, you knocked it out of the park on both accounts. Thank you for your time and obvious diligent efforts on behalf of the school and our children. Job well done!

Trustee – Southfield School, Shreveport, LA

Your credentials are certainly impressive, but I’d say your presentation and your ability to identify with and relate to issues directly related to our school and our people, is the most impressive skill you presented. I believe you orchestrated and ran an outstanding meeting today. I think we have the information, tools, questions, insights, etc, that we need to move forward. It’s up to us to do it, but I suspect we will be calling on you more than once again in the future.

Mike Goodrich, Board Member, All Saints Episcopal School of Fort Worth, Fort Worth, TX

I very much appreciated your help in strategic planning, but even more so I appreciated the inspiration that you provided. I value focus, efficiency, effectiveness and quality – attributes that you did not speak about, but rather concretely demonstrated. I love teaching and think it an art, but I think the art even more effective with a more measured approach to achieving its goals – the business element that you spoke about. I latched onto the comment that you made about the most successful schools in the world, measured against any criteria of success, being the ones most businesslike.

Trustee, American International School of Bucharest, Romania


I wanted to thank you for the excellent work done by you and your team to find such wonderful candidates for The Study’s next Head of School. All of the candidates that I had met or had spoken with were spectacular, and each one had something very special to offer… It has been a pleasure for me to have had the opportunity to work with you. Although most Heads are not really part of the process, I felt both included and tremendously respected by you, by Erika and by the Search Committee. Your professionalism and passion for what you do is unparalleled.

Nancy Sweer, Outgoing Head of School, The Study, Montreal, Quebec Canada

We benefited greatly from John Littleford’s extensive experience of educational leadership and his network of worldwide contacts – notably in attracting a strong pool of candidates, in assessing candidates’ motivation to join our community and in supporting a search process under changing circumstances. Throughout the entire process, John was completely professional and reliable. He was very prompt in sending us information and in arranging an on-site visit where he met with the Board and different constituent groups in order to draft the profile of our next Head of School. John was pro-active throughout the process and we formed a strong team. It was enjoyable and inspiring to work with him. He was always accessible, no matter where he was in the world.

Kathleen Hedman, Co-Chair of Search Committee, Inter-Community School Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

We are aware of John’s incredible knowledge and extensive network of connections in the independent school world. That combined with his remarkable work ethic made John an easy choice for us as we considered Head of School consultants. Throughout the process John and his staff were always accessible and their communications were prompt and timely. An excellent handbook filled with procedures, guidelines, reminders and examples was provided as a tool, but John guided us through each step along the way. John and his staff offered just the right amount of gentle pressure to keep our search moving along our optimal timeline and were always professional and thorough.

David Allain, Board President, The Wyndcroft School, Pottstown, PA

John stood out for his professionalism and dedication to the search. He helped us through each stage of the process from identifying qualified candidates, short listing, and throughout the interviewing, offer and post-appointment transition process. Despite his heavy traveling schedule, he was always easily accessible and responsive and ready to answer and ready to provide his advice. He was particularly helpful in assisting us to address questions and concerns raised by the candidates in the course of the search and ensuring that candidates remain interested in the position. John is not afraid to speak his mind and provide authoritative and objective advice, while always respecting the Search Committee’s opinions and supporting us to get to a result that would be best for the School.

Philip Sohmen, Deputy Chairman of the Board, YK Pao School, Shanghai, Chin


Thank you for guiding us through the head search process for Glenlyon-Norfolk School. You introduced us to some extraordinary candidates who would have been beyond our reach without your global outlook. The in-depth interviews which you conducted with the school community at the beginning of the process not only created that important buy-in, but also identified the key attributes required of our incoming head.

Bruce Homer, Past Chair, Board of Governors – Glenlyon-Norfolk School, British Columbia

When our trustees approached me for advice following my decision to retire, I had absolutely no hesitation recommending you to conduct our search. Indeed, you were the first name to spring to mind. We had worked together on strategic planning at my last school, over ten years ago, and such a positive experience had definitely stayed with me. The trustees and I thoroughly enjoyed working with you on the search and were, of course, delighted at its outcome. We all admired your frankness, the thoroughness of your approach and your professionalism.

David Brooks, Former Director, The Riverside School, Zug, Switzerland

Regardless of where you were physically located at any given time, you always responded to our questions and dilemmas promptly and with excellent advice. (As our search consultant) your guidance and in particular advice to me was extremely valuable and useful in achieving our ultimate goal. You brought forth numerous qualified candidates to the search committee, from around the globe, and this allowed us to really evaluate the options available to the school. You truly provided Elmwood School with a comprehensive Executive Search service which addressed every element of the process.

Jacob Polisuk, Chair, Board of Directors, Elmwood School, Ottawa, Ontario


As a school seeking to maximize enrolment, your leadership in helping us start our NIS advocate programme has been profound. For our small school to have 110 parents attend focus groups, 60 attend the feedback session and then 29 attend the first ‘training session’ was an outcome that exceeded our most optimistic expectations. There has definitely been a spark of pride ignited in our community, and I am confident that with parents and school working together, the potential to maximize capacity to deliver our mission is in reach.

Matthew Parr, Head of School, Nagoya International School, Japan

The development of our new parent ambassador program has your fingerprints all over it and is an example of both a unique and fully tailored approach to tell the story of ASP. your support in introducing this program to our community is proving central to our wish to proactively engage the Paris region in more personalized communication about the rigor and wholeness of an ASP education. You shared the idea, the process and provided community motivation as you led focus groups, then brought our parents together. You defined the need, the gap in our practices and the means to tackle the enrollment challenge we face. I am happy to report our enrollment is on budget.

Mark E. Ulfers, Head of School, American School of Paris

Your recent work helping us to develop an ambassador program has been particularly effective. Our admissions office and the parents we’ve gotten involved in the process are grateful to you for your openness. your honesty, your direction. and your support. Already we are seeing a difference in the process. We’re hopeful that things will continue to get better and better.

Steven S. Piltch, Ed.D., Head of School, The Shipley School

Your second project involved interviewing some of our most active parent supporters and volunteers, along with another group of administrators, over the course of more than a week. At the end of that work you reported out to a large group of parents (80+), and then trained more than 30 of those exemplary volunteers the next morning in your parent ambassador program. You provided me with materials I have used to train other groups since then, though I fear they are disappointed that you weren’t doing the training! Through all of this, those loyalists have become yet more loyal and are fired up to bring the good news that is Campbell Hall more passionately and effectively out into the broader L.A. community. We were particularly surprised that these already hard-working volunteers signed up for more; they did so because you reaffirmed their faith in our school and fed their desire to learn more about what makes schools like ours really successful. John, your very strong knowledge base, presentation skills, and strategic thinking helped this very good school take significant steps towards getting even better.

Julian Bull, Head of School, Campbell Hall School, North Hollywood, CA

Mr. Littleford was able to outline and define our Parent Ambassador program in reference to internal and external marketing communication, web design, retention, and the admissions process inclusive of committee descriptions and goals. Overall, I was most impressed with Mr. Littleford’s energy and ability to engage with members of our community as well as his professionalism and organizational abilities in conducting this study. I have never seen anyone stay on task as he did! He was very clear, direct, and transparent. Reporting back to parents so quickly was very highly valued by all of us and served to strengthen our school community. His findings and recommendations have proven invaluable to us and definitely captured the essence of the study’s intended goals and the School’s mission. As a result, our marketing program continues to build positive results as the Admissions Office has formulated several clear, articulate, and meaningful talking points for our school and its volunteers. This has proven of high value to the Kingsley community. Our greatest finding was that our community needed to realize that community building is not an admissions program alone; it is about everyone working together for the success of the School!

Renee DuChainey-Farkes, Head of School, Kingsley Montessori School, Boston, MA

I want to thank you for your help in creating the Parent Ambassador Program for The Haverford Lower School, We look forward to continuing to develop and enhance the program to help identify, enroll, and retain more mission-appropriate students. Since NAIS reports that about 80% of independent school inquiries come from word-of-mouth conversations, your vision for empowering devoted current parents to spread the good word has proven critical to our maintaining full enrollment in our Lower School. With your guidance, we were able to recruit the very best marketers-smart, happy parents-and channel their skills in ways that helped our admissions professionals become more efficient and productive. This program has more than paid for itself with the addition of new Lower School students.

Joseph Cox, Former Headmaster, The Haverford School, Philadelphia, PA

Harnessing the brain power, enthusiasm and experience of parents to sell a product we all believe in is a simple idea, and brilliant. With your insightful questions and rapid analysis, you have quantified and confirmed what we know in our hearts. It is reassuring to know that qualities that brought us to this school when searching for a kindergarten have held up nicely a dozen years later. Until your arrival on campus, I was content to think of our school as one of the best kept secrets in education. But I am persuaded by your presentation. It is important for the future of the school that we do a better job of telling our story.

Parent, Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA

We are on our way to having raised approximately $8,000,000 over the first three years of our annual fund. You (John) have helped us to frame the strategic vision that continues, three years after its formulation, to serve as the reference point for our school’s initiatives. Your remarkable ability to quickly size up a new school client’s needs does not begin to hint at the richness of a longer term relationship in which you are able to bring to bear various strands of a school’s past on the challenges at hand.

Dr. Ted Faunce, Former Head, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

John’s strategy is to create among the parent body a palpable advocacy for mentoring. He did that for us. All who worked with John felt heard. His meetings and summary discussions reinforced a sense of pride in the School. John’s approach helped us learn more about ourselves and has given us a road map for sustained follow-up. His presentations were truly inspirational. He is a fantastic public speaker and is able to contextualize the importance of independent school education in a way that helps parents better understand the investment they are making.

Jim Skrumbis, Head, Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, CA

Our mission had integrity. John helped us craft a powerful tagline and provided us with a game plan to recruit, train, and empower over one hundred admissions ambassadors to shout out the good work going on at our school. Today our admission ambassadors continue to market the school in a multitude of ways and this is due to the clarity and plan from John Littleford. John is one of the most gifted, efficient, intelligent, and caring people that I have had the privilege of knowing.

Todd Clingman, Head, North Cobb Christian School, Kennesaw, GA

I can’t tell you how you changed my life at your wrap up session at our school. Your obvious passion for what you do enables our school to receive the feedback it needs to be the best it can be and therefore give our children the most outstanding education possible. You also touch the heart of every parent in the audience and build an inspiring trust in us that makes us all feel that we are making the best decisions for our children. Thank you for your exceptional communication with both faculty and parents.

Parent, Sierra Canyon School, Chatsworth, CA

On behalf of the Chinese International School community, thank you for your invaluable guidance as our School has planned and conducted its first Annual Fund. At the time of writing, less than four weeks after launch, our pledges and donations total more than double the substantial dollar goal we set (HKD 17.8m or USD 2,287,900) and the current participation rate of 60% rises daily. It is hard to believe that in less than one year you have taken us from a state of general ignorance about annual funds to a landmark success in execution. You know how to create a sense of ownership among the school community. You listen, feed back, synthesize, challenge and provide a path forward.

Ted Faunce, Former Headmaster, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

The Ambassadors Program has already paid dividends in the quality of the Open House that we staged last week. A Corporate VP observed that his Company could take lessons about organization from the way we handled the Open House. Tours were thorough, student guides were cheerful and well versed and Ambassadors were well prepared, armed with relevant information. This Program will only get better for us as we use it more efficiently.

Leonard Kupersmith, Head of School, Christ Church Episcopal School, Greenville, SC

As we progress through this fall, it is apparent to teachers and parents that in the span of six months we have already created a cultural shift of significant proportions in our K-8 division. What was already a very good school, has been made even better and those areas that needed improving are being improved. We now have parents engaged appropriately engaged in the life of the school. There is still much to be done but it is apparent already that John’s influence was the driving force that brought all of the pieces together. This simply would not have happened without the influence of an outside presence who gained the trust and support of both parents and faculty.

Tom Sheppard, Former Director of Admission, Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, California

Thank you for making the focus session so comfortable and to the point. Everyone had a chance to express themselves however the session moved along at a nice pace, allowing us all to answer so many questions in what was a limited amount of time. I thoroughly enjoyed the feedback session.

Parent, Campbell Hall, Los Angeles, CA

TEACHER AND STAFF TESTIMONIALS – Teacher Compensation and Evaluation, School Climate and Morale, Strategic Planning

Thank you so much for the engaging presentation yesterday afternoon. My faculty left feeling energized and excited about the upcoming changes in our evaluation process. Several members of my team have remarked on how much they learned. They have also commented that they are less worried about serving as observers now that they have a better understanding of the process. I am so delighted that we will now be better equipped as a school to move ahead with a constructive and research based system. I look forward to working with my teachers to promote further collegiality and professional growth.

Administrator, Hammond School, Columbia, SC

Thank you for a true eye opener workshop for me. Your expertise and thorough explanation on this sensitive but crucial subject matter of faculty compensation was interesting and informative. I found the presentation and questions raised fascinating and much more complex than I originally thought.

Director of Advancement, French-American School of Puget Sound, Mercer Island, WA

The way you presented the materials from both an academic and business standpoint was outstanding. Yours was the best lecture I have ever experienced, even throughout my collegiate years. You not only answered the questions well, but supported them with statistical research.

Athletic Director, French-American School of Puget Sound, Mercer Island, WA

I thought you did a wonderful job outlining issues at our school, how they compare to different schools, and presenting a plan for next steps. It is the first time that we have had such an honest discussion that included several constituencies and I really appreciate that kind of model.

Senior Administrator, Campbell Hall School, Los Angeles, CA

I have never before attended such a well organized and balanced meeting.

Teacher, Campbell Hall School, Los Angeles, CA

I could feel your positive energy from the moment I walked into the room. Right away I felt I could speak to you openly and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening as you did. What a busy life you lead consulting scores of schools, yet somehow you are able to make it all so relative for people at the personal level. I will no longer complain about life’s challenges; you have helped me see them as opportunities!

Teacher, American International School of Budapest, Budapest, Hungary

Your session was a very productive use of our time. I felt we were being challenged all afternoon. Your lesson preparation and time planning were an example to us and I certainly benefitted from seeing some good teaching techniques in action.

Teacher, The International School of Zug and Luzern, Hunenberg, Switzerland

Thank you so much for your message and, especially, for your presentation to us all. I wish every one of our teachers could have had the benefit of hearing your findings, learning about your research and experience, and, above all, feeling the passion and love of teaching that you communicated. Not only did you address issues of compensation, but you also circulated a currency of spirit that inspired us all. How valuable it was! All those I spoke with wanted more and felt the time too short. (We also could not believe how you knew all of our names and called us by such….what incredible care!)

Teacher, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe, MI

It was indeed a great pleasure to meet you. The professionalism of your presentation amazed and impressed me, and everyone, as did your interview process. WE all left knowing that you were well worth the price of admission (and whatever the school paid to get you here). In the short time you were here you seemed to grasp the main issues and gave us all a very important worldly perspective often missing in small group negotiations I particularly liked the different ways to build a salary scale, and all the things that should be considered when doing so. End of the day, you gave us a lot to think about and, importantly, a way forward. I have volunteered for the benefits committee, by the way.

Teacher, International School of Kenya, Nairobi, Keny


Thank you so much for your message and, especially, for your presentation to us all. I wish every one of our teachers could have had the benefit of hearing your findings, learning about your research and experience, and, above all, feeling the passion and love of teaching that you communicated. Not only did you address issues of compensation, but you also circulated a currency of spirit that inspired us all. How valuable it was! All those I spoke with wanted more and felt the time too short. (We also could not believe how you knew all of our names and called us by such … what incredible care!) We look forward to the explorations and considerations ahead and to arriving at some conclusions and actions that bring a better sense of balance to us all.

Teacher, University Liggett School, Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

I thought that the workshop was extremely beneficial for all concerned. I particularly enjoyed the two sessions that we had and was very happy to have the opportunity to share thoughts and ideas in the small group session. Sometimes it is very good just to have the time to speak with colleagues. I thought that the workshops were very well received and you brought up many crucial points that had been touched on in meetings but this obviously now gives the impetus and the confidence to move many of these ideas forward. I am very happy to be working with the board and thoroughly enjoyed the programme that you had put together. I think we sometimes underestimate the need for outside support and I would wholeheartedly endorse the chance to continue with the work started this week.

Teacher, International School of Geneva, Geneva, Switzerland

It was a truly enlightening experience attending your workshop and I appreciated also having the opportunity to meet with you on an individual basis. I am only sad that you were not able to stay longer and see the outcome of the committees. Following your advice, I have enrolled to take part in the salary review committee. I am attending an IB conference tonight; just hope that time permits me to achieve in life generally all that I’d like to accomplish. I wish you well and cannot emphasize enough the profound effect that you had on me. After the Saturday workshop I came away with the feeling that addressing this topic may not be the negative threat that I had feared and that things can progress in a positive way. I too hope that our paths will cross in the future.

Teacher, German Swiss International School, Hong Kong

I found the workshop and your recommendations to be very useful for our school. You were an obvious expert in the fields we are reviewing, very organized and efficient with your time, and easily able to present your findings to our group. I appreciated your sincerity in the importance of valuing teachers, as well as, understanding why and how boards and administrations make decisions.

Teacher, Greensboro Country Day School, Greensboro, NC

Your thoroughness, your candor, and your vast experiential base were especially important in making your time with us both helpful and supportive. I especially appreciated your comments about: the need for meaningful affirmation, the need to continue to seek the triple threat person, the need for greater confidence in administrators, and the need for preserving

institutional memory. Again, I found the sessions to be provocative and candid, helpful and supportive, and I thank you on behalf of many others.

Teacher, The Hill School, Pottstown, PA

That was the best presentation yet by an outsider. I appreciated John’s candor with all aspects of compensation and benefits. It was informative and very well presented, bracketed by two great stories. My colleagues here felt similarly. It’s obvious he’s a professional but he also seemed well informed with our operation.

Teacher, The Stevenson School, Pebble Beach, CA

Thank you for the wonderfully informative presentation and the opportunity to further make Chaminade-Madonna a better place. The workshop was one of the best I have attended on education and I look forward to continuing communication with you. Theinformation that you presented was extremely relevant and hopefully wecan put some of the recommendations from the committee into practice.

Teacher, Chaminade-Madonna Preparatory School, Hollywood, FL

Yesterday’s (faculty compensation) workshop was inspiring! I felt energized and grateful to be part of the community. Our mission is not only about assisting students to realize their potential and the fact that they each have value- it extends to the faculty and staff as well. I have never felt as valued, cared about or felt as much a part of the process by an employer as I do here. Thanks for all you do!

Teacher, Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich, CT

You are a wonderful story-teller (I can see you must have been a great teacher), and unlike the dreary Power-Point presentations I’ve endured in recent years. your (workshop) kept my interest from beginning to end. It’s not that compensation, benefits, or even evaluation are such fascinating subjects per se, but in focusing on the rationales, conscious or unintentional, that inform them you somehow reminded us of the importance of what we do each day-teach kids.

Teacher, Moorestown Friends School, Moorestown, NJ

Your workshop was very well received. There is an emerging buzz and sense of energy around the issue of compensation that I think we can capitalize on. I commend Larry (Van Meter) for moving us in the direction of a more open, transparent salary structure, one that is tailored to our specific mission and philosophy, and one that is the product of a more democratic process than has traditionally been the case here.

Teacher, Moorestown Friends School, Moorestown, NJ

First, from my own perspective, your presentation was one of the best I have listened to in years. Not too much came as an absolute surprise, but the way in which you held up a mirror to the school was so honest and refreshing. I felt you challenged a few of my own preconceived ideas about the appraisal process, which has given me a completely different perspective. I played a part in trying to delink appraisal from the contractual cycle…I now accept your point that the appraisal process, if truly fair and objective, has to be part of the contractual arrangement.

Teacher, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

Your stories just reminded me of what it is about teaching that I love, keep on sharing those stories, they are very inspirational indeed. Thanks for the enlightening workshop; it was time well spent. I am not normally one to put myself forward on committees, but after listening to you I have put my name forward to be on the committees, we will see what now

Teacher, Chinese International School, Hong Kong

Your workshop yesterday really inspired me to be the best person and teacher I can be. I will never forget the two stories you shared that touched your life and now have touched mine. A board member walked out with me last night and told me her 5th grade son would pick me as the teacher that influenced his life. Thank you for coming to AOS and helping us to better enrich the school environment on all levels.

Teacher, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX

Yesterday’s (faculty compensation) workshop was inspiring! I felt energized and grateful to be part of the community. Our mission is not only about assisting students to realize their potential and the fact that they each have value- it extends to the faculty and staff as well. I have never felt as valued, cared about or felt as much a part of the process by an employer as I do here. Thanks for all you do!

Teacher, Annunciation Orthodox School, Houston, TX

You are a dynamic speaker who kept my attention for three hours. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about a new salary structure and evaluation system. It is exciting to think that our committees will be putting new structures into place that will be here at PDS long after we have left. I have been appointed to serve on the Salary Structure Committee which was my first choice. I am eager to begin this process.

Teacher, Presbyterian Day School, Memphis, TN

We thoroughly enjoyed your visit to St. George’s last week. I have heard many positive comments from the faculty with whom you met. Additionally, the faculty with whom you did not get a chance to meet heard of your work and shared the excitement and enthusiasm of others.

Teacher, St. George’s Schools, Collierville, TN

The workshop was great. I found it enlightening and invigorating. I appreciate your respect for time as both the interview session and the presentation were concise, organized and efficient.

Teacher, St. George’s Schools, Collierville, TN

School Climate and Morale

I would like to express my sincerest thanks for your effort and time – since I had the feeling that this task of yours means more to you than merely earning money. You are as committed to your work as most of our school’s teachers are to their line of work…I should like to congratulate you on having done an amazing job: In only 3 days you had to gain an insight into and an overview of our school’s complex situation. It must be due to your broad experience that you could quickly get to the core of our problems presenting our difficulties in a condensed manner. Even if one takes into consideration that problems as ours do possibly not stand out and may appear quite typical to you (however not to us), I truly admire your strategies and abilities to extract and process information.

Teacher, Thuringia International School-Weimar, Weimar, Germany

I feel that through your preparation and the many interviews, you knew the school and the group very well. Some of the observations you presented were both interesting and pertinent – as well as revelatory. You found a wonderful way of being positive and encouraging, at the same time as preparing some pretty challenging tasks, but these tasks have obviously been designed to fit us, in this particular situation, and I would say, are definitely approachable.

Teacher, International School of Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Thank you for coming to meet our family at JCDS. Your insightfulness, professionalism, and expertise was exhibited from your purposeful, inspiring introduction to the adept, invaluable summary presentation the following day. The process in which you comfortably guided the faculty and staff to a clearer and more positive understanding of the transition we are experiencing was felt by all. I have had numerous faculty members come to me to share their thoughts about you being here. You definitely made a positive impact on this faculty. The impact was one that will help us through the upcoming years at school and in our own individual lives. Th e manner in which you presented this workshop had such an affect on how the information you discussed was received.

Teacher, Jacksonville Country Day School, Jacksonville, FL

I wanted to thank you for your work with us. In the years prior to being in the independent school system, I was subjected to many self improvement type of seminars that all seemed to be geared towards justifying some superintendents job and had absolutely benefits for kids or teachers. Your presentation and interviews made me feel like my ideas are listened to and that as a group we can affect change for good. I believe the faculty will take the seed you have planted and make it grow.

Teacher – Bayview Glen School, Don Mills, Ontario

I would like to thank you for the opportunity to meet with you during the interview process. The workshop was outstanding. The clarity of your message was unmistakable and resulted in considerable soul searching. I had viewed myself as a positive member of staff, but after examination, there is certainly room for improvement.

Teacher – Ashbury College, Ottawa, Ontario

I think your insightful comments, observations and conclusions will be of great use to us. You did a good job identifying some of the problems we are encountering as a growing institution. It is reassuring to know that there are such dedicated educators as yourself helping so many to put their best foot forward.

Teacher – Ashbury College, Ottawa, Ontario

As you practice your craft on us, I am always impressed with your skills to weave a story of your past experiences, good management theory and your knowledge of our staff into a quilt work of problem solving and self discovery. I think your intimate knowledge of our organization could be of immense value to our new CEO.

Staff Member – Catalina Island Conservancy, Avalon, CA

I personally congratulated (the Head) for his sagacity and courage in bringing you in to help us. I wish to do everything possible to implement your recommendations and have volunteered to help in any way I can. Thank you for your perception and communication skills.

Teacher – Stanstead College, Quebec

I would have loved for everyone to have heard you- I think your message was an important one.

Teacher – Stanstead College, Quebec

Your stories really hit home and give all of us food for thought. I enjoyed having the opportunity to take part in the group. It helps me to be more aware of the concerns in the Senior School and to get to know my colleagues a little more. I think we all feel that progress was made in some areas since your first visit and I most certainly look forward to seeing growth continue in our school environment.

Teacher – Stanstead College, Quebec

It is I who owe you a big thank you for your very skillful facilitation of our opening meetings on faculty climate. Clearly, you possess an extraordinary skill for getting people into the boat and rowing in the right direction. I appreciated your candor and discretion.

Teacher – Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Newton, MA

Thank you for bringing your insights and vision to our school. You are amazingly perceptive and personal without being invasive. I was very impressed with the entire process.

Teacher – Newton Country Day School of the Sacred Heart, Newton, MA

You have helped me as an individual teacher and our school. I wanted you to know that the interview process helped me to learn more about my colleagues and appreciate the different directions that they come from. You reminded me to reflect on why I became a teacher and how important it is to kind that in mind always. It is my hope that the way you have reached and influenced the faculty and board members at Elmwood will in turn able to reach others and create a more stable Elmwood community.

Teacher – Elmwood College, Ottawa, Ontario

Strategic Planning

You were very efficient, knowledgeable and inspiring in your (strategic planning) workshop. Not a minute was wasted and everything was carried out in a very efficient manner. Your stories were touching and inspiring. You are a true expert in this field and we were lucky to have you guide us through this important process.

Teacher, Seoul Foreign School, Seoul, Korea

Thank you for your impressive work of walking us through the initial stage of our Strategic Planning. The process seems so natural and painless for you, and you obviously can work a group to gather information that represents the thought of the masses. We came away with a set of important initiatives, plus the Board and Administrative Team had the opportunity to participate in the collaborative work of charting our school’s plan.

Sr. Administrator, Montgomery Academy, Montgomery, Alabama


Real quickly and clearly you were able to capture an intimate understanding of not just the critical issues to consider, but our culture as well. I was somewhat concerned if you could learn who we were in just a few days and whether or not your final report would then be valid. These concerns were put to rest on day one with you.

Steve Diggs, Executive Director, Emerald Youth Foundation, Knoxville, TN

I was pleased that the Zoo did engage you to put on a governance workshop for its board. Because that workshop was so well-received, the Zoo has subsequently engaged you to put on a workshop for its board on how the board can advance the significant capital campaign (the first one since the Zoo was privatized) in which it is currently engaged. Again, this was a very useful workshop.

Robert H. Graham, Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Directors, Houston Zoo, Houston, TX

The small focus groups were very helpful in terms of obtaining detailed information from the Board members as well as the feedback forms you used to also solicit feedback. The workshop was exceedingly helpful; it far exceeded my expectations. I was amazed at your ability to so quickly identify the key issues facing our Board and organization and then present them very effectively and objectively. I have received numerous comments from Board members who participated about how valuable they believe the sessions were. They have also commented on how impressed they were at how much you were able to accomplish in such a short time. All agreed that this was a very effective use of their time. Coming from our very busy Board members, this is extremely high praise.

Deborah M. Cannon, Former President and CEO, Houston Zoo, Houston TX

I have participated in many consultant sessions on all sorts of topics but you were one of the best. I liked the way you balanced the Board session with so many moving stories to inspire them to action. You never pointed fingers, just pointed out examples that they could identify with. I also like the way you structured the session and gradually built up to the key issues and challenges.

Rick Barongi, EVP, Houston Zoo, Houston, TX School Climate and Morale


We just finished the last session yesterday and as you did with the school, you have left all the stakeholders feeling inspired to action the change that you helped us identify. Your direct style, combined with you sincere interest and care in the person you are talking with gives everyone a sense of corrfort arid trust in being open with their real thoughts and feelings. Which was essential in getting to the root issues, not just the obvious ones. You left us with some very easy solutions to implement ‘today’ that will deal with 70% of the issues which is incredible, but easier to see as a 3rd party who is not in the trenches every day.

Mark Lisburn, Chief Executive Officer, Occupational Safety Group Inc., London, Ontario, Canada