What has Changed in Schools and How to be Prepared for What is to Come? | Jim Wickenden and Jennifer Fleischer | 5 Min Read

By James Wickenden and Jennifer Fleischer, Talent Consultant at DRG Talent Advisory Group

Making predictions is always risky because the chances of being wrong are greater than the chances of today’s Congress working together harmoniously and productively. Nonetheless, both our government and we are willing to try. In so doing, we are relying on our collective past experiences to give us a few ideas about the future.  

In total, we have worked in schools and with schools for over 70 school years. From the classroom to the board room, and from the thickest of the weeds to the 30,000-foot views, we have seen schools and their stakeholders manage goals, initiatives, fads, lasting change, and crises throughout this time. We’ve had the opportunity to partner, consult, learn, and advise with school people at all levels. The major issues schools wrestled with during the early 2000s are quite different from the issues that are now confronting the leaders of both public and independent schools. 

For example, in the early 2000s, the following issues were frequently discussed by trustees, Heads of School, and teachers:  

  • Developing 21st Century Skills; Developing character; 
  • Linking pedagogy to brain research on how students learn; 
  • Using…
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Jim Wickenden

Jim is a Principal at DRG and Founder of Wickenden Associates, an affiliate of DRG. Having been the CEO of one of the premier education executive search firms in the United States, Jim brings unparalleled experience and networks to best serve clients. With over 30 years of experience identifying and guiding Heads of Schools and other senior administrators of schools across the country, Jim approaches each search with flexibility and openness that responds to the individual needs and concerns of schools and their leaders. Before founding Wickenden Associates, Jim served as the Dean of Admissions at Princeton University and Director of Student and Alumni Affairs at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. A graduate of Tabor Academy and Princeton University, Jim holds a master’s degree in Counselor Education from Rutgers University, a master’s degree in the General Purposes of Education from Harvard University, and a doctorate in Counseling Psychology from Boston University. As a former member of eight boards of independent schools with a wide range of missions and resource levels, Jim also knows firsthand the responsibilities shouldered by today’s trustees; and knows how to guide boards through tough transition processes and on good governance practices. Jim lives in Princeton, NJ, and when he is not at the office he enjoys reading enlightening books.