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Our Story

How We Got Started

TheSchoolHouse302 (#SH302) started on the trails of White Clay Creek, during what we call “write-and-runs.” We love to run and found that sharing thoughts and ideas was incredibly easy and cathartic. As leaders, educators, presenters, and thinkers, we often find ourselves discussing work, innovative ideas, political trends, organizational design, leadership theory, and more. As a result, we started a write-and-run series during our long runs with pit stops when the ideas from our conversations prompt a topic to write about. We joke that we have more ideas than people who will listen to them. And, we both love to write. That’s how this site and subsequent consulting venture got started.

As it happens, we also speak for the purpose of leadership development, both within our organizations (school districts, universities, and colleges), and on the national stage. We’re a value-driven partnership with the idea that we aim to add value by using core values and simple principles. We want to share ideas, and we hope you’ll find them helpful in your efforts to grow as a leader, to grow your organization, or to grow the capacity of leaders within your organization. Simply put: we want you to lead better and grow faster. We hope you like our #SH302 leadership blog posts, our #onethingseries leadership interviews, our #readthisseries vblog book recommendations, and our #reviewandreflect posts where we look back to step forward.


What We Do

The Principles of School Leadership

  • We can build the capacity of the school leaders in your district by demonstrating how a few key strategies can make all the difference. Let us know the specifics of what your leaders need, and we’ll create an experience that will have an immeditate impact on their performance. 

Manage Change in Schools

  • We help schools across the country to build the capacity of their teacher leaders to support a distributive leadership model to manage change in schools. We can show you how a teacher leadership model can help to sustain key initiatives. The main point is that your teacher leaders need leadership training. Let us show you how that works with our proven model. 

Organizational Culture

  • Let us help you with everything from methods of feedback to communication to managing employee behaviors in your organization. Our Passionate Leadership book is a great place to start when we want to tackle culture in schools. 

Supervision and Performance Capacity

  • Let us show you the difference between supervising employee performance and managing employee expectations. We can make your organization stronger through hiring and firing practices, improving performance, and demonstrating leadership. 

Setting the Instructional Focus

  • This is one of our favorites. We present on our Sweet 16–sixteen of the most highly effective instructional practices. Then, we get your team (teachers or leaders) to select a set of Principles of Instruction for your school–a unique instructional model used for lesson planning. Your team will have more focus and effectiveness than ever. This is best as a 2 or 3-day session.

Teacher Feedback Models

  • We are very certain that in one short visit to your district, we can change the way your principals provide feedback to teachers that will systematically improve instruction in the classroom. Show us your informal and formal feedback tools and we can transform them into something far more useful. We’ll back up your new design with concepts from our Candid and Compassionate Feedback book. 

Servant Leadership

  • Do you have dictators or micro-managers in your organization? Allow us to demonstrate the effectiveness of servant leadership principles that can transform the way you do business. 

Using Data to Make Decisions

  • These days we’re all inundated with data in our schools and district. Let us show you how to make it simple. We have what we call Treasure Troves, which should be driving conversations, feedback, and data-informed decision-making. You might have a ton of data, but are you using it well at the school and classroom level? 

Building a Winning Team

  • Let us put a refresh on your reputation, recruitment, and hiring practices. Our Building a Winning Team book is a great place to start. We’ll help you to market your school or district, attract top talent, and hire great people into an award winning culture.

Curriculum and Instruction

  • With Common Core, teachers have access to what to teach more now than ever before. But, organizing it into cohesive units, lessons, and assessments is still under construction in many districts. Let us consult with your teaching and learning branch to create the foundation of a more cohesive plan for supporting teachers with better materials. We can both evaluate your current process and set you in an improved direction. 

Virtual Coaching & Master Classes

  • We offer individual and team coaching. Our audience is typically teacher leaders, assistant principals, principals, and principal supervisors. 
  • We do book studies on our books, which can be done via Zoom or in person. 
  • We run Master Classes–5 weeks, 1.25 hours per week, 5 different skills. You earn an ebadge for participating, and you’ll be a master in the topic we cover. Stay tuned for these or ask us to build one for your team. 

Something Unique

  • Call us. Let us know what you think is the problem that’s thwarting your success or holding you back from achieving more. We can help, and we customize. We can build something to deliver to you and your people, we can start with a site visit and then build something for you to deliver, or we can visit and build something for us to stay and deliver in the same or next visit. We can come for as short of a visit as 1 day or as long as 3 days. And, don’t hesitate to ask because we have a team that can handle all of your PD needs from top-to-bottom. 

How to Follow & Experience Our Resources

The Three Best Ways to Follow Our Work…

Follow TheSchoolHouse302 Blog Site: If you want to read our posts on the topic of leadership, being a school principal, teacher leadership, organizational leadership, district office leadership, the use of data to drive decisions, innovations in teaching, learning, leading, and more, then just check our site often for new posts—www.theschoolhouse302.com. On any one of the pages you can enter your email address to get our weekly newsletter.


Follow Joe and T.J. on Twitter: If you want updates when we post and other interesting ideas, then follow us on Twitter @tjvari and @josephjonessr.  You’ll get links to the site and other fun stuff that we post, including any professional development we’re doing locally and nationally.


Book Us to Support Your Organization: If you want help in your organization—school, school district, or business—and you think we can provide a service, contact us. Listed above are just some of the topics we can cover, and we customize our visits and services. In other words, you tell us what you think you need based on the topics we cover, and we’ll make a totally unique presentation, seminar, consultation, or conference just for you. We can handle anything from a keynote to your entire professional development day (or days).

Get to Know Joe

Get to Know TJ

Our Vision & Core Values

Our Vision: To create an international network of leaders who are dedicated to improvement for the betterment of all people.

Our Purpose: To develop leaders by getting to simple so that they can lead better and grow faster.

Our Mantra: Leadership might be complex but it doesn’t have to be complicated.

Our Promise: To provide content and experiences for our audience to gain a combination of hope for the future of their work, empowerment for taking charge of their lives, and solutions for complex problems that we make simple.

Our Core Values

Simple–Leading others, inspiring change, and improving the world might be complex, sophisticated work, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.” ~ Albert Einstein

Integrity–An honest, candid approach is always best. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say is how we model trust. Always confront the reality of every situation. “Address the tough directly. Acknowledge the unsaid.” ~ Stephen Covey

Maximize–Optimize performance for the best possible results. Look for efficiencies and measure for effectiveness. “The objective is to control your time–a non-renewable resource–and apply it where you have the highest leverage or enjoyment.” ~ Tim Ferriss

Play–Don’t blur the lines between work and play…erase them. Doing what you’re most passionate about should be fun and energizing, not stressful and tiring. “No man can succeed in a line of endeavor which he does not like.” ~ Napoleon Hill

Live–It’s vastly important to live life to its fullest, communicating nothing but love for family and friends and having a deep faith in humanity. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did.” ~ Mark Twain

Equip–Empower others with the gifts they have and deserve. Serve first and you shall be served. “You can have anything you want in life if you just help enough people get what they want.” ~ Zig Ziglar

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Claim Your FREE Copy to Our Praise Practice- Practical Praise Giving Tips for Principals

Learn how you can give practical praise each day as you lead your school to develop a better and more positive culture through this complimentary eBook we use in our workshops to help principals all over the nation and subscribe for more resources like this one delivered to your inbox. 

Congratulations on claiming your copy - you may download it here: https://theschoolhouse302.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Technical-Tip-Praise-Practice-A-Model-for-Specific-Praise.pdf

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