PMP292: The Profile of a School Leader with Dr. Garth Larson

Garth Larson, Ed.D is the Co-Founder and CEO of FIRST Educational Resources. Garth has previously worked as the Director of Learning for the Winneconne Community School District in northeast Wisconsin, was an elementary principal in two separate buildings and started his career in education as a high school speech and English teacher.

In 2011, Garth formed Wisconsin Educational Resources (now FIRST) with a focus on improving student achievement across the United States. Since 2011, over 2000 school districts throughout the globe have become partnership districts with his company. Garth currently consults with school districts around the world and provides customized professional development around a variety of topics, mainly Professional Learning Communities 2.0, Learning-Centered Grading Practices, Leadership and School Improvement. Garth is also the author of Collaborative Systems of Support: Learning for ALL with co-authors Tom Hierck and Chris Weber, Target-Based Grading in Collaborative Teams: 13 Steps to Moving Beyond Standards with co-author Tom Hierck, Grading for Impact: Raising Student Achievement through a Target-Based Assessment and Learning System and PLC 2.0: Collaborating for Observable Impact in Today’s Schools with co-author Cale Birk.

Garth has a Doctorate (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership and Policy from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (WI), Master’s of Arts in Educational Leadership from Marian University in Fond du Lac, WI and a Bachelors of Science in Education (English and Speech Communications) from the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (WI). 

Something Garth has really been focusing on with schools lately is helping to create a profile of a school leader. Many schools do this so often with creating a portrait of a graduate in our schools, we may fail to understand the teachers and leaders we wish to cultivate in our buildings. In this episode, he talks about that in relation to the question, “What is the Observable Impact in my building as a result of my leadership?”

Listen-in as we discuss:

  • Why it is important for leaders to consider creating their own profile
  • Suggestions when guiding leaders through this practice
  • What ways this practice may be transferable to teachers or others on your school teams
  • How leaders can measure or access the observable impact they are having as a result of their leadership

We also discuss a recent NPR/Ipsos poll of parents and what they think about schools that you can find here:

Want more learning this summer? I’ll be joining Garth Larson as a breakout speaker for an upcoming virtual summit: Check out the Learner First Leadership Summit June 21-22, 2022 at

Stay connected with Garth via email:

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William D. Parker
William D. Parker