Lee Jenkins

Lee Jenkins


In 1990 I was serving as a California superintendent of a public school district in California when I first heard of Dr. W. Edwards Deming. Lew Rhoades of the American Association of School Administrators told me that I needed to learn what he has to say about leadership. I read books about Dr. Deming and then in 1992 heard him in person for four days.

This was his only time, to the best of my knowledge, which he spoke to educators as his primary audience. Most of the seminar was the same as he shared with his business and military audiences, but a small portion was different. He stated that for some unknown reason educators adopted athletic statistics for education. The aim of athletic statistics is to create one and only one winner. The aim of education, however, is to create as many winners as possible. He then went on to briefly describe how statistics would look when used to create as many winners as possible.

I was tuned in and excited to say the least

I returned to California and immediately began to figure out how Dr. Deming’s ideas actually would work. It took several years to learn the basics. Every week, thirteen years later, more is learned about implementation. I continued in the superintendency for eight more years and have now completed five years as a full-time consultant, speaker and author. Nine books have been written to expand upon what Dr. Deming’s taught in 1992. I first wrote the details of the data collecting process in 1996. The second edition of Improving Student Learning was published in 2003. This book described the “How” but not the “Why.” In 2004 Permission to Forget was published; it details the problems today’s educators inherited that can be overcome with the strategies taught in the From LtoJ® seminars and described in Improving Student Learning. Two books have been written for administrators – Boot Camp for Leaders in K-12 Education and From Systems Thinking to Systemic Action. In addition four classroom teachers wrote books that detail their experiences with Dr. Deming’s concepts. They are listed on the resources pages of this website. I served as editor of these titles. When I first entered education as a teacher, my responsibility was to help students. Then I entered administration and my primary job was to help teachers be all the more successful. As a superintendent, my responsibilities increased to help administrators, board members, teachers and support staff be more successful with their individual responsibilities. Now I am in a role where I help teachers, administrators and board members from all across the US and abroad, to improve student learning.

I thought, erroneously, that when I began the next phase of my career, that I would only be working with strangers. Not so. I have had the privilege of returning over and over to many different school districts over the years. The friendships and successes are significant aspects of my life.

The more formal aspects of my bio are:
BA Point Loma Nazarene UniversityBA Point Loma Nazarene University
M.Ed San Jose State University
Ph.D. The Claremont Graduate University

I’ve been married to Sandy Jenkins since 1964. We have two married sons who reside in North Carolina and Oklahoma and we are blessed with seven grandchildren and one great granddaughter. We have resided in Scottsdale, Arizona since 2002.

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Most followers of systems thinking literature are probably aware of W. Edwards Deming’s estimate that 94 to 97 percent of our problems stem from…