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Baruti  Kafele

Baruti Kafele

Best Selling Author & K12 Education Leader

Biography

Principal Baruti Kafele, a highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years, has distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, in addition to being named the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Principal Kafele was a finalist for New Jersey State Teacher of the Year and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence. Read More >

As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele led the turnaround of four New Jersey urban schools, including "The Mighty" Newark Tech—which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, and which was recognized three times by U.S. News and World Report as one of America's best high schools.

One of the most sought-after school leadership and classroom equity presenters in America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! He has delivered over 2500 conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars and student assemblies over his 35 years of public speaking. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority on providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the "Attitude Gap.” In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored twelve books, including his seven ASCD best sellers - Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life, Closing the Attitude Gap, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?The Teacher 50, The Principal 50, The Assistant Principal 50 and his newest release, The Equity & Social Justice Education 50.

Principal Kafele is the creator and host of the popular Virtual Assistant Principal Leadership Academy, streamed live every Saturday morning on his Virtual AP Leadership Academy YouTube channel @ 10:55 EST. He is the recipient of over 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, induction into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame, recognition as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals for 2020, 2021 & 2022 by Global Gurus Top 30 and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day. Read Less ^

Speech Topics

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Effective School Leadership

One of the current hot topics in education is "Diversity, Equity & Inclusion." This highly engaging, interactive, self-reflective workshop or keynote address focuses on school leadership relative to issues of diversity, equity & inclusion in their schools. It challenges school leaders to look within themselves relative to how they see, treat and relate with their staffs and students in these areas. It challenges school leaders to confront whatever biases they may bring to their own leadership practices which may be implicit or explicit. It argues that high-performance is an impossibility in school learning environments where the recognition of diversity coupled with equitable and inclusionary practices fail to exist. Principal Kafele will share strategies toward creating and sustaining equity and inclusion in a diverse student learning environment which will be inclusive of important conversations around race and cultural competence.

Equity, Social Justice Education, Race & Effective School Leadership

One of the current hot topics in education is district, school and classroom level equity toward children of color and other underserved student populations. This highly engaging, interactive, self-reflective workshop or keynote address focuses on school leadership relative to issues of equity, social justice education and race in the classroom. It challenges school leaders to look within themselves relative to how they see, treat and relate with their staffs and students in these areas. It challenges school leaders to confront whatever biases they may bring to their own leadership practices that may be unconscious, implicit and / or explicit. It argues that high-performance is an impossibility in school learning environments where equity fails to exist. Principal Kafele will share strategies toward creating and sustaining an equitable school environment which will be inclusive of important conversations around race, diversity, cultural competence, and the infusion of social justice education.

Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?

Based on Principal Kafele’s best-selling book, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?, Principal Kafele will challenge each principal and assistant principal to examine their own leadership identity, presence, impact, mission, purpose, vision and value as the leaders of their schools, which will include discussions on whether or not they have in fact defined these leadership attributes within themselves. The entire workshop is highly engaging and interactive and the keynote is high-energy. It promises to inspire principals and assistant principals to think deeply and critically about their roles as leaders of their schools and whether or not their schools are better schools because they are the leaders of them. As Principal Kafele states in his opening, “My intent is to create discomfort, tension and uneasiness in the room. Inspiration lasts for a few hours. Discomfort, tension and uneasiness endure until they are corrected.”

Is My School, Team, Department, Division or District Better BECAUSE I Lead It?

In this empowering workshop or keynote address, Principal Kafele takes school, team, department, division and district leaders on an in depth, self-reflective, highly interactive journey that will force participants to view with a critical eye who they are as leaders within their given leadership capacities which will include the intentionality behind all aspects of their work. Principal Kafele will challenge school, team, department, division and district leaders to look deeply within themselves for greater meaning and understanding of their own personal value and worth to the staff and students that they lead. As one workshop attendee stated, “Principal Kafele, your questions have shaken the very foundation upon which my leadership stands!” This workshop is certain to take participants to higher levels of leadership effectiveness.

Does Instruction Thrive Under My Leadership? A Discussion on Effective Instructional Leadership

Principal Kafele contends emphatically that, “The purpose of staff supervision is the continued improvement of instruction!” Due to the complexities of the principalship, it is easy for principals to be so inundated by the non-instructional aspects of school leadership that the instructional side of their leadership suffers. When their instructional side suffers, it adversely impacts the entire school. The principal is the instructional leader of the school. Consequently, there is a direct correlation between how effectively the principal leads the school instructionally and student achievement. To that end, in this highly-engaging, self-reflective workshop (or keynote address), Principal Kafele will provide school leaders with strategies toward maintaining a focus on the instructional side of their leadership toward increasing the probability that achievement will soar. Topics covered will include the correlation between instructional leadership and student achievement; building collegial relationships with staff; planning, organization and time management; and the principal as professional developer.

Climate & Culture are a Reflection of MY leadership

It is easy to look at a toxic school climate and culture and attribute this reality to external factors that inevitably impact a school adversely such as home and neighborhood challenges and realities that ever-so-often accompany students into the building. In this highly-engaging, self-reflective workshop (or keynote address), Principal Kafele will make the case that despite home and neighborhood challenges that might accompany students into a school, school leaders can nevertheless command a powerful influence over the climate and culture of their schools. He contends that despite the challenges of the work, the climate and culture of the school are a direct reflection of the school’s leadership. Topics covered will include, the attitude of the leadership, the intentionality of the interactions and relationships in the building, the school’s brand identity, and parental / community engagement.