A highly regarded urban educator in New Jersey for more than 20 years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a master teacher and a transformational school leader. As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, he was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, he was a New Jersey State Teacher of the Year finalist, and a recipient of the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence.
As a middle and high school principal, Kafele led the turnaround of four different New Jersey urban schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition.
One of the most sought-after school leadership experts and education speakers in America, Kafele has delivered more than 2,000 presentations over his 34 years of public speaking. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Kafele is the leading authority for providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the “Attitude Gap.”
A prolific writer, Kafele has written extensively on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk students, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom and school leadership practices for inspiring schoolwide excellence. He has authored 10 books, including his six Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development best-sellers: The ASPIRING Principal 50, Is My School a Better School BECAUSE I Lead It?, The Principal 50, The Teacher 50, Closing the Attitude Gap, and Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School & in Life. His next book, The ASSISTANT Principal 50, will be released in summer 2020.
Kafele earned his bachelor’s degree in management science/marketing from Kean University and his master’s degree in educational administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of more than 150 educational, professional and community awards, including the Milken National Educator Award; the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award; induction into the East Orange, NJ, Hall of Fame; and the city of Dickinson, TX, proclaiming February 8, 1998, as Baruti Kafele Day.