Recipient of the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence and the prestigious Milken National Educator Award, Principal Baruti Kafele is ON FIRE! He has distinguished himself as an award-winning educator, an internationally-renowned speaker and a best-selling author.
As an elementary school teacher in East Orange, NJ, Principal Kafele was selected as the East Orange School District and Essex County Public Schools Teacher of the Year. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different urban New Jersey schools, including “The Mighty” Newark Tech, which went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national acclaim, which included U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it as one of America’s best high schools.
One of the most sought-after education speakers in America, Principal Kafele has delivered more than 1000 conference keynotes, professional development workshops, parental engagement seminars and student empowerment assemblies since leaving his principalship 5 years ago. An expert in the area of “attitude transformation,” Principal Kafele is the leading authority for providing effective classroom and school leadership strategies toward closing what he coined, the “attitude gap” – defined as, “the gap between those students who have the WILL to achieve excellence and those who do not.”
A prolific writer, Principal Kafele has written extensively on professional development strategies for creating a positive school climate and culture, transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom and school leadership practices for inspiring school-wide excellence. In addition to writing several professional articles on these topics for popular education journals, he is the author of seven books which include his national best-sellers, Closing the Attitude Gap, Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life and The Principal 50. His eighth book, The Teacher 50 will be released in August, 2016.
Principal Kafele is married to his wife Kimberley, and is the father of their three children, Baruti, Jabari and Kibriya. He earned his B.S. degree in Management Science/Marketing from Kean University and his M.A. degree in Educational Administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of over one hundred fifty educational, professional and community awards which include the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.