A “Hall of Fame” urban public school educator in New Jersey for over twenty years, Principal Baruti Kafele distinguished himself as a classroom teacher and as a 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. As a middle and high school principal, he led the transformation of four different 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.
An internationally-renowned education speaker and consultant, Principal Kafele is one of the most sought-after speakers for transforming the attitudes of at-risk student populations in America. A versatile speaker, he regularly conducts conference keynote addresses, professional development workshops, parental engagement seminars and male empowerment meetings. He works with hundreds of schools and districts to assist them with closing what he coined, the “attitude gap” – the gap between those students who have the will to strive for academic excellence and those who do not.
A best-selling author, Principal Kafele is a leading authority 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 development. In addition to writing several professional articles on these topics for popular education journals, he is the author of the best-selling books, Closing the Attitude Gap, Motivating Black Males to Achieve in School and in Life, A Handbook for Teachers of African American Children and A Black Parent’s Handbook to Educating Your Children (Outside of the Classroom).
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 educational, professional and community awards which include the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the Milken National Educator Award, the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.