Baruti Kafele

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

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 experts in North America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! Throughout his 32 years as a public speaker, he has delivered/conducted more than 2,000 conference and program keynotes, professional development workshops, parenting seminars, and student assemblies. 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.”

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 students, motivating Black males to excel in the classroom, and school leadership practices for inspiring schoolwide excellence. In addition to writing several professional articles for popular education journals, he has authored 10 books, including his five ASCD best sellers—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 newest book—The ASPIRING Principal 50: Critical Questions for New and Future School Leaders—will be released in May 2019.

Principal Kafele earned his B.S. in Management Science/Marketing from Kean University and his M.A. in Educational Administration from New Jersey City University. He is the recipient of more than 150 educational, professional, and community awards, including the prestigious Milken National Educator Award and the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award. He was inducted into the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame, and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaimed February 8, 1998 Baruti Kafele Day. He and his wife Kimberley are the parents of three children — Baruti, Jabari, and Kibriya.