Principal Kafele's Bio

A head shot picture of the Principal Kafele

A highly-regarded urban educator in New Jersey for over twenty 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 and New Jersey Teacher of the Year finalist.

As a middle and high school principal, Principal Kafele emerged as a turnaround school leader which included the turnaround of "The Mighty" Newark Tech, that went from a low-performing school in need of improvement to national recognition, including U.S. News and World Report Magazine recognizing it three times as one of America's best high schools and Principal Kafele being awarded the coveted Milken Educator Award.

One of the most sought-after school leadership and classroom equity presenters in America, Principal Kafele is impacting America’s schools! For over 35 years, he has delivered over 3000 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 thirteen 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 The Equity & Social Justice Education 50. Principal Kafele is also the creator and host of the popular AP & New Principals Academy, streamed live every Saturday morning on his AP & New Principals Academy YouTube channel at 10:55 ET.

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 150 educational, professional and community awards which include the prestigious Milken Educator Award, the National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award, the East Orange, New Jersey Hall of Fame Award, the New Jersey Education Association Award of Excellence, recognition as one of the World’s Top 30 Education Professionals by Global Gurus Top 30 for four consecutive years, and the City of Dickinson, Texas proclaiming February 8, 1998 as Baruti Kafele Day.