• principalkafele@gmail.com
  • (201) 424-0201

Award-Winning Educator, Internationally-Renowned Education Speaker & Best Selling Author

81c7c119-15fa-4936-a244-474c653277e0Principal Kafele (National Blue Ribbon)

Biography
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 education speakers and school leadership experts in 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—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.

Past Presentations (partial lists)

US Keynotes and Workshops (By State)

ALABAMA (keynotes)
Bessemer City Schools Convocation, Bessemer, AL
Alabama ASCD Leadership Summit, Birmingham, AL
Eufaula City Schools Community Program, Eufaula, AL
Helicon Missionary Baptist Church Male Empowerment Retreat, Grady, AL
Montgomery Public Schools, Montgomery, AL
Tying Men to Education Banquet, Mosses, AL
Selma City School District Staff, Selma, AL
Sheffield City School District, Sheffield, AL
Pike County Schools, Troy, AL
Troy City Schools, Troy, AL

ALABAMA (workshops)
Bessemer City Schools (leadership teams), Bessemer, AL
Birmingham City Schools (assistant principals), Birmingham, AL
Ramsay High School, Birmingham, AL
Erwin Middle School, Birmingham, AL
Center Point High School, Birmingham, AL
Decatur City Middle Schools Summer Retreat, Birmingham, AL
Brookhaven Middle School, Decatur, AL
West Decatur Elementary School, Decatur, AL
Girard Middle School, Dothan, AL
Honeysuckle Middle School, Dothan, AL
Blount High School (Mobile Public Schools), Eight Mile, AL
Eufaula City Schools (district), Eufaula, AL
Lowndes County Public Schools, Fort Deposit, AL
AAMU/UAH Regional Inservice Center (administrators), Huntsville, AL
Lee HS, Huntsville, AL
Huntsville City Schools (principals), Huntsville, AL
Huntsville City Schools (assistant principals), Huntsville, AL
Rolling Hills Elementary School, Huntsville, AL
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Leadership Institute, Huntsville, AL
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Leadership Convention, Mobile, AL
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Leadership Institute, Mobile, AL
Montgomery Public Schools (district administrators), Montgomery, AL
Southlawn Middle School, Montgomery, AL
Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools Leadership Institute, Prattville, AL
Scarborough Middle School, Mobile, AL
Selma City Schools (principals), Selma, AL
Sheffield City School District (administrators and teachers) Sheffield, AL
Sylacauga City Schools, Sylacauga, AL
Pike County Schools, Troy, AL
Tuscaloosa City Schools (administrators), Tuscaloosa, AL
Holt High School, Tuscaloosa, AL

ALASKA (keynote)
Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals Conference, Anchorage, AK
Leader Presence, LLC Leadership Summit, Anchorage, AK

ALASKA (workshop)
Alaska Association of Secondary School Principals Conference, Anchorage, AK

ARIZONA (keynote)
Yuma Union High School District, Yuma, AZ

National Education Conferences

American Association of School Personnel Administrators
ASCD Annual Conference
ASCD Conference on Educational Leadership
ASCD Conference on Teaching Excellence
ASCD Fall Conference
ASCD Summer Conference
ASCD Summer Institute
ASCD Pre-Conference Institute
At-Risk Youth National Forum
Black Educators Rock Conference
Catapult Learning Leadership Institute
College Board National Office for School Counselor Advocacy
Dev. Resources / Nat. Symposium on School Discipline Practices
Gurian Institute (Summer Institute)
Innovative Schools Summit
Learning Forward Annual Conference
Learning Forward Summer Conference
National Alliance of Black School Educators
National Association for Alternative Certification
National Association for Multicultural Education
National Association for the Education of Young Children
National Association of Elementary School Principals
National Association of Secondary School Principals
National Black Child Development Institute
National Dropout Prevention Network
National Education Association
National Middle School Association
National Principals Conference (NAESP/NASSP)
National Title I Association
New Teacher Center Symposium
Principals Partnership Summer Leadership Institute
School Climate & Culture Forum
SDE Conference for Extraordinary Educators
SDE Differentiated Instruction Intensive Institute
SDE National Conference on Differentiated Instruction
SDE National Conference on Reading, Writing, Math & More
SDE Pre-Conference Administrators Summit
SREB High Schools That Work Conference
Successful Innovations National Family Engagement Conference

International Keynotes and Workshops

INTERNATIONAL (keynotes)
Dare to be Great Seminar, Quota International of Aruba, Palm Beach, Aruba
DBEN Parent / Community Forum, Ajax, ON, Canada
DBEN School Leadership Forum, Whitby, ON, Canada
St. Marguerite d’Youville Secondary Sch., Brampton, ON, Canada
Northwest School Division, Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, Canada
Caribbean & International Social Work Educators Conf., Curacao
Curacao ASCD (Educators Forum), Curacao
Curacao Principals and Central Office Administrators, Curacao
University of the Netherlands Antilles, Opening Ceremony, Curacao
Community Forum, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
ECE Education Symposium, St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean
St. Maarten ASCD Conference, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Love of Kids Foundation, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Man Up Conference, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Croix, USVI
Man Up Conference, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, USVI
St. Thomas / St. John Prof. Dev. Conf., St. Thomas, U.S.V.I
St. Thomas / St. John Parent University, St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

INTERNATIONAL (workshops)
Bermuda Union of Teachers Annual Conf., Devonshire, Bermuda
David Suzuki Secondary School, Brampton, ON, Canada
Fresh Start Suspension Program, Brampton, ON, Canada
Peel Alternative School, Brampton, ON, Canada
Avon Maitland District School Board (principals), Niagara on the Lake, ON, Canada
Bendale Business & Technical Inst., Scarborough, ON, Canada
Julius E. Sprauve School, St. John, U.S.V.I.
St. Maarten ASCD Conference, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Love of Kids Foundation, St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Trinidad and Tobago ASCD Forum (admin., teachers, parents & students), Trincity, Trinidad

Awards (partial lists)

2019
  • East Orange Lifetime Citizen Award
2018
  • East Orange (NJ) Hall of Fame
  • National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc. Alpha Chapter
  • SPAN Parent Advocacy Network Champion of Education Equity Award
  • Omega Psi Phi (Louisville) Men of Quality Award
2015
  • OMG Photography Educator of the Year Award
  • Phi Beta Sigma Kappa Beta Sigma Chapter Excellence in Education Award
2014
  • The Black Man Can Institute Extraordinary Black Man Award
  • NAACP of Warren/Sussex County (NJ) Educator of Excellence Award
  • Denver Black Community Service Award
2013
  • Kean University Distinguished Alumni Award
  • Ujima Award for Professional Development
  • New Brunswick Area NAACP Education Advocacy Award
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition
  • National Alliance of Black School Educators Hall of Fame Award
  • Community Awards Banquet (Newark) Educator of the Year
  • NYC City Council Citation for Outstanding Service
2012
  • Congressman Donald M. Payne, Sr. Torchbearer for Education Award
  • Staten Island NAACP William A. Morris Award
  • NJ Dept. of State Martin Luther King Proclamation
2011
  • E. Alma Flagg School Community Service Award
  • New Jersey Education Association Award for Excellence
  • Orange HS MLK Community Service Award
  • Nu Beta Beta Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
2010
  • Babyland Family Services Education Award
  • Historical Society of East Orange Award
  • Catalyst for Change Award
  • Proclamation, Office of the Mayor, Wilmington, DE
  • Young Men Employment Network Educator of the Year Award
  • Resolution, Essex County (NJ) Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • Resolution, City of East Orange, NJ
  • Green's School of Martial Arts Lifetime Achievement Award
2009
  • Citation, Office of the Mayor, Jersey City, NJ
  • Great Commission Ministry Empowerment Seminar Awardr
  • Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
  • Clark School People of Influence Award
2008
  • Person of the Month (December), Samuel Huntington School
  • Nat. Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Epsilon Chi Chapter
  • Iota Phi Theta Fraternity, Phi Omega Chapter Heritage Award
  • Af. Am. Heritage Parade Comm. Selfless Service Award
  • Essex County Civic Club Educational Service Award
2007
  • All Stars Project of NJ Phat Friend Award
  • Jersey City Branch NAACP Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Award
  • Restoring the Legacy Award, God's Promise CDC
2006
  • SMART PROGRAM, Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School
  • SHU Student Support Services Black History Program
  • Citation, Office of the Borough President, Brooklyn, NY
  • Louisville Urban League Education Summit
2005
  • Links for Life Award
  • Marcus Garvey Achievement Award for Community Service
  • Kids and Cadets Award, Rahway High School
  • Village Award, African American Positive Male Role Model
  • Community Service Award, United Clergy of the Oranges
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Award, United Methodist Church
2004
  • Community Strengthening Leadership Award, NCNB
  • Teach One/Reach One Award, Academy II
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers
2003
  • Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., Delta Pi Chapter Citation Award
2002
  • Minority Achiever of the Year Award, E. Orange YMCA
  • Proclamation, City of East Orange, NJ
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers (twice)
2000
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers
  • Eagle Flight Squadron Outstanding Educator Award
1998
  • Who's Who Among America's Teachers
  • Proclamation, City of Dickinson, TX (Baruti K. Kafele Day)
1997
  • Award of Distinction, Mayor of Jersey City, NJ
  • Nominated NJ Teacher of the Year for the Humanities
1996
  • Proclamation, Governor of New Jersey
  • NJEA Award, Teacher of the Year
  • EOEA Pride in Public in Education Award
  • Teacher of the Year, Essex County and E. Orange Schools
  • Exemplary Program Award for Parental Involvement
1995
  • Man of Integrity Award, Evangelical Gospel Tabernacle
1994
  • Outstanding Contribution to Black Youth, Roslyn, NY
1992
  • Best New Writer Award, UB/US Communications Systems
1986
  • Who's Who Amongst Students in Am. Univ. and Colleges
  • Academic Excellence Award, Kean College BSU
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
  • Lambda Alpha Sigma Liberal Arts and Sciences Honor Society