Meet 13 of the Nation’s Most Exceptional School District Leaders (Video Profiles)

By Carmen Rojas — March 04, 2016 1 min read
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Each year, Education Week searches for some of the nation’s outstanding school district leaders to spotlight in the annual Leaders to Learn From special report and corresponding video profiles. These individuals embody the principles of innovative district-level leadership, and their stories offer valuable insights and inspiration to the field and the public at large.

The 2016 Leaders to Learn From are no exception—the following videos are among our favorites, and show how school leaders can work with their communities to mitigate poverty, expand arts education, and develop English-language proficiency. Watch as these leaders share their struggles and successes:

Steve Webb and Tom Hagley - Superintendent and Chief of Staff, Vancouver (Wash.) Public Schools

I absolutely think it's a responsibility of this public education system to work together to provide neighborhood assets and revitalize our communities."

When housing prices rose and major employers left the Vancouver, Wash., area, school district leaders took action to address the economic issues their students faced. Through the creation of resource centers for students and their families, Steve Webb and Tom Hagley have tackled the effects of poverty head on.

Myran Parker-Brass, Executive Director for the Arts, Boston Public Schools

The arts are there to help our children understand how to learn."

Myran Parker-Brass, a classically trained musician herself, doubled the number of arts educators in her district, and has tirelessly pushed for greater expansion of arts education in Boston’s public schools.

Michael Matsuda, Superintendent, Anaheim (Calif.) Union High School District

I think about my parents and their struggle, on behalf of their kids, when I interact with parents today."

Michael Matsuda’s passion for the ELL community is personal. His relatives were among the thousands of Japanese-American citizens detained in internment camps in the 1940s, and the pain, humiliation, and educational disruption they experienced has guided his focus and leadership. In Anaheim’s schools, he devotes his time to helping long-term English-learners and other “invisible students” gain opportunities to thrive.

Even More Leaders to Learn From

Enjoyed these profiles? Head over to the Leaders to Learn From website to hear from other leaders, learn more about the project, and sign up for upcoming events.

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Air: A Video Blog blog.