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Public Schools for ALL Learners

Posted by on in Education Leadership
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Hand-in-glove with our faith in democracy, Americans have long believed that in order to fully participate in their government, citizens need to be educated. Our nation’s unflagging commitment to public education has transformed a nation of (mostly) poor immigrants into the world’s largest economy and greatest superpower.The continuing efforts of today’s educators will ensure that Americans continue to prosper for many years to come. - See more at: http://www.educationnews.org/education-policy-and-politics/american-public-education-an-origin-story/#sthash.11j41lrf.dpuf

April 18, 2013 from American Public Education: An Origin Story

Much is written about public schools, private schools, charter schools, accountability, rankings, ratings, etc. Much is written about the huge success of American education as well as the huge needs of American education. To say we are at a crossroads today is an understatement.Now we face the transformational society expectations, economic shifts, geopolitical confusion, and economic realities that cause us to rethink and reimagine schooling. The reformers of new and the reformers of old share common traits - they want to re-form, or re-shape that which they know into something that looks new but really is the same in a new form.

Like many leaders today, I stand for school transformation - reimagine education - re think education - make it somethingUNLIKEthat which I experienced because my past is not going to become our student's future!Transforming how students receive learning facilitation - digital transformation - instructional transformation - assessment transformation - complete focus on excellence is what I stand for! I follow educational heroes like John Hattie and Sir Ken Robinson, and of course Horace Mann and John Dewey.

In our district we are undergoing profound changes at a rapid pace. We are engaging the community, we aremoving mountainsso to speak - we are heralding changes in science, technology, reading, writing, math, world languages, kindergarten, technology - pretty much every area, grade level, subject, topic, facility - pretty much everything - is under review. Over the past two years we have re-imagined science lab spaces through a creative, engaged community process, learning focus, fanatical focus/timeline and with an eye on what students need for future success and what teachers need in terms of learning and teaching support.

At times we face resistance, normal "change management" resistance as well as fundamental design resistance. It's tough in education to be the expert in re-framing education since pretty mucheveryone went to school and knows what worked for them. In our community we are fortunate to have a well educated and invested populace. What's interesting is that many transformations and many innovations are confusing to members of our public because it is education in a new form and it is not part of their worldview, or paradigm, of what schooling is.

In our community we have recently engaged the public in many ways - including but not limited to: Middle School changes (facilities, exploratory courses, social/emotional programming) Full Day Kindergarten (format, structure, financing, location) Progress Reporting (standards based grades, standards based learning) 1:1 Digital Instructional - Transformational Learning Environments (how, why, what, change) Gifted Programming (philosophy, structure, courses, concepts, future impacts) Facility Improvements (air quality/conditioning, life safety, science labs, libraries)

While our public does not always agree 100% with all that we do, our open ears and our open hearts and our open minds allow for and support respectful and responsible dialogue and discourse. Leadership is of course doing what is right and not always what is popular - not easy but necessary.

In closing, one new potential transformation in our community that would impact our schools is a proposed residential neighborhood that would increase student enrollment on one side of town. Of course there are many points of view, many questions and concerns, and in 2015 there are many Facebook pages and forums online.

As the superintendent of schools it is my firm, clear and direct message that in our public school system - ALL CHILDREN are welcome! If we have increases in enrollment we will plan - do - study - and act accordingly. Our standards of excellence only grow stronger and our Engage, Inspire, Empower messaging carries forth with current and future students.


Originally Published http://www.dps109supt.edublogs.org

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Michael Lubelfeld, Ed.D. Mike currently serves as the superintendent of schools in the Deerfield, IL Public Schools (District 109).  Mike is married and is the father of two young children. He lives and works in suburban Chicago. Mike attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science, with a minor in criminal justice. He holds a Master of Arts in teaching and Educational Specialist in administration and supervision from National-Louis University. Mike earned his Doctor of Education in curriculum and instruction from Loyola University of Chicago, where his published dissertation was on Effective Instruction in Middle School Social Studies. Mike has had a variety of experiences as an educational professional. He began his educational career as an elementary and middle school teacher, prior to assuming roles of associate principal and principal at the middle school level, and as an assistant superintendent for personnel services (PK-8). He is also on the adjunct faculty at National Louis University in the Department of Educational Leadership. He can be found on Twitter at @mikelubelfeld and he is the co-moderator of #suptchat - the superintendent educational chat on Twitter with Nick Polyak, and he and Polyak co-authored the book The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today (Rowman-Littlefield Publishers).


Presentations, Certifications

American Association of School Administrators (AASA) National Superintendent Certification Program (2014-2016)

Illinois School of Advanced Leadership (ISAL) through the IASA and Cardinal Stritch University (Milwaukee, WI) Earned title of Fellow (2012-2014)

2017 - Keynote presenter & breakout presenter EdTechTeam Leadership Symposia (OH, CA)

2016 - Presenter at the IASA State Superintendent Conference - Social Media for Supts.

2016 - Co-facilitator IASA Aspiring Superintendent Academy

2016- Co-Director Legislation for the Lake County Superintendents

2015, 2016, 2017 – Presenter at the AASA National Council in Ed – Social Media for Supts.

2015 – Co-Presenter at Suburban Superintendent Roundtable for Northern Illinoishttp://t.co/x8Ls5Ddg00

2015 – Presenter at IASBO A New Design Frontier for Next Generation Learning

2015 – Panelist Leading for Transformative Change at Tech & Learning Live Chicago

2015 – Presenter at Illinois CTO Summit (Center for Digital Education and the Illinois Educational Technology Leaders (IETL)) Leadership and Vision

2015 – Presentation at Discovery Education Superintendent Digital Transition Symposium in Washington, D.C.Telling Our Story: Innovation in DPS109

2015 Presentations at Joint Annual Conference - Social Media for Superintendents and Effective Building Design

2015 Presenter at Illinois Association of School Administrators Annual Conference

2014-present Co-moderate national/international monthly Twitter chat #suptchat

2011 Illinois ASCD Leadership Institute Presenter – Using Danielson Frameworks



Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). I Hear What You’re Saying...And I Respect You. Journal of Scholarship and Practice, Summer 2016/Volume 13. No.2, 44-54.


In Publication: Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2017). Managing Up. Principal (NAESP)


Bullis B., Filippi J., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Reimagined NGSS learning spaces: Principals as holistic school improvement leaders. Principal Leadership, 52-54.


Himebaugh G., Lubelfeld M. (2016). Inspiring a Shared Vision. Update, Spring (Leadership Issue), 24-29.


Lubelfeld M. Rev. of Writing Pathways: Performance Assessments and Learning Progressions, by Lucy Calkins.ILASCD Summer Newsletter, Summer 2016, Volume 62, No. 2: 25-27.


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N. (2017). The Unlearning Leader: Leading for Tomorrow’s Schools Today. Lathan, MD: Rowman-Littlefield. -March 2017


Lubelfeld M., Polyak N., Seibert A. (2016). Leaders in Learning Through AASA’s Digital Consortium. School Administrator, February, 32-33.


Other (Memberships, other experiences)


Suburban Schools Superintendents (SSS)

Illinois & American Association of School Administrators (IASA/AASA,

National Association of School Superintendents (NASS)

Ed Leader 21 Member

Illinois & Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD/ILASCD),

Illinois & American Association of School Business Officials (IASBO),

The Horace Mann League of the USA,

Rotary Club of Deerfield, IL (Secretary 2014-16)

Advisory board member for the Digital Consortium (AASA)

2016 Superintendent Advisory Council - Center for Digital Education

Member Education Advisory Board - Hon. Bob Dold, U.S. Congressman 10th District

Member of Community Advisory Committee on Education – Rep. Scott Drury (IL-58th)

Twitter http://twitter.com/mikelubelfeld

Bilingual (English/Spanish)

Enrolled in intensive Spanish language and Mexican culture classes at the Cuauhnahuac Institute in Cuernavaca, Mexico; lived with Mexican family, 1992



INSPRA video website

NSPRA (National School Public Relations Association) Superintendents to Watch 2015-2016

2016 LifeTouch Memory Mission to the Dominican Republic represented the AASA

NASS (National Assn of School Superintendents) Superintendent of the Year 2015 Finalist

INSPRA (IL Chapter NSPRA) 2014 Distinguished Service Award of Excellence - Superintendent’s Task Force for Middle Level Education

The science labs won the Learning by Design Award for “Outstanding Project” in the Spring of 2016 as well as an Award of Merit in the Exhibition of Educational Environments Awards at the Joint Annual Conference of the Illinois Association of School Administrators, the Illinois Association of School Boards, and the Illinois Association of School Business Officials in 2015.  


DPS109 Science lab project was featured:

Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995


Additional -podcasts and edu talk radio interviews

Quoted in:

Gravel. R.J. (2015). Discover, Acknowledge, Commit: Guidelines for Adopting Administrative Software. School Administrator, December, 44-45.

DPS109 Science lab project was featured:

Johnsos, C., Monberg, G. (2015). Built on Value. Update, Fall (Facilties Isssue), 30-33.


Ullman, E. (2016). The Intelligent Use of Space. Tech & Learning Volume 36, Number 5, 34-38.


Received a 1997 Award of Excellence for Caring to Challenge, from the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy (IMSA)

Selected to represent Illinois on the Social Studies Teachers’ Study Seminar in Germany, sponsored by the ICSS and the Armonk Institute, 1995

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