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Reflections from a visit to Moorseville, NC

Posted by on in Education Leadership
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In our School District, we proudly educate all children each and every day with the motto and belief mission ofENGAGE, INSPIRE, EMPOWER.In support of engaged instruction, we apply this motto to our leadership as well. Thankfully, with the support of the Board of Education, I am allowed to participate in high level professional development and thought leadership with other school leaders from around the country to learn and grow as well as to apply that which is working elsewhere to our collective work Deerfield!

Recently on a “vision quest” with the AASA Digital Consortium, I went on a pilgrimage to the “mecca” of digital transformation, 1:1 growth and success, and ingrained and sustained culture. InMoorseville, North Carolina, home of 2013 AASA National Superintendent of the year Dr. Mark Edwards, I observed classrooms, spoke with teachers, students, and administrators, and engaged in thought leadership sessions with other superintendents from around the US. Our commonalities as innovative school leaders in search of solutions and ideas about how to support and continue to support innovative and engaging instructional practices for all children were shared in many communication sessions and thinking sessions.

A neat video we saw in one of our sessions shows the world we live in regarding technological realities as well the world we prepare our students for. As I’ve written many times,for many years, we are preparing children for their future  –  not for our past. 


Some of you might be thinking “why did you go to Moorseville, NC?” – “why is it so special?” Well … for starters, Dr. Mark Edwards is an outstanding leader and he has served as superintendent of schools for nine years – three times the average tenure for a superintendent. And thePresident of the United States of America announced the Future Ready initiativein Moorseville, NC.In Moorseville I saw the results of leadership, culture building, and sustained excellence – and oh, yes – technology too.The technology is not the focus– it’s the learning, the cultural expectations, and the integration of the 4C’s for students and staff.

See Dr. Edwards’ comments after being awarded the National Superintendent honor in 2013:

The Four C’s (Collaboration, Creativity, Critical Thinking, Communication)drive and provide the foundation for excellence in education. The personalization and communication and reach of the technological tools serve as accelerators for instruction.

During this trip we discussed why we need to change – the moral imperative – why we need to change learning for all students and for their future. We discussed the challenges in funding, infrastructure, stubborn systems, and we discussed the hope and the promise for growth, innovation, and change as well. We shared stories of success that we can share and replicate – andwe shared stories of failure so that others may learn what to avoid and not repeat mistakes. We discussed consumption and curation and creation of knowledge, skills, learning, and expression. We discussedCHANGE– first order, second order – sustained change. During this learning experience with superintendents from Virginia, Arizona, South Carolina, Tennessee, Indiana, Idaho, North Carolina, Arkansas, Washington, New Jersey, Nebraska, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, and Ohio, we continued the needed dialogue about the transition in public education. With the support and guidance of the AASA and other partners and partnerships with those in the public education industry, our quest is to lead education at the highest levels of success for all students.

Through the Moorseville “magic” and sustained excellence and fidelity to its mission, we identified culture building, relationship building, digital resource building – essentially examples of success in PK-12 system leadership. In addition, we started to craft our own call to action for continuing the conversations and leadership of the conversion of our educational system. Our vision is one that activates creativity for all learners and one that leverages technology tools with engaged pedagogy.As Jim Collins points outthrough his team research on excellence, the challenge is not to be good … it is to beGREAT!


also published at www.dps109supt.blogspot.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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