Ep. 123: Dr. John E. Deasy - Lessons in Leadership


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Sep 10 2020 49 mins   5

Solving BIG problems requires big thinking. John Wooden once said, “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” Even though preparing children to take charge of their learning and their future happens in the classrooms, in actuality, it is set in motion through the mission and vision of personal and institutional leadership; without which, classrooms will simply be ships without sails. With skills to master, personal and situational setbacks to overcome, and trying to make a difference in the world, a lot rides on how we innovate systems that promote student learning, teacher preparedness, and community collaboration.

On this episode, our guest Dr. John E. Deasy, recently retired superintendent of Stockton Unified School District in Los Angeles, former State superintendent of the year, former high school principal, and former teacher talks about leading the way in shaping education through principles and practice. Schools and educational institutions as whole can cast a seismic shift through introspective culture, deliberate decisions to bring everyone on the same page, and inspirational practices in everyday learning – essential ingredients of successful schooling.

About Dr. John E. Deasy
Dr. John E. Deasy is the recently retired superintendent of Stockton Unified School District in California. During his tenure he oversaw a massive upgrade of new curriculum, technology for all youth, counselors and mental health clinicians in all schools, championed homeless issues and saw strong improvement in all youth indicators of success.

He was the Board Chair and former CEO of Reset: New Day, New Year, which is an alternative prison for young men 18-25 in the Bay Area of California. He was the founding Editor-In-Chief of The Line. The Line is a magazine dedicated to civil discourse in dealing with the most pressing matters for those on the front lines of social justice, entrepreneurship, and education. John also serves at a Superintendent In Residence for the Broad Center and facilitates work in the Broad Academy while coaching a number of current and emerging national education leaders. John also maintains a management consulting practice. John is also an Aspen Fellow from the inaugural cohort of the Aspen Institute’s fellowship of entrepreneurs in education and is a senior moderator for the Institute.

John led dramatic improvements in each school district that he served as superintendent which propelled student achievement, high school graduation rates, and access rates to high quality courses and schools to historic levels, while simultaneously reducing suspension and drop out rates in each district he served as the leader. Dr. Deasy was superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he championed a “youth first” agenda credited with reversing the district’s school-to-prison pipeline, raising achievement and helping more students graduate ready for college and the workplace than at anytime in the District’s history.  

About Host, Sucheta Kamath
Sucheta Kamath, is an award-winning speech-language pathologist, a TEDx speaker, a celebrated community leader, and the founder and CEO of ExQ®. As an EdTech entrepreneur, Sucheta has designed ExQ's personalized digital learning curriculum/tool that empowers middle and high school students to develop self-awareness and strategic thinking skills through the mastery of Executive Function and social-emotional competence.

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