Now more than ever, school administrators are using social media to stay connected to both teachers and their communities. Here are eight leaders across the country who are using their platforms to inform, educate, and humor others.
Inspiration and Information: Michael Hynes
Michael Hynes has been instrumental in keeping his district updated and educated during the coronavirus pandemic. What we—and his 10,000 Twitter followers—enjoy about Hynes’ presence on social media is his mix of informative resources, inspirational messages, and hilarious musical performances (especially his Johnny Cash-inspired “Snow Day Song”). In addition to leading the way as superintendent of schools for the Port Washington school district in New York, Hynes is a seasoned TEDx speaker and the author of Staying Grounded: 12 Principles for Transforming School Leader Effectiveness. He regularly posts on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
— Michael J. Hynes (@MikeHynes5) December 15, 2020
Leadership 101: Joe Sanfelippo
If you want to improve your professional leadership skills but are strapped on time, check out Joe Sanfelippo’s brief videos, in which he issues challenges to school leaders during a walk to work. In less than 2 minutes, the superintendent of the Fall Creek (Wis.) School District shares experiences and issues a leadership challenge to fellow educators. The coauthor of three books on educational leadership is also a frequent speaker and the former cohost of the Successful Schools podcast. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Vimeo.
LEADERS!!! Are we EMBEDDING SUPPORT into the system or REACTING to every situation? WHEN WE WAIT to support people until they are at the breaking point THEY CAN NEVER TRULY BE THEIR BEST. #LeadFromWhereYouAre #1minwalk2work #ImpactTheNarrative #HackingLeadership pic.twitter.com/vMKEDV42UW
— Joe Sanfelippo (@Joe_Sanfelippo) December 12, 2020
Dedicated to Change: Jay Billy
Jay Billy is more than your average principal. The author of Lead with Culture: What Really Matters in Our Schools is dedicated to making a change in school equity and classroom management. In 2016 he received the Exemplary Educator award from the New Jersey Department of Education. And on his Twitter account, Principal Billy regularly shares what his teachers’ classrooms are up to, advocates for women in education with the hashtag #WomenEDLeaders, and spreads a message for growth as an antiracist educator. He’s active on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
A3: #WomenEdLeaders must continue to support each other and find their allies in those of us men who are willing to help and push them to the forefront. We must continue to provide women with opportunities to lead.
— Jay Billy (@JayBilly2) December 15, 2020
Creating a Vision: Brandon Johnson
The former high school principal offers workshops on creating a vision for schools, making the school experience more enjoyable for students, and incorporating STEAM concepts into instruction. He is currently the area superintendent of Curriculum & Instruction for Mansfield (Texas) Independent School District. You can find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Funny Man: Gerry Brooks
You may have seen a funny video this Kentucky educator recorded from inside his car on topics like calling parents of misbehaving students or making teacher appreciation gifts teachers can really use. Brooks is a former elementary principal who, in addition to making humorous videos, speaks on helping teachers improve their instruction. He regularly posts on TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Engaging All Ages: Kelly Wachel
In fall 2020, Kelly Wachel launched a 1-hour video series to help K-12 students learning from home and their families. A typical episode on math has separate lessons for four age groups. As chief marketing and communications officer for the Kansas City (Mo.) Public Schools, she’s helped administrators communicate effectively through the COVID-19 pandemic and has found ways to involve students in the district’s social media posts. You can find Wachel on YouTube and Twitter.
Good morning. Reminder: in this beautiful, imperfect world, I will always support our teachers of color, our students of color and our families of color. You are welcome in @kcpublicschools and in our public education system and we will proudly say #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/2zwUN457ed
— Kelly Wachel, APR (@KellyWachel) September 15, 2020
Leading the Charge: Stephanie McConnell
Presenter, blogger, curriculum designer, and Texas elementary principal Stephanie McConnell’s mission is to give educational leaders the tools they need to lead a successful school. You can follow her journey of leading a school through her blog and Instagram account, or connect with 45,000 other school leaders through her private Facebook group, the Principal Principles Leadership Group. She regularly posts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
Reimagining Classrooms: Gerald Smith Jr.
Principal Gerald Smith Jr. wants to reimagine the classroom. When thinking about the children in his school who didn’t have always have Internet access during school closures, he created an assignment called six-word stories where, without using lots of technology, kids were to sum up their “story” in six words. When one of his students wrote “softball is my way to college,” Smith understood how kids as young as elementary age recognize that education is the key to changing their future trajectory. He works to be a part of the change to make it possible for all children, no matter what obstacles they face, to be given equal opportunity. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter.