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About Joseph Sanfelippo
Dr. Joe Sanfelippo is the Superintendent of the Fall Creek School District in Fall Creek, WI...home of the Fall Creek Crickets. The Fall Creek School District was named an Innovative District in 2016 and 2017 by the International Center for Leadership in Education. Joe holds a BA in Elementary and Early Childhood Education, an MS in Educational Psychology, an MS in Educational Leadership, and a Ph.D. in Leadership, Learning, and Service. Joe co-authored The Power of Branding: Telling Your School’s Story, Principal Professional Development: Leading Learning in a Digital Age, and Hacking Leadership: 10 Ways Great Leaders Inspire Learning That Teachers, Students, and Parents Love. He was selected as 1 of 117 Future Ready Superintendents in 2014 and 1 of 50 Superintendents as a Personalized Learning Leader by the US Department of Education in 2016. Education Dive named Joe 1 of 5 K-12 Administrators to watch in 2018 and their National Superintendent of the Year in 2019.
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Books By Joseph Sanfelippo
Level Up Your Leadership with Intention, Connection, and Direction
School communities are full of people who have both the ability and desire to lead. Some lead without knowing it. Most lead without the recognition they deserve. Whether you lead in a classroom, department, building, or district, chances are you know how challenging it can be to identify and develop other strong leaders, and to grow the leadership capacity of your organization as a whole. But ensuring that the leaders around you know their worth, helping them cultivate connections, and growing their confidence can help your whole team move forward together, helping the organization and the people within it to thrive.Lead from Where You Are offers a down-to-earth, implementable approach to rethinking how we build leadership and community in schools. Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, a veteran principal and superintendent, argues that our focus must be on growing leadership potential all across the community, from students to teachers to staff. We can do this by reflecting on how we build a sense of intention together, how we connect with each other, and how we direct those we lead with compassion and affirmation. Sanfelippo’s frank discussion of the highs and lows of leadership will help new principals and superintendents feel prepared, while also providing useful methods and sound counsel.
"The authors do a beautiful job of helping leaders focus inward, instead of outward. This book by Joe and Tony, grounded in the importance of empowered relationships with the entire school community, provides some amazing ideas on how to develop learner-centred schools (learners meaning students and educators) in ways that could be implemented immediately. This is an essential read for leaders who are, or want to lead, learner-centred schools." -George Couros ~ Bestselling Author of The Innovator's Mindset
"Hacking Leadership is an outstanding book about schools and school leadership written by two school leaders eminently qualified to write such a book. I found myself eagerly turning the pages of this book, highlighting many nuggets of wisdom along the way. I recommend this book enthusiastically to anyone wishing to improve their leadership skills and the school they serve!" -Jeff Zoul ~ Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, and National Keynote Speaker
The best leaders lead from the middle
When school leaders join teachers, students, and parents in a collaborative effort to improve teaching and learning, achievement soars and schools turn into vibrant communities, filled with enthusiastic members.
Teaching and learning feel too much like work
With constant emphasis on higher test scores and teacher accountability, it's easy for schools to become places filled with stress and despair, making teachers dread going to work and students disdain lessons and activities.
It's time to bring fun back to school
In Hacking Leadership, award-winning school administrators Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis demonstrate how to increase learning by leaving the office and engaging directly with all teachers and learners. They identify 10 problems with school leadership and provide dynamic, right-now solutions. During this exciting journey toward change, you learn how to:
- Transform yourself from leader to Lead Learner
- Amplify individual staff needs while maintaining a collaborative vision
- Employ unique strategies to break down the walls between home and school
- Empower students and staff to own their space
- Create a culture where “Yes” and “Trust” are the default
- Eliminate initiative overload while encouraging teachers to lead, as well
- Broadcast student voice
- Bring passion into your school
- Embrace technology and social channels in ways rarely considered in education
- Eradicate your deficit mindset
What makes Hacking Leadership different?
Sanfelippo and Sinanis present leadership strategies in ways few people have ever seen. These experienced, thoughtful, decisive leaders, share amazing, real anecdotes that make you feel like you're listening to trusted friends sitting in your living room. Then, they provide progressive, courageous, and practical solutions that you and all stakeholders will love, using the popular Hack Learning formula:
- The Problem (a single leadership issue that needs a Hacker's mentality)
Build transformational leadership using social media!
Close the gap of knowledge and experience between educators and learn how you really can find the time to connect with other leaders using social media. This highly instructive and conversational guide makes it easy. Filled with real-world experiences from leaders all over the country, you’ll build balanced and effective leadership skills, grow a network of support, and model your vision for a thriving community of learners. Includes a handy start-up guide to help busy principals:
- Connect virtually with K-12 leaders
- Model continuous learning
- Find solutions using Twitter, Google Hangouts, and more
The Corwin Connected Educators series is your key to unlocking the greatest resource available to all educators: other educators. Being a Connected Educator is more than a set of actions: it’s a belief in the potential of technology to fuel lifelong learning.
"With this book, Sinanis and Sanfelippo have written a well-researched, yet accessible guide to the how and why school administrators should embrace social media. This book will help school administrators who are still debating whether or not to be online jump into the waters."
—Chris Lehmann, Founding Principal
Science Leadership Academy, Philadelphia, PA
Turn a spotlight on what’s great about your school!
Inform, engage, and support your school community with this step-by-step guide in the Connected Educators Series. Begin exploring the benefits of branding and create an action plan for sharing the excellent things unfolding in your classroom, school, or district. Includes concrete suggestions and in-depth case studies that will help you:
- Artfully create a brand name, symbol or design
- Share great events using blogs and more
- Empower all stakeholders, including students
- Teach digital citizenship K-12
Use this all-inclusive guide to start sharing just how special your school is!
The Corwin Connected Educators series is your key to unlocking the greatest resource available to all educators: other educators. Being a Connected Educator is more than a set of actions: it’s a belief in the potential of technology to fuel lifelong learning. To explore the other books in this series, visit the <
"Focusing on the positive things happening in schools gives leaders more drive and has a tremendous impact on school culture. This book is a powerful resource for leaders looking to promote the good in their schools."
Todd Whitaker, Author of What Great Teachers Do Differently
"Tony and Joe not only recognize the significance of branding in education, but they provide an array of examples and strategies that will allow all educators to create a positive brand presence for their schools."
Eric Sheninger, Author of Digital Leadership