Jimmy Casas


Jimmy Casas served twenty-two years as a school leader, including fourteen years as Principal at Bettendorf High School. Under his leadership, Bettendorf was named one of the Best High Schools in the country three times by Newsweek and US News & World Report. 

Jimmy was named the 2012 Iowa Secondary Principal of the Year and was selected as one of three finalists for NASSP 2013 National Secondary Principal of the Year. In 2014, Jimmy was invited to the White House to speak on the Future Ready Schools pledge.  In 2015, he received the Bammy Award as the National Secondary Principal of the year. Jimmy is the Co-Founder of EdCamp Iowa and #IAedchat, Finally, Jimmy is also the author of three books, “What Connected Educators Do Differently,” “START.RIGHT.NOW.,” and his latest release, “Culturize – Every Student. Every Day. Whatever it Takes.”

Jimmy is currently a Senior Fellow for the International Center for Leadership in Education, serves as an adjunct professor for Drake University, teaching courses in educational leadership, and is a member of the Professional Development Faculty for NASSP; the National Association of Secondary School Principals. Finally, he is the co-founder and CEO of ConnectEDD, an educational leadership company aimed at organizing world class professional learning conferences (What Great Educators Do Differently) and professional development services for educators across the country.

Keynotes and Workshops

Culturize – Every Student. Every Day. Whatever it Takes.

Eradicate Average! CULTURIZE Your School. Average schools don’t inspire greatness–and greatness is what our world needs if we are going to produce world-changing learners. In this presentation author and education leader Jimmy Casas shares insights into what it takes to cultivate a community of learners who embody the innately human traits our world desperately needs, such as kindness, honesty, and compassion. His stories reveal how these “soft skills” can be honed while meeting and exceeding academic standards of twenty-first-century learning and re-define the purpose of the work you do so you will aspire for nothing short of excellence!


Cultivating a Culture of Excellence

In this session, school leaders will gain practical application strategies to build a school community where everyone has the opportunity to leave their legacy.  Hear first-hand and learn by example how establishing meaningful relationships with all members of the school community is an essential component to making a positive impact on the culture of a school and creating an environment where all students and staff can be a part of something great!


Live Your Excellence Starting Today!

As educators, we must regularly ask ourselves:  Have we grown complacent? Have we settled for the status quo? It’s our job not to let average become the standard. When a classroom or school is in need of transformation, leadership is at its most critical and the fate of a school rests on its teachers and leader’s ability to gain support.   If you’re the type of educator who wants to inspire greatness in everyone who passes through your classroom and school’s halls, this presentation is a can’t miss. You will learn what it takes to raise expectations for all students and staff, foster the belief in one’s ability to achieve, and create an environment where everyone takes pride in supporting each other toward excellence.


Start. Right. Now. – Teach and Lead for Excellence

Excellent teachers lead and excellent leaders teach. Excellent teachers and excellent leaders have much more in common, including 4 key behaviors they exhibit on a daily basis: They Know the Way, Show the Way, Go the Way, and Grow Each Day. Whether leading students or staff, these amazing educators know that in order to lead effectively, we must Start Right Now. In this session, you will explore the importance of teaching and leading from a framework of core values and discover ways to act upon these values to improve the climate and culture of your classroom, school, or district. Learn new ways to inspire, build capacity, model successful behaviors and grow professionally each and every day.


Leadership –  How to Build Your Capacity

Every staff member has the capacity to lead and shape successful and sustainable reform. Jimmy draws from his expertise as an award-winning principal to identify strategies for developing and growing your teachers. Learn how to build teacher leaders across your organization. Jimmy shares how to set the vision and give the support and training it takes to make build your team!


Hire for Excellence – 8 Proven Tips to Improve Your Hiring Practices

There is nothing more important than hiring the right people, people who want to be excellent! However, are you modeling excellence during the interview process? Do you approach the hiring process with the intention of establishing a meaningful relationship with each candidate? What are the candidates saying about you and your school once they leave the interview? In this session Jimmy will share 8 Tips to Improve Your Hiring Practices, leaving candidates looking back after they complete the interview process saying, “I wish I could work for that organization. They are first class!”


What Connected Educators Do Differently

Participants will learn the power of becoming a connected educator by focusing on eight key factors that make a difference. Through the use of Social Media tools and a Professional Learning Network, this session demonstrates the benefits of transforming the role of today’s educators from a traditional isolated learner to a connected learner. The positive impact of becoming a connected educator will be revealed and enable session participants to understand how the connections developed through personally investing in others can support them in cultivating a positive school culture and establishing a brand presence that extends far beyond the walls of the school community.


Twitter…Is It Really a Game Changer?

Learn how one twenty-two year veteran principal made a conscientious decision to set a personal goal for himself to become more of a connected learner through the use of social media tools in order to grow a more meaningful network, expand his knowledge of available resources to share with his team and staff, and to gain greater insight on educational topics in order to be able to lead a school in a digital age.  By doing so, it has opened up other opportunities to explore and develop as an educator and as a leader.

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