Dr. David R. Schuler
Dr. David R. Schuler is the 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year. Known for his ability to inspire and build leaders, he spearheaded Redefining Ready!, the national movement to redefine what it means for students to be college, career, and life ready while serving as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Dr. Schuler leads the national Redefining Ready! Cohort and facilitates the Aspiring Superintendents Academy through AASA, where he shares his perspective on leadership and helps develop the next generation of school leaders.
Dr. Schuler is in his 20th year as a superintendent where he has served in rural, urban and suburban settings. Currently, in his fifteenth year leading High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district, he developed an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enables students to discover their futures while still in high school. The 44 pathways align with the 16 national career clusters and allow for students to gain real-world experience through youth apprenticeships and workplace learning experiences. In addition, District 214 now teaches computer science to all 12,000 students, and its six schools were among only seven in the nation to pilot an iOS app development curriculum, initiatives which were recognized by the White House.
By partnering with over 1,000 businesses and organizations, students in his district gain valuable experiences and insight to potential careers ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to entrepreneurship. For example, the first winner of the District 214’s Startup Showcase, the capstone pitch night for students taking their entrepreneurship courses, went on to ink a deal with three of the sharks from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. Leading by example, Dr. Schuler is also an entrepreneur having founded Transeo, a startup focused on innovative solutions in the education technology space.
His work on Redefining Ready! has been published in several publications, and he has testified about college and career readiness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In Illinois, his district is active in advocating for the interests of his students, staff and public education. Under his leadership, District 214 helped write, champion and pass legislation requiring every public Illinois college and university to accept Advanced Placement scores of 3 or higher.
Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.