My career began as a special education teacher at the elementary, middle and high school levels and as district office special education administrator in South Bend, Indiana. In 1999, I started in school level leadership as middle and elementary administrator which brought me great joy and a National Blue Ribbon distinction. I transitioned to district leadership starting with the assistant superintendent of elementary schools, to deputy, and finally, superintendent over a 10 year period in Warren Township. My greatest privilege as superintendent was to create a district leadership team to serve our diverse community during a stormy and painful period of instability. My greatest accomplishment was to transform the image of the school district through community engagement and increasing graduation rates and student success.
Leonard Burrello was a teacher in Philadelphia, then an Assistant Director of Special Education in the Southern Westchester BOCES, and then began a higher education career in 1970 through 2018 at the University of Michigan, Indiana, and South Florida. His research on principal and district leadership, inclusive education, and preparation have been described in eight books, fifty published articles, 30 videos and grants over 12,500 million identifying and designing exemplar educational practices across the nation.