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Flint Community Schools Superintendent Featured as ‘Leader to Learn From’ by Education Week

Michigan Business Network
March 1, 2017 12:00 PM

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FLINT, MI — Flint Community Schools Superintendent Bilal Tawwab has been recognized in Education Week’s annual ‘Leaders to Learn From’ report, announced today. Tawwab is one of 13 educators from around the United States, and the only educator from Michigan, recognized in this year’s report.  


“I am deeply honored to receive this nomination on behalf of Flint Community Schools,” said Tawwab. “This acknowledgement is a reflection of the hard work and undying dedication to the students, which runs deep at Flint Community Schools – starting with our superb educators, staff and school board.” 


The program selects candidates that are “forward-thinking district leaders who seize on good ideas and execute them well in their school systems.” In his feature story and video, Tawwab notes the following best practices: 

“Stay Calm: How leaders respond to a crisis determines how others will respond. Under pressure, allow time to make the right decisions.

Keep the Focus on Teaching: Leaders must continue to invest in teachers and classrooms even in a crisis. That’s where what we do for students matters most.

Set Clear Goals: Relentlessly pursue the priorities you’ve set with your team even amid challenging circumstances you don’t expect.”

Tawwab became superintendent of the 5,400-student district in September 2015 and oversees a budget of approximately $77 million. He uses research-based interventions in Flint Community Schools and is working to build capacity at all levels throughout the district. He has focused his attention in four specific areas: Eliminating the budget deficit, building teacher and leader capacity, using data to make decisions, and effective and efficient systems. 


 “I have worked closely with Superintendent Tawwab, since his arrival in Flint,” said Dr. Robert Barnett, Dean of the School of Education and Human Services at University of Michigan-Flint. “He is a visionary thinker who is masterful at translating big ideas into manageable practice. The partnerships he has built with the University of Michigan-Flint and the local community have already begun to benefit the children of Flint, and the positive impact of his leadership has been felt far and wide.” 


Previously he served as the assistant superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools. In this role, he provided leadership for the district’s Office of School Turnaround, with responsibility for overseeing the district’s priority schools, state school improvement grants, supervising non-priority school principals, and mentoring school leaders in areas of academics, operations, and fiscal management.  



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