What They Say
“This year’s Oregon Association of Latino Administrators (OALA) Winter Conference was insightful, inspirational and impactful. Keynote speaker, Jimmy Casas set the tone! His words of wisdom captivated the audience, his practical ideas for fostering a culture of excellence motivated participants, and his heartfelt stories of working with youth brought us to tears and reminded us why we strive to create an educational system where young people thrive, flourish and reach their fullest potential. Jimmy’s compelling and thought-provoking keynote address made a lasting impression. In fact, it has been a catalyst for professional learning and collaboration across OALA membership statewide!”
Victor Vergara, Director of Bilingual Education, Walla Walla School District, Washington
“The participants at the Education Institute of Hawaii Conference (#EIH4) in January 2018 were gifted with the inspiration and wisdom of Jimmy Casas. As a former educator, he speaks directly to teachers and administrators on real issues that face them today. He inspired us to action and to make a difference for ALL students. The school principals and vice principals of the Windward District in Hawaii also received personalized review and feedback on what’s working and what can work better and how. Participant comments included many next steps for administrators and a revitalization of the passion for why and how educators inspire students. This looks like the beginning of a long and productive relationship with the schools in Hawaii.”
Naomi Matsuzaki, State Executive Director for Hawaii Elementary & Middle School Administrators Association, NAESP
“Amory School District faculty was welcomed back to school in January with an educational and reflective session provided by Jimmy Casas. Jimmy’s energy is contagious! Teachers left his session eager to start the second semester. Jimmy Casas is an excellent motivator and presenter. His thoughts on building community and culture will inspire you to be the best you can be! If you are searching for a speaker to get your teachers fired up about teaching, Jimmy is the perfect candidate for the job!”
Andrea Stevens, Assistant Superintendent, Amory School District, Mississippi
Jimmy Casas was our keynote speaker for our fall conference. He was dynamic and inspiring and gave lots of powerful takeaways for moving schools from average to excellence. One principal told me later, “This is exactly what I needed.” Another attendee, an instructional director, said, “Jimmy got me so excited I wanted to run through the wall!” Jimmy also facilitated our EdCamp sessions and efficiently led everyone through choosing sessions, he participated in the discussions, and he kept us on track through transitions. I highly recommend Jimmy as a speaker, coach, presenter, and facilitator. He is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to see others fired up to better serve schools. Every one of our attendee evaluations ranked the day as excellent!
Will Parker, Executive Director, Oklahoma Association of Secondary Principals
I am the District Curriculum and Data Coordinator for South Lewis Central School District in up-state New York. I had the privilege of planning a Superintendent’s Conference Day for our district with Mr. Jimmy Casas, and he was extremely easy to plan with. Jimmy texted, called, and accommodated the date and topics to be tailored to exactly what our district needs were. In his keynote address, Mr. Casas was inspirational, honest, engaging and passionate as he spoke to our faculty and staff about striving for excellence, building relationships with students, and accepting change as we implement a 1:1 technology initiative. 85% of those completing a survey after his presentation rated Jimmy as “The best they’ve ever seen” and “Great.” During the afternoon, Jimmy worked with our administration on the topics of effective hiring practices, creating a positive climate, and managing change in our district. The day was a huge success. Some comments from our faculty on their biggest take-aways from the presentation are, “Live your Excellence!” He motivated me to strive for my best, in a POSITIVE way, each and every day. Be an “Awesomizer!” Work together with EVERYONE!” and “It moved me to tears. I think he is an amazing orator and his message was applicable to every person in all facets of the school building. I think he really “gets” how to build a successful school. It isn’t about having the best technology, or the most qualified teachers, or learners with the highest abilities. Great teaching, and great learning happens when relationships are paramount to all other priorities. I have always believed this and I was so excited to hear him talk about how you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I was so inspired by his message and I think he is doing every school he visits a huge service by helping them to see that attitude and emotional investment creates more outcomes than any other strategy that could facilitate learning. Kudos to the administrative team (and Kristy’s hard work) for bringing such a dynamic speaker.”
Kristy McGrath, Curriculum/Data Coordinator, South Lewis Central School District, Turin, New York
Jimmy can relate to anyone in the education field, whatever capacity you work with kids you will find Jimmy not only relevant but valuable. Jimmy spoke with our teachers and administrators and everyone walked away reflecting on their own practices. If you are looking for an engaging, powerful speaker who makes you think about your systems, processes and procedures Jimmy is your man. You will walk away striving to not only make yourself excellent but also to make those around you excellent!
Nick Napolitano Principal Taylor Middle School Fauquier County Public Schools
I have known Jimmy for several years, and his laser focus on culture and what it takes to build an effective school team focused on students is critical for administrators and teachers to hear and experience. He models what he says throughout presentations and workshops, and he always has tangible examples to make it real; but also to show you what is possible. At a recent Future Ready Institute, Jimmy not only energized and inspired the group with his keynote, but he also worked directly with small groups and with principals specifically to help them think through what they can do to become more student-centered. A day with Jimmy always leaves you thinking, inspired, and ready to act.
Mary Ann Wolf, Director of Digital Learning Programs, The Friday Institute, North Carolina State University
Our staff was up on their feet and engaged, and their feedback was striking, summarizing Jimmy’s presentation as: “awesome,” inspiring,” “just what we needed,” “uplifting,” “genuine,” and “super cool.
”Seamus Campbell, Director of Curriculum & Instruction, High Point Regional District, New Jersey
Jimmy recently provided the keynote as well as a couple of breakout sessions for our annual teacher summer summit. All three sessions were a huge hit with staff as well as administrators. Jimmy’s enthusiasm and approach in the pursuit of excellence in serving staff, students, and families is infectious. He forced us to reflect inward instead of outward. Our administrators came away with tools they could use immediately in the hiring process and our entire staff left inspired and challenged. Jimmy did an outstanding job energizing staff for the coming year and setting the stage for us to move beyond average to excellence. One teacher was overheard saying. “I’ve been accepting my own “averageness” for too long and that’s going to change this year!” Thank you Jimmy!
Grant Corliss, Executive Director of Elementary Schools, Hillsboro, Oregon
Jimmy worked with our administrative team at a summer advance. Through his leadership and facilitation, we were able to develop our core expectations, build a culture of productive conflict, solidify our brand, and identify our own values of leadership. Jimmy’s experience in administration and his techniques were able to launch our school year with fresh ideas, faculty meeting activities, and new teacher induction practices. He challenged our status quo and pushed us to reach for excellence, never allowing us or our staff to “fall to average.” After working with Jimmy, we have new set of skills and a common language that will propel our year towards our mission. We had such a great experience, next year is already booked with him!
Cindy Couchman, Associate Superintendent, Buhler USD #313, Buhler, Kansas
“Jimmy Casas spent a day with the administrative team at the Flemington Raritan School District this past July. Jimmy is passionate, engaging and helped our team reflect on who we are and what we need to do and be to continue to move our school district forward. Jimmy challenges us all to live and work with purpose and to bring a “no excuses” approach to everything we do when it comes to our work and passions in education. We all walked away better from our time together”.
Mike Mitchell, Supervisor of Technology, Flemington Raritan School District
“We have been incredibly fortunate to have Jimmy Casas work with our school district over the last several months. As the person who “books the talent” to come in and develop the staff, I was nervous that our teachers would not be receptive to another guest speaker. From his introduction, Jimmy held the room’s attention. He engaged the teachers in meaningful conversations, and activities that allowed them to be silly, thoughtful, and reflective about who they are as educators. He encouraged them to be the leaders on their campuses, and reminded them that they are part of a collective team, all working toward what is best for our students. Jimmy is witty, articulate, authentic, and knowledgeable. He is passionate about moving from average to excellent! However, as great as Jimmy’s time was with our teachers, it was his work with our leadership team that was the most impactful for our district.
Jimmy weaved his magic with our leadership team over the next three visits. He led us through the components of leadership and the change process. He challenged us to examine ourselves as a leadership team, to reflect on our own “average.” He asked us to consider, then to commit to how we could change the structure of our leadership team to better support our students and staff; cultivating a community of leaders. All the while, guiding us with thoughtful questions, and practical strategies to move from belief to action. We looked forward to Jimmy’s guidance and he soon became a member of our team. When he wasn’t here, we often found ourselves asking one another, “What would Jimmy do?” “
Melani Edwards, Associate Superintendent, Casa Grande Union HS District
“Jimmy did an outstanding job in his keynote address and breakout session for our annual conference. His passion for connecting both digitally and face to face was inspirational. The message that the time to act is now resonated with the conference theme and our participants. Our State has made a significant investment in improving educational performance and a commitment to moving outcomes in the right direction, quickly. We thank him for sharing his energy, enthusiasm and compelling content with us!”
Gloria Dopf, Former Deputy Superintendent, Nevada Department of Education
“District 100 had the privilege of having Jimmy as a speaker to kick off our school year in August and he made a lasting impression on teachers and administrators across the district. His dynamic, passionate, and humorous speaking style engaged the audience from the moment he began his presentation. Jimmy challenges all educators, no matter what their role, to recognize that providing a positive, caring culture for our students begins with us. He has the ability to point out and address the realities we face in schools today, while communicating a “no excuses” approach that motivates educators to bring their very best each and every day. Jimmy’s message has been referenced in our schools all year and just last week, we were thrilled to have Jimmy return to speak again at our EdTech conference. Administrators and teachers gathered on a Saturday in late April to learn from one another and to hear Jimmy’s energizing message about their impact on students and their learning. Whether he knows it or not, Jimmy has made lifelong friends and followers in District 100, and I am certain he will continue to hear from us as we work toward our goals for continuous improvement. Thank you, Jimmy!”
Mary Havis, Superintendent, Berwyn South School District 100, Berwyn, Illinois
“We had the good fortune of booking Jimmy for our iEngage conference. Teachers are still talking about his keynote speech and are on an exciting roll until the end of the school year! I have received so many emails, messages, and comments from attendees in which they said ‘ thank you for bringing, Jimmy!’ One teacher pulled me aside yesterday and said – “all the other teachers are counting down to the end of the school year and I am wishing we had more days – I was just so energized by Jimmy’s keynote!” So thank YOU for all that you did to help us stay positive and keep our kids first.”
Jordan Garrett, Instructional Director, Berwyn South District 100, Berwyn, Illinois
“I had the privilege of booking Jimmy as the opening keynote for our 5Sigma Education Conference. Jimmy brought the perfect energy to the kick off the conference with his energetic, personable approach. Jimmy engaged our audience immediately speaking with humor, passion, and inspiration. Jimmy has a keen understanding of the pulse of education and specifically how to be a leader, no matter which position we hold. He charged us all with recognizing the ways that we are leaders in education whether teachers, administrators, or students. We so appreciate the way that Jimmy engaged and challenged us from the first moments to the last! His Keynote was an ideal way to kick off a weekend of learning and conversation.”
Kelly Tenkley – Founder of Anastasis Academy, Principal, Centennial, Colorado
“Jimmy Casas is a dynamic, knowledgeable, and entertaining speaker who takes his extensive experiences in education and shares them in an engaging and witty way. I invited Jimmy to speak at the annual TNASSP Winter Conference in Nashville, TN where he met with principals and assistant principals from across the state of Tennessee for a two-day professional development experience. Our leaders walked away from his sessions with a toolbox full of ideas to take back to their schools. Jimmy also personalized my experience, taking the time to visit my school and provide insight specific to my students and community. He is an excellent speaker and an inspiration to both neophyte and veteran educators. Thank you, Jimmy for leading Tennessee educators towards success and for helping LaVergne High School on our journey to moving from good to great!”
Dirk Ash, Principal of LaVergne High School in LaVergne, TN, and TNASSP State Coordinator
“I was meeting with the Alaska superintendents at their summer conference where the theme was innovation and excellence. I had the pleasure of sitting through Jimmy’s presentation which was totally on target. He received a standing ovation from the audience. I was so impressed that I invited him to come to Washington DC and present to our State Superintendents of the Year, including the National Superintendent of the Year. Jimmy did not disappoint. He energized the group and motivated them to continue to pursue excellence in everything they do. I f you need a speaker that will energize, motivate and excite your audience, Jimmy Casas is the man.”
Dan Domenech. Executive Director, AASA, The School Superintendents Association
October 2016“After attending a conference this summer, where Jimmy Casas was a presenter, I knew he was the right person to be the keynote speaker at the annual Fall Washington Association of Career and Technical Administrators conference in Wentachee, WA. Jimmy was diligent in learning more about our organization and what the organization is working toward in Washington State. His keynote was well received and earned high remarks from those in attendance at the conference. Jimmy’s energy, enthusiasm, and encouragement, provided the right balance of engagement and next steps to help move career and technical education directors forward in their work. I appreciate the dedication Jimmy has to helping all educators find their excellence and encouraging others to become better connected to increase success for students. Thank you, Jimmy for encouraging our administrators, counselors, and teachers to strive for their excellence.”
Shani Watkins, Director, Technology Skills Center, WashingtonSeptember 201
“Numerous teachers approached me after our Superintendent Conference day and said it was the best one ever! Jimmy Casas has the energy, enthusiasm, passion and commitment to not only provide a motivating message but for us to also do some self-reflecting. He engaged the teachers throughout his presentation and left them with wanting more. The best comment: Can he come back next year? We will definitely be staying in contact with Jimmy and welcome him back to our school district. I strongly encourage educational leaders to have Jimmy speak with your educators. They will be forever grateful.
Edward Niznik, Superintendent of Schools, Adirondack Central School District, New York
“Jimmy Casas is an engaging and motivating team builder! He found just the right mix between challenging our staff while still appreciating their hard work! #listentojimmy. Our hashtag #MCR1Pride has really taken off. One of our teachers came up with a Twitter challenge project that has really taken off around the county. We’ve had so many people say it was the best opening of schools ever! Thanks so much Jimmy for being an instrumental part of that!!”
Angie Brewer, Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, McDonald County School District, Missouri
“Jimmy Casas is absolutely amazing! I was fortunate enough to hear him speak twice on two occasions. I bought and read his book, What Connected Educators Do Differently in one night. I highly recommend that you read the book. After listening to such a charismatic educator, I wanted to leave my current position and work with him. We invited Jimmy to Hancock County Schools to speak at our Principals’ Academy. He was dynamic and energizing. His passion for serving others is apparent the first time you listen to him. Jimmy has been working with our administrators as a mentor. We look forward to welcoming Jimmy back on August 23rd to spread his powerful positive message to all of the employees in the county. We appreciate you Jimmy! You truly are inspiring educators to be the change they want to see, one educator at a time.”
Andrea Dulaney, Director of Student Services Hancock County Schools, West Virginia
“Energetic, personable, and real! Jimmy Casas is a true inspiration and change agent. When booking a Keynote for our Tech2Teach conference, I wanted someone that would take us to the next level, and inspire our district to take ownership for the teaching, learning and change. Jimmy did just that! He spoke with passion, conviction and humor but kept it real. What impressed me most about Jimmy was his magnetic energy and sincere conversations with each person that stayed after to talk to him. Jimmy also took time to meet with my team and I, to establish purpose prior to the conference to ensure his message matched our needs. Our principals and teachers were still talking about Jimmy the very next day at the closing of SLC……and every presenter mentioned Jimmy in some form or fashion in their presentation. His message influenced other district leaders immediately! GREATNESS is hard to find but he is the real deal….we will definitely have him back and now consider him CCISD Family.”
Cary K. Perales, Coordinator for Instructional Technology, Corpus Christi Independent School District, Texas
“School and district leaders are constantly searching for innovative ideas to expand knowledge and build capacity as they improve their practice to impact student growth and achievement. Jimmy Casas, in his enlightening and engaging sessions at our 45th Annual CLAS Convention, provided timely and thought provoking strategies to “Expand the Possibilities” of Alabama administrators. He was highly professional in his approach, extremely personable, and possessed a genuine passion with his clear and compelling message. Jimmy not only delivered highly applicable content but provided humor and motivation to energize participants as they plan for the upcoming academic year.”
Gail Morgan, Professional Development Coordinator, Council for Leaders in Alabama Schools
“WOW! Jimmy Casas is the principal at Bettendorf High School in Iowa. He spent three days with the Missouri Secondary School Principals at our spring conference and walked away to a standing ovation after his closing keynote presentation. His passion energized the attendees for three days as he interacted with individuals and small groups, provided a breakout session and closed the conference with his impassioned remarks. Jimmy challenged each principal to make all students active participants in something big and to provide a climate that makes each learner feel valued. He gave examples of how to build a collaborative spirit, a positive inclusive culture, and how the two continually feed a vision that today is part of becoming tomorrow. We can’t wait to have him back!”
Phil Lewis, Executive Director, Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals
“Jimmy Casas is a dynamic speaker who blends passion with practical experience. He is a master practitioner who emphasizers the power of relationships and modeling to help build and sustain school cultures that are relevant, meaningful, and most importantly, gets results. Jimmy weaves in powerful stories and examples of how he has and continues to help implement an array of strategies to enhance a school learning environment for the betterment of all students. What I admire the most about Jimmy as a presenter and speaker is that I walk out of his sessions with a can do attitude and a toolbox of applicable strategies that can be implemented immediately. Jimmy will inspire you to be better!
Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow at the International Center for Leadership in Education
“Mr. Jimmy Casas spoke at a full-day professional learning conference our district planned recently. He delivered several sessions on school culture, teacher leadership, student-centered schools, and becoming a connected educator. The response to Jimmy’s presentations form teachers and administrators across our district were overwhelmingly favorable. Many teachers requested that Mr. Casas return to our district to provide additional training and/or to deliver motivational keynote addresses. As a presenter, Mr. Casas comes across as enthusiastic, student centered, solution oriented and genuinely interested in those with whom he is working. During his one day visit to our district, he connected on a personal and professional level with scores of staff in our district, many of whom are subsequently interacting with him via Twitter and emails to further their learning initiated by him at this conference. For any district interested in securing the services of an engaging, dynamic, genuine, and practical consultant or speaker, highly recommend Jimmy Casas.”
Jeff Zoul, Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning, Deerfield, Illinois
“Want specific qualities and practices from a great speaker? Jimmy Casas is one of the best motivational speakers I’ve have ever heard, and I continue to listen to him every chance I get. In one hour, Jimmy Casas will reach out and share the truth about the reality of teaching in a student centered educational environment. Jimmy reveals the most successful practices to be an effective teacher leader in a student centered educational environment through caring and compassion. His motto of “Be the change you want to see in the world”, (Gandhi) will motivate and inspire you to feel your best about dealing with difficult people including students, parents and colleagues. His passion for kids and service to others will challenge you and activate your “move forward thinking”, and he articulates it in a timeless way that all can laugh and have fun relating to. I sincerely recommend you have the chance to hear Jimmy Casas at least once in your life. He is an expert with a wealth of knowledge, is an exceptionally effective speaker and is always available for consultation. He will provide you with the best tips that will lead you to success in your classroom and your school!”
Erik Buchholz, High School Principal, Washington, Iowa
“The past year has forever changed the landscape of leadership in Katy ISD, and much of that credit goes to Jimmy Casas. After meeting Jimmy at the TX ASCD Ignite Conference in June 2014, a relationship was forged. Our shared belief in growing leaders and investing in people became the foundation for a year of unparalleled learning, transparency of practice and a newfound commitment to strengthening relationships amongst Katy ISD’s campus leaders.
Jimmy Casas’ message of leading with passion and purpose inspired action! This year has brought an atmosphere of “revival” in the many ways we lead and learn together. Small groups of campus principals visited Bettendorf HS to witness the dynamic culture of learning and academic success that has made BHS stand out in the crowd. In January, Jimmy and his AP, Joy Kelly, came to Katy ISD to spend a few days with us. In addition to large-group sessions designed to meet the needs of elementary and secondary principals, campus visits provided opportunities for deeper conversation and problem-solving. This was truly the tipping point for our principals. Tearing down the walls of isolated leadership, this amazing group of principals charged forward in their use of social media to grow their personal and professional learning networks and to tell their stories.
The adventure continues this summer as we use Twitter and Voxer to participate in an in depth study of What Connected Educators Do Differently, authored by Jimmy Casas, Jeff Zoul & Todd Whitaker. Jimmy and Jeff serve as moderators of this discussion which prepares our minds and hearts for personal and professional growth and a new academic year. Jimmy will be back in Katy ISD in July for Katy ISD’s 4-day Leadership Conference, when he will undoubtedly continue to inspire the greatest group of principals in the land to unparalleled action, on behalf of our students…the heart of our schools. Thank you, Jimmy!”
Elisa Farris, Director of Professional Learning, Katy Independent School District, Texas
Jimmy was our sunshine on a cloudy day! His message was relevant in every aspect in today’s world of school administrators. The feedback from his keynote session was simple….Jimmy is the Best! Your parents should be so proud!!! I am proud of you and I just met you yesterday! Your message on the importance on being a “Connected Educator” was outstanding. At the end of the day we all wanted more “Jimmy”. You touched our souls with your passion in making everyday special for our students.
Manny P. Arvon II, Superintendent, Berkeley County School District, West Virginia
Jimmy Casas is a dynamic innovative school leader, who has broad leadership expertise to share with the profession. He is a mainstay presenter at NASSP’s annual conference and his professional colleagues flock to his sessions. His presentations are practical, exemplify best-practices and interactive. He uses his own leadership experiences to bring the message home to school leaders that there is thoughtful purposeful way to affect change, positively impact students, and cultivate teacher leadership. His integration of technology tools is engaging and his friendly and personal demeanor leaves everyone feeling comfortable with their ability to apply and implement the concepts learned in his training sessions. NASSP is proud to be have Jimmy Casas as a member of our Professional Development Faculty!
Beverly Hutton, Ed.D., Deputy Executive Director, National Association of Secondary School Principals – NASSP
Jimmy Casas was a breath of fresh, clean air during our In-Service in January. Furthermore, his message and the timing of it were a perfect mid-year revival for many going through the “Dog Days of January.” However, what is perhaps most exciting about Jimmy is his ability to connect the dots with passion and enthusiasm to such a wide and varying audience. I am confident the teachers and staff of our seven districts left much better than they were found after Jimmy was done. Connecting with him will forever change your perspective and life.
Kellen Adams, Principal, Assistant Superintendent, Logan USD, Logan, Kansas
Passion…Purpose…Pride…3 words that describe our keynote speaker in 2016. Jimmy Casas was the keynote speaker for our Cluster A Consortium (Cluster A is a consortium made up of seven Northwestern Wisconsin School Districts) in the fall and spring of this school year. His presentations are inspiring and motivating to educators and he brings a great network of resources to your fingertips. He is an author as well and we participated in a book study this year with his book, “What Connected Educators Do Differently.” A staff survey was completed shortly after his presentation and he overwhelmingly scored a 5 out of 5 with our over 450 staff members . Here is a comment from one of our teachers, “Jimmy refuels our desire to educate children.” I highly recommend Jimmy Casas for your school district~
Cheryl Bresina, Cluster A Coordinator, Wisconsin