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student outcomes don't change until adult behaviors change


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Student outcomes don't change until adult behaviors change.  
Changing adult behaviors requires new mindsets, new knowledge, and/or new skills. My intention is to transform student outcomes through the transformation of adult mindsets, knowledge, and skills -- starting with my own.

AJ Crabill currently serves as the Conservator/Receiver for DeSoto Independent School District in DeSoto, TX, leads school board governance nationwide at the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) in Washington, DC, and is on faculty at the Leadership Institute of Nevada in Las Vegas, NV. Prior to his current work, he served as a Deputy Commissioner of Education at the Texas Education Agency. Crabill also served eight years on the board of the Kansas City (MO) Public Schools (KCPS).

Crabill has also served on the board of the Missouri School Boards Association, the executive committee of the Council of the Great City Schools, the Policy Committee for the National School Boards Association, a Visiting Fellow with Education Pioneers, an instructor for the Texas Education Policy Institute, and chair of the annual conference for the International Policy Governance Association. Crabill currently serves on the board of Govern for Impact, the lead international association promoting effective governance practices, and an advisory board member of SXSW Edu, the nation's premier conference fostering innovation in education.

Crabill was the recipient of the Education Commission of the State's Conant Award. The James Bryant Conant Award recognizes extraordinary individual contributions to education in our great nation. In receiving the James Bryant Conant Award, Crabill joins the prestigious ranks of distinguished professionals in education, including Sal Kahn (2016), Linda Darling-Hammond (2010), Thurgood Marshall (2004) and Marian Wright-Edelman (1987).

Crabill has provided governance training to school districts nationwide to help refocus school board members on the core mission of improving student outcomes. Crabill has worked with and supported numerous universities, colleges, corporate boards, non profit boards, state leaders, municipal leaders, and local education leaders.

In addition to his work in governance, Crabill has worked with municipalities, school districts, and schools across the country to implement restorative discipline / restorative practices, with a special emphasis on training students to implement peer-led mediations and restorative circles within their schools. Interwoven with the restorative practice work has been a strong focus on creating awareness of culturally responsive pedagogy and proficiency with its use, particularly in middle and high schools.

Prior to his work in education, as an entrepreneur Crabill founded and/or participated in half a dozen tech startups across multiple industries. Crabill remains actively involved with startups in which he is currently invested and/or serving as a board member.

To give back to the community, Crabill has been a Seedling mentor, a CASA volunteer, a Big with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, chair of Mazuma Credit Union's supervisory committee, treasurer of the Missouri Democratic Party, board member for a LULAC National Education Service Center, board member of MorningStar Missionary Baptist's Development Corporation, an appointee to the Public Improvements Advisory Committee overseeing the city's capital improvement expenditures, a member of the Mayor's Lightrail Taskforce, vice president of the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council, vice chair of the Black Archives of MidAmerica, and a board member of Joy in the Journey Ministries. 

Raised in and out of foster care from birth until high school, Crabill bounced around enough to have attended 11 schools prior to graduation. He attended urban, suburban and rural schools; private, public, and parochial schools; lived with white families and families of color; lived in racist communities and inclusive communities; experienced loving homes and homelessness. Guided by the idea that student outcomes don’t change until adult behaviors change and drawing on his intimate familiarity with the triumphs and terrors of America's safety nets for children, he has devoted much of his adult life to advocating for the well-being of our nation’s most vulnerable youth.

When not leading school systems and coaching leadership teams, he enjoys training high school students to lead restorative discipline initiatives in their schools, experimenting with vegan recipes in his kitchen, and zooming around the capitol building in downtown Austin, TX on his electric unicycle.

Inspired by his parents, Crabill has mentored dozens of young people, has helped raise five young people, and will not be surprised when God sends another young person to his open door.


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