Impact of an Educational Leader A Trio of Successful Leadership Roles from His Career

Improving academic achievement, graduation rates and school attendance is a nationwide goal amongst school districts. In order to understand how to implement changes and improvements, school districts often collaborate in what is called “partnering districts”. Together, they take part in ongoing research and feedback efforts as well as strategically organized structural changes to shift towards improvement and higher success rates in the classrooms.

Thomas Gaudreau has traversed many roles within the educational structure to serve his partnering district. The school districts as well as each individual school has benefited greatly from each of his contributions. His participation in the educational system and growth in leadership proficiency can be seen in three phases – classroom teaching, administration and finally assistant superintendent of schools.

Classroom teaching

Leadership was an evident focus in Thomas Gaudreau’s career, seen as early in his first job as an educator in rural South Dakota. In a rural area with a large migrant worker population focused on sheep ranching, Tom immersed himself in the community and learned about Hispanic culture through teaching, coaching and community involvement. Thomas learned all that he could from his first teaching position and utilizes his in-classroom experiences today to understand the learning environment and how to improve it. He was recognized within his school and encouraged to expand into administration.


In order to maintain a competitive career and stay current with the developing generations of students attending school, teachers and staff should expect to continue expanding their own education. At this point in his career, Thomas took responsibility for several projects including curriculum committees, parent involvement efforts and then decided to obtain a degree in administration. Meanwhile he also completed an internship.

Thomas Gaudreau served as Assistant Principal and then Principal of a middle school in Wisconsin. The campus saw significantly reduced levels of drugs, violence, and disruptive behaviors. Academic performance increased as well as student achievement.

Assistant superintendent of schools

After gathering experience both in the classroom and at the head of the school, Thomas Gaudreau was chosen to serve as the Assisted Superintendent of Schools for CUSD #223. His leadership helped lead two school districts to achieve “adequate annual improvement” status under the No Child Left Behind legislative initiative. He now serves as the Founding Director of Chance Light Education Center in Rockford, IL. His focus is serving students with special needs who indicate requirements for low teacher/student ratios, intensive socio-emotional counseling, individualized education plans, collaboration with community services and ongoing support to foster transition for students back to regular schools.

The impact that Thomas has made through his service to a partnering district has been a growing and compounding impact built from passion and leadership initiative throughout his entire career. His time in the classroom fostered the knowledge and attention to the environment in which students will thrive. Transitioning into administration allowed Tom to create influence within the school itself, and he expanded the reach of that influence as he served as assistant superintendent.

Elevating the Expectations of Education How Outstanding Teachers Can Influence the Learning Environment

Thomas Gaudreau is a career-long educator and is well versed in many aspects of the educational structure thanks to his experience in various roles including teaching, administration, staff trainer, curriculum consultant, principal, director, and assistant superintendent.

Thomas Gaudreau has experienced first hand the importance of acquiring outstanding classroom teachers who can meet high educational standards. He himself succeeded in bringing two failing school districts up to the standards of the “No Children Left Behind” acts by understanding the key vitality of carefully selecting teachers who will strive for high standards.

Outstanding school teachers will embody infinite positive skills and traits, including these key factors:


  • Displaying empathy


An outstanding teacher will be able to recognize students who require extra guidance and attention. They understand that a struggling student may have extenuating circumstances worth investigating, and will make themselves available to students that need someone to talk to or confide in.


  • Inhabit the classroom


Effective teachers are charismatic and have a natural presence in the classroom. They display confidence and create an inviting environment that students grow to look forward to. Teachers take leadership of the classroom without controlling it, but rather through influence, and can often regain control without ever having to raise volume.


  • Choose Positivity


While teachers may certainly have many factors that they would be entitled to complain about, an outstanding teacher chooses positivity, models resilience, and displays patience and respect. They see opportunity in challenges and encourage students to do the same.


  • Care for themselves


Outstanding teachers require ongoing energy to maintain their excellence. They know that it’s vital to take the time to relax, unplug, and practice self-care in order to maintain their consistent effectiveness. When necessary, they know how to say “no” to extra projects or requests in order to stay focused.


  • Continue to learn


Effective teachers quickly realize that generations constantly change. An outstanding teacher will be a life-long learner and will invest the time to learn how to stay related to the generation that they are working with so that they can continue to connect and influence.

Along with populating schools full of effective and outstanding teachers, Thomas Gaudreau believes that setting and striving for high education standards is important. Not only does this mean meeting state curriculum standards and ensuring that the school is adequately equipped with materials required to do so but going above and beyond those requirements can set a school apart and advance students towards better opportunities for their future.

Thomas Gaudreau suggests that every teacher and parent understand the educational standard for the grade that their student(s) are currently in, and review with the student to help them comprehend the goals that they should be aiming to achieve.  

Educational standards are different than the curriculum, which can be chosen by local communities and educators. Educational standards are state governed and have existed since the early 1990’s, with revisions as recent as 2015.

When high degrees of leadership and effectiveness are being achieved throughout a school as a result of outstanding teachers, it is highly likely that the educational standards will be met and even exceeded.

Importance of Leadership Within the Educational System

Teachers, Parents & Students Have Responsibilities to Lead Their Schools Forward

The educational system plays a much more essential role than providing children with an education and skills for employable jobs. It is easy to recognize the need to cultivate and empower youth to become leaders in the fields in which they are passionate. However, to establish positive change, individuals who contribute to the educational environment must be influential leaders, as Thomas Gaudreau has been himself throughout his entire career as an educator. He has traversed many different aspects of the educational structure and is now a mentor to others.

Educational leadership can be cultivated by three demographics of people within the education system: teachers, parents, and students, in order to influence the educational system and ultimately the students themselves.


Teachers hold a lot of responsibilities in the classroom and around the schools. Not only do they have a full curriculum to deliver to students each year and ensure that students are maintaining the best grades that they are capable of, but teachers are also often playing a role in mentoring children and teenagers through various stages of their life, and mitigating difficulties that they experience.

Thomas Gaudreau encourages teachers to become students themselves in the field of personal development, so they continue to always develop and cultivate their own leadership skills. This could include reading leadership books, listening to audio tapes or podcasts, attending seminars or taking workshops. Personal development covers a wide variety of skill development including verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, building relationships, compassion, persuasion, influence, and vision.


Children’s education is not only the responsibility of their teachers. Parents should also play an important role in shaping the mindset that children adapt about their education, as well as their capabilities throughout their adolescence and adulthood. Thomas Gaudreau states that parents can do their part by getting involved with parent committee boards or staying current with workshops offered in-school to parents. At home, parents can utilize leadership by creating good habits for homework completion and offering help and assistance where necessary, while still encouraging independence and problem-solving skills.


Leadership within a school also depends on students having the ability to lead each other and guide the change they seek. Some students will naturally find it easier to step into a leadership role, while others will have to work long and hard to cultivate the confidence, self-esteem and personality of a leader, however every student is capable of embodying leadership traits if they are encouraged and empowered. Students should be encouraged to choose areas and focuses that they are passionate about within their school and join clubs or programs that will allow them to work with their passions to create influence throughout their school. Often, Thomas Gaudreau observes that students with natural leadership abilities join their student council and work closely with teachers or other influencers within the school to improve the learning environment for other students.

In the long run, any efforts that students can make to utilize their leadership skills under the guidance of their teachers and with their parents’ support and encouragement will stabilize a platform of educational leadership for future students. Thomas Gaudreau believes that this is important improve the quality of education and the education system itself, which is the goal of implementing educational leadership.

thomas gaudreau in suit

Educational Leadership

One of the main pillars of today’s society is education. With plenty of years of experience and many significant achievements, Thomas Gaudreau proved to us that there’s nothing that can’t be done if you have motivation and access to education.

As a teacher, you’re responsible for the education of the next generations and you need to be prepared to answer any question the pupils might have. Thomas Gaudreau realized that and he took ownership of the classes he taught. He realized that it was very important that he taught children not only how to achieve good grades but also how to be successful people.

Times have changed and teachers have to keep up by learning how to communicate with the new generations. In 2018 it is not enough for a person to know how to teach a class, educational leadership skills are also required in order to provide a first-class education. Thomas Gaudreau understood that and now he’s a Curriculum Consultant to the Texas Education Agency so he can share his experience with others.

How do you Become a Good Educational Leader?

Learning how to communicate with the pupils and making them accept you as a teacher is harder nowadays. One of the hardest things to do, Thomas Gaudreau says, is to get a pupil’s attention and to distract him from his iPhone while you are trying to teach him something. Most children, especially middle school children, get easily distracted by technology and can lose interest in class very quickly.

Being a good teacher means being able to communicate with students in a way they understand and in a way that makes them want to do the assignments you give to them. This is the reason why we consider that it’s very important for a teacher to be a good leader. Children will listen to a strong, inspiring figure while they will lose interest in someone who doesn’t have leadership skills.

Teaching children is a big responsibility and a very delicate thing to do. As a teacher, anything you say can have an impact on the pupil’s future development so it is important that you lead their minds on a productive, constructive path. In order to do that, as a teacher you should constantly learn new things and evolve professionally. One of the wisest ways to develop yourself if to go to an educational leadership class.

A teacher is the Pack Leader according to Thomas Gaudreau

Children are different and each one of them has a particular way of communicating with us. Being a good teacher and an amazing leader means finding out what is the best way to communicate with each pupil. In educational leadership classes, you can learn how to speak in a way that children want to listen.

For a bright future, we should invest in the education of our children. Being a teacher in 2018 means more than just going to class and teaching them a subject – it means being their leader and friend. It is not enough nowadays to just excel in a certain subject – the ability to make children interested in what you are teaching and the connection between you and the pupil is more important.

thomas gaudreau glasses on a book

Education Innovations

We live in a world that’s more open than ever. Technology advances really quickly and what yesterday seemed a dream is a reality today. In a world where technologically grows so fast, one of the questions that we are yet to answer is: What do we teach our children? What’s important for them to know in an era where everybody has a device that can access almost any information?

A teacher’s job in today’s world is probably more complex than it ever was before. Nowadays just going in the class and teaching them the subject is not enough. In order to be a good teacher and an innovator, you have to be your class’s leader, your pupils’ friend and a person that inspires them to study for the class. Making children curious about the subject that you are teaching is the key to being an innovator.


Thomas Gaudreau – An Innovator

When he started his career as a teacher at a school in rural South Dakota, Thomas Gaudreau realized that the education system needs to constantly grow. As technology advances, the children become more and more distracted and the schools have to come up with new ways of attracting the students.

A small innovation in the classroom such as project-based learning can encourage students to socialize and learn at the same time. Getting to know the students and creating connections between them while teaching them a class might seem a hard, even impossible thing to do but Thomas Gaudreau managed it. Using his leadership skills and following the news in education innovation, he developed a teaching strategy that modelled the minds of his pupils in a very healthy and productive way.


What Innovations can You Try in the Classroom?

One of the most recommended techniques is the whole-child approach. Getting to know your pupils and developing a teaching method that fits their needs is one of the best ways to teach a class. By understanding your pupils’ needs, you can develop a personalized teaching program that will highlight their abilities. By applying the whole child technique, you become your pupil’s friend.

Working in small groups can also improve the quality of a class. By making them socialize while studying, you are making the learning process easier and more fun. This innovation has many advantages and creates a friendly yet competitive spirit that will motivate the children to pay attention in class.

Children in 2018 have amazing technology skills and they can amaze you if only you give them the chance. Encourage them to use their digital skills in order to complete the assignments. This is a great way to innovate your teaching method.

Taking educational leadership skills can teach you how to be a fun, innovative teacher. Thomas Gaudreau considers that it is very important that a teacher is also a good leader. While you are in a classroom you need to make children listen to you – a job that seems very hard in 2018 when children have telephones in their pockets.

thomas gaudreau teaching

Thomas Gaudreau on technology in the classroom

There is no denying that technology has found its way into almost every aspect of everyday life. Most people have a cellphone, tablet, or personal laptop computer. A topic of great debate, however, has been technology’s place at school. In elementary and high school especially, teachers have to constantly remind students to put their phones away, and in some cases, cellphones are even confiscated.

There are, however, many benefits to using technology in the classroom. Thomas Gaudreau, an educator himself, believes technology is an effective teaching tool.


Most children and adolescents don’t actually enjoy going to school or doing homework. Many consider these acts to be boring and difficult. As a result, they can become detached and unengaged. Using technology for educational purpose combats this problem. As an example, there are many computer games that aim towards teaching children to read and perform basic mathematics. This would be more fun and engaging for many students than a traditional lesson would.

Individual learning

Technology in the classroom also promotes individual learning. By using a device, students can learn at their own pace. Making these devices available will also help students that may be struggling to keep up with their own person lesson plans. Students can also look ahead if they wish to learn more quickly. Thomas Gaudreau says individual learning with technology promotes growth and fosters academic confidence for students.


Some students feel too shy to ask or answer questions in class. Technology allows students to collaborate and participate according to their own comfort levels. Thomas Gaudreau says students can post and comment in online forums to communicate with their peers and help one another. There are also benefits to teachers, as they can be given feedback on assignments and class materials from students.

Preparation for the future

Technology continues to evolve around us. Many people still remember when technology had a limited presence in school. As a result, Thomas Gaudreau says that a large amount of the same people are uncomfortable with technology, but now must use it on a daily basis in their professional careers. Introducing students to technology early on will help prepare them for their futures in work and life. They will become accustomed to consistent digital advancements and learn to adapt quickly.


Technology has made a space for itself in the classroom, as Thomas Gaudreau says it not only provides students with vital life skills for the future, but provides a new way for teachers to deliver material, thus promoting their professional development as well.

thomas gaudreau professional development

Professional development

Like many other careers, educators greatly benefit from professional development, continuously evaluating and honing teaching methods and strategies to motivate students. Thomas Gaudreau, an educator and former principal, shares the importance of professional development for teachers.

What is professional development?

Many teachers seek out professional development opportunities either through their employer or on their own. The world around us is constantly transforming, with new technological developments and societal changes, so it is important for teachers to keep up to date while improving upon their skill sets.

Professional development can either be informal and done independently or with formal training. Teachers can read, study, and research material on their own or form study groups with other teachers as a form of professional development, says Thomas Gaudreau. Formal training methods for professional development may include courses, workshops, seminars, and conferences.

Benefits of professional development for teachers

One obvious benefit of professional development is that it provides teachers with different ways to engage and motivate students, helping them reach academic success. Staying current will help with teachers connect with students by using methods that are preferable to them.

Thomas Gaudreau also says that professional development opportunities will help with retention at both schools and within the industry itself. Providing opportunities for staff can boost employee morale and foster a healthy work culture, and teachers therefore would want to continue working within their school district. Teachers also have high turnover rates and it is estimated that many leave the field within their first five years. Professional development may increase teachers’ confidence in managing their classrooms.

Professional development tips according to Thomas Gaudreau

Sometimes it can be difficult to find opportunities for professional development if they aren’t already supplied by your employer. Even if they are, it might be difficult to manage your time effectively to fit it into your schedule.

First of all, Thomas Gaudreau suggests connecting with other teachers and asking about any professional development courses or workshops they’ve attended that may be useful. There may be reviews available that would be a good indication if a particular session is right for you.

If you want to undertake professional development on your own, social media is an effective tool to find reading material including blogs, articles, research studies and case studies. You can network with other teachers that are interested in the same educational topics and can perhaps find other opportunities this way. Using social media and technology is professional development in itself, as you are staying current.


By seeking out and participating in professional development opportunities, teachers improve on their skills for the benefit of their students. Teachers that are dedicated to lifelong learning and continuous improvement are excellent role models and leaders.

thomas gaudreau stem

Thomas Gaudreau explains how teachers benefit society

Elementary school, middle school, and high school teachers, and even college and university professors as well as instructors are usually considered necessary cogs in society. One could even say they are as necessary as police officers, firefighters, and medical personnel. But have you ever stopped to think about how teachers actually benefit society as a whole? Thomas Gaudreau, an educator and former principal, believes that in many ways, classroom teachers actually build the foundation of society.

Teaching as a calling

Many have heard the phrase, “those who can’t do, teach,” but that is not necessarily true. Not everyone can be a teacher in the same way that not everyone can be a doctor or a financial analyst. Teaching is a great challenge that is not to be taken lightly.

There is a definite set of characteristics that a good teacher must possesses. In addition to obviously being knowledgeable about subject matter, Thomas Gaudreau says that teachers must possess strong leadership and communication skills to engage their students and help them progress in life. Teachers also require a large amount of patience, as they take on a managerial role by managing the classroom.

Another component of teaching is the desire to impart wisdom to students. Teachers help students set goals. This goes along with a desire to help others, as teachers do. In the same way that not everyone can be a doctor or a nurse, teaching is an admirable and compassionate calling that isn’t for everyone.

Working for students and benefitting society

It may sound like a cliché, but children and adolescents grow to become the future generation. Many have even gone as far as saying the youth are our only hope at protecting the world from the effects of global warming and promoting world peace to avoid war. So where to youth learn, shape behaviors and form individual thoughts? In the classroom, of course.

Learning inspires students to reach their full potential, says Thomas Gaudreau, and depending on the teaching style, what a teacher says may stick with a student for years to come. Teachers are responsible for educating students on not only necessary knowledge, but on the world we live in. The lessons have the power to motivate students to become the leaders of tomorrow. The goal of a teacher is not to teach students what to think, but how to think.

A respected teacher can also provide guidance for students’ futures. A teacher may encourage a student to pursue higher education in the same way that a student may request help or a reference when preparing college applications. This is important, as students may go on to benefit society as a whole by developing a cure for an illness or may even become political leaders.

Even as adults, many of us recall a teacher from our childhood or high school years that inspired us to become the people we are today. We may have even had a teacher that we recall as being too strict or “mean.” Thomas Gaudreau says that teachers can stick with students long after graduation and that the importance of teachers should not be underestimated.

thomas j gaudreau office

Thomas Gaudreau on STEM education

Children and adolescents are frequently asked what they want to be when they grow up. What are the most common answers? Many young children tend to sway towards careers they consider to be the most “fun,” and hope to become singers, teachers, or even astronauts. While some of these dream jobs are admirable goals, you hardly ever hear children saying they want to become a civil engineer, financial advisor, chemist, or statistician.

These professions are necessary in society, yet the U.S. has seen a decline in its students pursuing these careers. In fact, it has been estimated that India and China produce five to nine times more engineers than the U.S. This of course leads to outsourcing jobs, which negatively affects the U.S. economy.

What can be done to combat this? Thomas Gaudreau, an educational leader in Rockford, Illinois, promotes the implementation of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) educational programs.

What is STEM education?

Usually science, technology, engineering, and mathematics are taught as separate subjects or are added as smaller components of larger subjects like social sciences. STEM education groups these components together as similar disciplines and practices. Thomas Gaudreau says that while this method has become most popular in the U.S., it has been implemented all over the world and allows the U.S. to be competitive in STEM fields. STEM programs have also been a result of encouraging female students to become more interested in the STEM fields, thus promoting gender equality.

The educational programs blend subject theory with hands-on experience to prepare children with knowledge and skills that are imperative in our modern world. Children are taught to apply what they’ve learned to real-life situations that they will encounter in the future.

Benefits of STEM education

In addition to encouraging children to pursue STEM careers, there are many other benefits to registering your children in STEM programs. Most notably is the teaching of soft and transferable skills. Usually these skills are developed through a process of trial and error. STEM programs encourage the development of these skills early on. These skills include, but are not limited to communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, and problem-solving.

As a result of learning these skills and applying knowledge to real life, Thomas Gaudreau says that there is a strong possibility that children in STEM programs adopt a love and passion for learning. This encourages them to pursue higher education in the future and reach academic success. Not to mention that the knowledge obtained from STEM programs helps students prepare for college curriculum.

STEM also encourages students to stay current and knowledgeable of technology, which is continuously updated and improved upon. Traditionally, students that go on to pursue post-secondary degrees in STEM subjects will obtain higher-paying careers than students with degrees in other subjects.

STEM education has been criticized by some as being too linear-focused and discounting subjects like art, music, literature, and writing. Thomas Gaudreau, however, says that many students in STEM programs have also excelled in these subject areas and career paths because the program teaches students to think in different ways, encouraging students to be innovative and creative.

In addition to dedicated STEM programs, there are many ways that teachers can implement aspects of the method into existing curriculum. Thomas Gaudreau, who is an advocate for education, encourages you to do your own research and decide if STEM education is right for your child.