Dr. David R. Schuler is the 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year. Known for his ability to inspire and build leaders, he spearheaded Redefining Ready!, the national movement to redefine what it means for students to be college, career and life ready beyond a single score on a single test, while serving as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association.
Dr. Schuler has served 18 years as a superintendent, including 13 in his current role with High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district, where he led the development of an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit and industry credentials that enables students to discover their futures while still in high school. The District's 44 career pathways align with the 16 national career clusters and allow students to gain real-world experience through youth apprenticeships and workplace learning experiences. In addition, District 214 now teaches computer science to all 12,000 students, and its six schools were among only seven in the nation to pilot an iOS app development curriculum, initiatives recognized by the White House.
By partnering with more than 1,000 businesses and organizations, students in his district gain valuable experiences and insight to potential careers ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to entrepreneurship. For example, the first winner of the District's Startup Showcase, the capstone pitch night for students in entrepreneurship courses, went on to ink a deal with three investors from ABC’s Shark Tank.
His work on Redefining Ready! has been published in several publications, and he has testified about college and career readiness before the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions and the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In Illinois, District 214 is active in advocating for the interests of its students, staff and public education overall. Under his leadership, District 214 helped write, champion and pass legislation requiring every public Illinois college and university to accept Advanced Placement scores of 3 or higher, continuing Dr. Schuler's work to break down barriers to college access and affordability for all students.
Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.