Degrees and Certifications:

Dr. David R. Schuler


Known for his ability to inspire leaders and build new opportunities for student success, Dr. David R. Schuler earned the title of 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year and served as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. In the latter role, he spearheaded the national Redefining Ready! movement, which redefines what it means for students to be college, career and life ready. He currently leads the national Redefining Ready! Cohort and facilities the Aspiring Superintendents Academy through AASA, where he shares his perspectives on leadership and helps develop the next generation of outstanding leaders who lift up public education.  

Dr. Schuler is in his 21st year as a superintendent. He has served in rural, urban and suburban settings, and currently is in his 16th year at the helm of High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school system. In that position, he developed an innovative instructional philosophy focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enables students to discover their futures while still in high school. District 214 now offers 44 programs of study aligned with the 16 national career clusters that allow for students to gain real-world experience through youth apprenticeships and workplace learning experiences. 

By partnering with more than 1,000 businesses and organizations, District 214 students gain valuable insight to potential careers ranging from healthcare and manufacturing to entrepreneurship. For example, the first winner of the District 214’s Startup Showcase, the capstone pitch night for students taking their entrepreneurship courses, went on to ink a deal with three of the sharks from ABC’s hit show Shark Tank. 

His work on Redefining Ready! has been shared 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 students, staff and public education. 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, opening the door to student opportunity.

Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.