Teacher, Principal and Superintendent / National Keynote Speaker / Author / Milken National Educator / Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame / Environmental Educator / Emcee
Steve is a husband, daddy, and educator who serves as a superintendent and travels extensively across the nation sharing with other educators how to get the heart of what we do and how to have a profound impact on the lives of our kids. Come ready to learn, laugh, and cry as Steve takes you on a journey toward becoming more effective in impacting the lives of all our kids in a positive way.
Steve is a nationally recognized and awarded educator that has served as a teacher, principal, and is currently a superintendent. Having been raised in a small town in central Kansas, Steve has branched out to make an impact on educators nation wide through programs he has developed and his speaking that goes right to the heart of all that hear. Steve has been named Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year, been awarded the $25,000 Milken National Educator Award, and has been named to the Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame. Steve is also very active in conservation and environmental education and works to have “No Child Left Inside.”
Steve grew up on Main Street in Claflin, KS. Steve did his bachelor’s and master’s work at Kansas State University and his doctoral work at the University of Kansas. As Steve likes to say, “I’m educated well beyond my intelligence!” Steve explains that he married way above his head, has been blessed with four sons, two grandchildren, and a dog …and cursed with three cats. Steve Woolf is a superintendent of schools and has been for the past five years, but before that, he worked/played for 22 years as a middle level educator – 18 of those as a principal. For the past 21 years, Steve has been in demand as a speaker throughout Kansas and the United States.
Steve likes to say that he “Forrest Gump’ed” his way to being named Kansas Middle School Principal of the Year, being awarded the $25,000 Milken National Educator Award, and being named to the Jostens Renaissance Educator Hall of Fame. The truth is that Steve has made a profound difference in the lives of students and educators everywhere he has been. While Steve is called upon to speak in a wide variety of subjects, he is most often called upon to focus on School Climate, Motivating Students and Teachers, and Building Powerful Connections with Students.
Since Woolf is a full time superintendent, he limits his number of engagements, so getting on his calendar early is a plus.
Steve Woolf’s Book: Heart 2 Heart Teaching: Building An Enduring Legacy In The Lives Of Our Kids
Keynotes and Workshops
Heart 2 Heart Teaching: Leaving An Enduring Legacy In The Lives of Our Students
In order to truly make a difference in the lives of our students we must go deeper than just our written curriculum – we must grab our kids by the heart, mold their future, and unleash their dreams and passions! The research is overwhelming yet most schools give the power of going to straight to the heart lip service at best. You will laugh and cry as you experience the moving and powerful message of “Heart 2 Heart Teaching” and, as a result, teachers will be prepared to help students soar!
Relationships, Connection, and the Wholehearted Kid
Kansas is ready to tackle a new accreditation model that will go far beyond just results on a state assessment. The first of the 5 “R’s” of the proposed accreditation model listed is “Relationships.” Research shows us there is amazing power in the 21st Century in understanding and building Relationships and Connections for students and staff. Connection is why we are here and is the key to deep learning. It gives purpose and meaning to our lives. It is how our brains are wired. Come ready to be moved as we start the journey into Relationships and Connections and strive to build Wholehearted students that will positively impact their lives.
The 7 (or so) Habits of the Effective But Slightly Stressed Out Educator!
This is a relaxing / informative / semi-humorous workshop for the educator or student who (on occasion) feels the world coming down around him or her. Although this workshop is loosely based on Covey’s “7 Habits of Effective Leaders,” the focus will shine a little light on the short life we live and how to put our days into perspective to maximize effectiveness as educators, students, or supporters.
Over 2 Decades of Mistakes! …or airing my dirty laundry
Success lies on the far side of failure! Steve airs his dirty laundry by sharing the mistakes he has made leading in education over the past twenty years and the greatness that rises out of the ashes. Steve is continually learning from his mistakes and is willing to share with you (in a semi-humorous way) so you can learn 1) that risking failure is essential for the extraordinary to happen, and 2) you don’t have to make the same mistakes Steve did…he’s been there for you already! Come ready to be moved to dare to be great!
26,280 Days of Greatness!
26,280 days equals 72 years of living. Investing those days powerfully is the focus of this workshop. Coming to grip with the finite frees us to focus on what really counts in our lives, whether it be in our schools, our homes, or any place else that is a demand on our time. Participants will come away with a renewed vigor to make their 26,280 days count!
Thinking Different: A Renaissance in 21st Century Schools
We live in a whole new and different world than the one we grew up in. To be successful in this world, with our lives, our schools, and programs, we will have to dare to think “different!” Looking at research by Malcolm Gladwell, Daniel Pink, and others, we will look at how to use Design, Story, Symphony, Empathy, Play, and Meaning to impact our students in a whole new way that will prepare them for their future!
Going MAD! Changing Your World
This presentation actually was initially designed for students identified as “gifted” at a conference for them, but has been demanded by middle and secondary schools throughout the nation. Steve moves kids to follow to dare to be amazing at what they love to do while touching on living a life of service, kindness, and passion! Students will laugh and shed tears as Steve moves them toward entering their world “Going MAD”…Making A Difference!
Outliers! Students, Educators, and Schools that are known for being “outside the Normal Experience!”
Are you intrigued by people or schools who, for one reason or another, are so accomplished and so extraordinary and so outside of ordinary experience that they are as puzzling to the rest of us as a cold day in August? This session will explore the AMAZING and the OUT ON THE EDGE to discover what makes them so and how we can go there as well with our selves, our students, and schools.
Many schools spend so much money on Classroom Management when what they really need is Classroom Leadership! You will leave this presentation with a mindset that will help you lead the level of students you are teaching toward an unforgettable learning experience. Steve will take theory into practice so that the teacher will gain actual effective practices that will help augment great learning experiences in the classroom.
Blinding Flashes of the Obvious!
As we watch kids work in our schools it has become obvious that in the absence of reward, most students perform just above punishment level. This workshop focuses on using the 4 R’s – Reward, Recognition, Respect, and Reinforcement – to achieve well beyond “punishment level” and create a powerful culture in your school that celebrates kids from the neck up more than from the neck down. These strategies have been proven to increase student performance, increase attendance, and elevate positive behavior in schools who run with these ideas.
What Others Are Saying
“Motivating and inspiring!!! Words can’t even begin to describe the impact you just left on me. You’re compassionate, kind-hearted, and it’s everything I want to be. What you said today is every reason why I want to teach…”
– Amanda Wilson
“Oh, my gosh! Your presentation was so powerful! I have never been so touched by a speaker to the point where I’m in tears!”
– Paige Davis
“Holy Cow what a great afternoon of in-service with Steve Woolf! We laughed, we cried, and we were reminded what a gift we have in teaching! We shape, we mold, we love, we hold the key to success. We must be vulnerable, we must connect, we must take risks, we must love!”
– Kay Kuglin Smith
“Most powerful speaker I’ve ever heard.”
– Kelsey Kessler
“Beautiful. Inspiring. Life-Changing.”
– Sarah Jacobs
“That was possibly the most emotional and inspirational thing I’ve ever heard. There was so much power in your words…”
– Joseph Catterson
“Your talk today was absolutely amazing and definitely was inspiring to me.”
– Kaylee Clements
“Motivating and inspiring!!! Words can’t even begin to describe the impact you just left on me.”
– Amanda Wilson
“Wow! All I can say is Wow!”
– Micaela Reed
“Thank you so much! One word… AMAZING.”
– Kenzie Mayta
“I do not have words to describe how impactful your presentation was today. Everything you talked about is why I teach.”
– Megan Keschke
“Thank you, thank you, thank you times a million!”
– Jaylyn Jenks
“I cannot put into words how thankful I am for you. You’re the most inspirational man I have ever heard speak!”
– Shelbie Todd
“Steve – thanks so much for such a great opening presentation for our conference. People were still talking about it at the end of the day.”
– Barb Gibson
SPEED School District #802, Kankakee, IL – Keynote
Illinois Department of Education Special Ed. Director’s Conference – Keynote
Berkeley County Schools, Martinsburg, WV – Keynote
Marais Des Cygnes Valley, USD 456 – Keynote
National Renaissance Conferences
Penn Jersey State Conferences
Milken National Educator Conference
Oklahoma Teacher of the Year Banquet – Keynote
New Jersey State School Board Convention
Kansas Exemplary Educator Network Conference
Jostens Western National Sales Meeting – Anaheim, CA
Mid Atlantic Renaissance Educational Collaborative – Keynote
North Texas “Leadershop” Conference
Northwest Missouri Educational Leadership Conference – Keynote
Everett Teaching Symposium – Everett, PA – Keynote
University of Kansas – Annual Guest Lecturer