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David is the Superintendent of the Hamilton Community Schools. He is a father, husband and avid reader who relentlessly seeks ways to meet the needs of ALL students. David has been an elementary teacher, building principal and is serving students as the superintendent in his second district. A life-long learner, David constantly looks for ways to connect education to the world around us. He sees today's technological resources as a way to design new learning experiences that meet ALL learners where they are, giving skills and content context.

About The Conversation

David was greatly influenced by his parents, who were both educators.  (Poor guy.) 

  • His career in education had a little bit of a rough start.
  • As a student teacher, he was "failed" by his mentors.  This led to a moment of deep reflection over his career choice.

He had the opportunity to present at TEDx Macatawa, which he described as a great experience.  (His approach to the work is reflected in key points from his presentation.)

4 Pillars:

  • Scholarship:David believes that a growth mindset mindset is an essential component to learning.
  • Leadership:  The concept that the members of his team lead from the space they occupy is real for him, and he works to model this belief.
  • Agency:  Empowering students and staffs is critical, but not a pillar education does well.

David drills down into each of these pillars, providing greater insight.


Resources Mentioned

District Website: Hamilton Community Schools

David's TEDTalk: TEDx Macatawa

You can reach David on

  • Twitter:  @tebotweets
  • Email:
  • LinkedIn:  David Tebo

The District Leader email:

You can subscribe to the District Leader on iTunes

The Sponsors
This episode is being sponsored by, where you get a FREE audiobook download and 30 day free trial at, byIsagenix, one of America’s leading health and wellness companies, and by, Education’s Daily Digest.

Additional resources

You can reach Luis Valentino on

  • Twitter handle: @district_leader
  • LinkedIn: Luis Valentino
  • Facebook page:

Episode 011: David Tebo

"I think I stepped in a few things early on. I said some things that my intent was good, but it was perceived differently.  And perception is that person's reality. So I really had to think about who I was and how I was leading." - David Tebo