Frank DeAngelis, retired principal of Columbine High School, served as an educator for the Jeffco School District in Littleton Colorado, since 1979, starting as a Social Studies teacher and filling the roles of Head Baseball Coach, Assistant Football Coach, Dean of Students, and Assistant Principal, before becoming the Principal in 1996. Frank is a Colorado native, completing his K-12 education in Denver-area schools, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Education from Metropolitan State College and a Masters Degree in Secondary Education and Social Studies from the University of Colorado. He later earned his Principal’s License and Masters Degree from the University of Phoenix. Frank has been involved in numerous professional activities and associations, and has received multiple awards for his teaching, leadership and coaching skills. A national-level speaker, Frank has addressed numerous professional and school audiences on the topic of recovery after a school-based tragedy. He has visited, consulted, and assisted school communities across the country following incidents of violence and tragedy, including Platte Canyon, Chardon, Virginia Tech, and Sandy Hook. Frank received numerous awards and recognitions throughout his lifetime of service as an educator. He was selected as Colorado High Principal of the Year and was one of the three finalists for National Principal of the Year. He recently received the Jefferson Country Lifetime Achievement Award and the Gandhi, King, Ikeda Community Builders Award. He retired in June of 2014 after 35 years at Columbine High School. He is presently serving as a consultant for safety and emergency management for the Jeffco School District in Colorado, and continues to travel nationally and internationally, speaking and consulting.
Leadership Lessons from Columbine and Beyond
“Our lives are not determined by what happens to us, but how we react to what happens; not by what life brings to us, but by the attitude we bring to life. A positive attitude causes a chain reaction of positive thoughts, events, and outcomes. It is a catalyst…a spark that creates extraordinary results.”(anon) The tragedy at Columbine redefined the nation. Frank DeAngelis tells his story from the events through the aftermath. This presentation reveals the leadership lessons he learned in the focus of an international firestorm. Frank’s honest, straight-forward account provides invaluable insights into managing the after-crisis with students, staff members, community members and never ending media attention. A positive attitude and a passion for his job, allowed him to work at Columbine from 1979 to 2014. He shares how he was able to build a community that worked together for his kids; the students at Columbine High School. The takeaways from this presentation should be required reading for every leader in the nation.
Panel Discussions and Q and A Sessions
Frank offers Q and A sessions following his keynotes or as a separate session. Frank is also available for panel discussions. As these formats are more organic and highly individualized, Frank is available to discuss and plan for these types of sessions directly with clients.
Frank DeAngelis is a national treasure who has transformed the school safety conversation world-wide. His honesty and unwavering commitment that those lost in our Columbine tragedy will never be forgotten is reflected in a willingness to share the difficult lessons learned and his own very moving and personal journey. I have worked with Frank for almost a decade during unimaginable crisis events in our District including; the Deer Creek Middle School shooting and the kidnapping and murder of 10-year-old Jessica Ridgeway, as well as several credible threats to Columbine High School. Frank’s genuine compassion and ability to connect with students, parents, educators and first responders is inspirational and a significant reason we have been able to successfully recover and thrive. Frank didn’t just rebuild the climate and culture at Columbine High School, he restored the faith of our entire community.
-John McDonald, Executive Director, Security and Emergency Management, Jeffco Public Schools